April 27, 2024

Nobody knows you exist. Now what?

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Last week I shared a Tweet that seemed to resonate with people who struggle with the concept of self-promotion.

The fact is, if you’re not promoting yourself online every day, you’re missing out on massive opportunities to grow your network, your audience, and your business.

And if you feel shy about this, here’s the good news - promoting yourself doesn’t have to mean selling your product or service with big, flashing lights like a Las Vegas casino. In reality, effective self-promotion is much more nuanced and elegant than it is loud or boisterous.

It’s about sharing your work, your unique perspectives, and your problem-solving skills.

Self-promotion is about introducing the world to your way of thinking.

When I started my own business, I was hesitant to put myself out there. I was fresh off of building a SaaS business from $0 to $50M in recurring revenue in just 4.5 years. And I figured that work should speak for itself. But guess what?

It didn’t.

Nobody knew me or my story. And who has the time or interest to dig into a profile of someone they know nothing about?

My target audience was busy living their own lives. And I realized pretty fast that I’d have to speak up if I expected anyone to notice me. I needed to make some noise and keep showing up.

When I decided to transform my LinkedIn profile from a digital resume into a megaphone, people started paying attention and asking me questions. They finally started to learn about me and what I’d accomplished. And when people pay attention, you have the chance to build rapport and express yourself.

Because here’s the reality: people can’t listen to you, follow you, buy from you, or collaborate with you if they don’t even know you exist. And with such crowded social platforms, bystanders fall by the wayside.

You can’t afford to be a bystander if you hope to make a name for yourself.

You have to be proactive about showcasing what you’ve done, what you’re doing, and telling people why it matters. This is your most important job — an obligation to yourself.

So what does effective self-promotion look like?

Here are some things you can do to get started:

#1 Share behind-the-scenes of your work process

Don’t just show the polished, final product. Share your messy sketches, discarded first drafts, and the late-night white-boarding or Notion sessions.

Imagine you’re at a dinner party and everyone is fascinated by what you’re working on. What could you show them? Take them on the ride!

This makes you (and your work) way more relatable and interesting.

#2 Take a strong stance on controversial topics in your industry

Don’t be afraid to ruffle some feathers. If you’re always Mr. or Mrs. Safe Opinion, why should anyone pay attention to you? People are drawn to people with conviction.

Consider this — my most popular content has focused on my opinions around work and life.

I take the polar opposite approach of the ‘hustle 24/7’ bros and people who live to work. My opinions often spark some heated debate and the hate mail rolls in. But I also attract a devoted following of people who are aligned with my way of thinking.

Everybody is not going to like you. Stop aiming for that.

#3 Create content that educates, authentically

We don’t need another generic ‘Top 25 Ted Talks’ LinkedIn post or Twitter thread. Infuse your personality into your content.

Don’t lecture your audience. They don't want to feel like they are in school, having to sit still while they listen to the professor.

Write like you talk. Be the best you, not some version of another person.

My most popular social media posts are the ones where I talk to my audience like we’re having a beer at a party. Even if I'm sharing 'how to' or advice, I still want to make everything feel like a conversation, not a speech.

#4 Collaborate with creators outside your niche

I’ve spent more hours than I can count jumping on Zoom calls, getting to know popular creators from other industries.

This has exposed me to new audiences and pushed me to think outside my usual box. When I go back and forth online with guys like Andrew Lokenauth, a financial creator, I gain more followers who have never seen my content before.

Consider who else you start interacting with online. And think beyond the usual suspects.

If you’re making and selling ice cream, for example, interacting with other ice cream makers is well...plain vanilla.

How about interacting with producers of packaging for frozen goods? Or companies who specialize in dessert toppings? Surely you’ll have some interesting thoughts on their content, and vise versa.

#5 Don’t “Always Be Selling”

When people see me talking about self-promotion, they usually say something like, “But won’t I annoy people if I promote myself every day?”

Again — you’re not promoting your products and services. You’re promoting your name, face, brain, opinions, and value.

Truth is, the people who are annoyed by that are not your target audience anyway, so don’t worry about them. Focus on the folks who connect with your message.

How to get started today

If you don't have a strong personal brand, consider starting on LinkedIn. It's the easiest (and best) place to grow an audience who cares about what you have to say.

There's no better place to start than by joining 22,500 students and 50+ LinkedIn Top Voices in my personal branding course for LinkedIn, The LinkedIn Operating System. It teaches the simple system I followed to transform my LinkedIn account into a personal branding tool. And it’s the same system I’ve followed to go from 2K to 565K+ followers and be named the #1 Global LinkedIn Influencer by Favikon.

Start watching The LinkedIn OS Now (And get 50% off!)

And if you’re not ready to dive into a digital course, consider this challenge:

Start promoting yourself online every day for the next 30 days.

Share your work, your thoughts, and your unique value. And as your impressions grow, shoot me a screenshot, or share it online.

It’s time to stop being the best-kept secret in your industry.

Good luck out there, and see you next week.

Whenever you're ready, there are 4 ways I can help you:

1. The Creator MBA:  Join 4,000+ entrepreneurs in my flagship course. The Creator MBA teaches you exactly how to build a lean, focused, and profitable Internet business. Come inside and get 5 years of online business expertise, proven methods, and actionable strategies across 111 in-depth lessons.

2. The LinkedIn Operating System:​  Join 22,500 students and 50 LinkedIn Top Voices inside of The LinkedIn Operating System. This comprehensive course will teach you the system I used to grow from 2K to 550K+ followers, be named a Top Voice and earn $7.5M+ in income.

3. The Content Operating System​:  Join 10,000 students in my multi-step content creation system. Learn to create a high-quality newsletter and 6-12 pieces of high-performance social media content each week.

4. ​Promote yourself to 215,000+ subscribers​ by sponsoring my newsletter.

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