Never be shy about promoting yourself because if you aren’t going to no one else ever will. – Gene Simmons
When I first wrote the piece “Fake it Till You Make it” a couple of people became morally outraged and delivered sermons on a popular networking site. My original piece was basically about the need for aggressive self-promotion, particularly in this day and age. There’s an actual legal term for this strategy: puffery. Yes, it’s legal. My two critics jumped to the erroneous conclusion that I was suggesting illegal behavior. I wasn’t.
So how important is aggressive self-promotion? The answer is extremely. With seven billion people all trying to make a living today, you need to be exceptionally strong at attracting attention. Indeed things have gotten so bad over the past decade that many can achieve fame and fortune by merely being able to create enough noise to make heads turn their way. Mad Men’s leading man, Jon Hamm, acknowledges this unpleasant new reality in the April issue of Elle-UK:
Whether it’s Paris Hilton or Kim Kardashian or whoever, stupidity is certainly celebrated. Being a fucking idiot is a valuable commodity in this culture because you’re rewarded significantly. (Source)
To succeed the right way today, you need both a great product and exceptional self-promotion skills. It’s never been enough to just have a great offering. The world will not beat a path to you door unless you have a cure for cancer.
This follow-up piece was inspired by a Business Insider article on becoming more powerful. Several of the points on the list support my position on the critical importance of self-promotion. I refer to:
- -Performance doesn’t really matter
- -Act the part before you’ve got the part (see the party-crashing video in part i)
- -Carefully consider and construct your image
The reason I have chosen to write about this topic is because self-promotion is something I have always been weak in.