Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Shameless Self Promotion, Part 2

Part 2 of my interview on "shameless self promotion" with Leslie Levine on her blog ran today. My interview with the lovely and talented Leslie and a posting I read on a writer's forum this morning made me think that it might be a good opportunity for me to share my philosophy about this topic.

First, a bit about the forum posting: In a discussion about how to use a social networking site for books and authors for book promotion purposes, a member commented about how annoyed he became by a member who continually sent out blatant promotions for her self-published book. Her presence on the site was limited to obvious and persistent book promotion. Of course this was annoying, so he deleted her from his network.

Her loss and her mistake.

Here's my simple philosophy about self-promotion whether it's in the online or the offline world, whether we're talking about networking or media relations: Promote your business, product, or service by sharing what you know. When you share your knowledge, instead of always shouting, "Buy my product! Buy my product!" you're building credibility while helping others. How can you lose? That "Look at me! Look at me!" method that seems to be so prevalent on Twitter and elsewhere alienates people pretty quickly, but nobody gets tired of a friendly voice saying, "Perhaps I can help."

If you know what you're talking about and you're willing to share what you know, you will lose nothing and gain much.

What's your promotion philosophy?


Jonathan Bernstein said...

Sandy, I absolutely agree. That's been the philosophy behind my free nine-year-old email newsletter. Some people seem puzzled that I'm willing to give away that much information, but I do it because I know it enhances my perceived value as a crisis management professional.

Sandra Beckwith said...

Thanks, Jonathan. And I love your newsletter (subscribe and read the archives at -- it's a great example of "show, don't tell."


Kerry Dexter said...

it's nice to hear the quiet suggestion of what is both good business practice and good manners, really. I know people are flailing around learning about social media, but as you point out, respect and offering to be of service
are the best ways to navigate these sometimes uncharted territories, as they have been with more familiar ones.

Lynn said...

Great point, Sandra. I think most of us can recognize the annoying "look-at-me, look-at-me" authors a mile away. But when someone is genuinely sharing what they know, we are appreciative and become interested in whatever it is they're selling. Thanks for the reminder :)

Lynn said...

By the way, Sandra, your author headshot? Beautiful!

Sandra Beckwith said...


You expressed this so well -- thanks! I suspect that how people approach this process ends up being a good reflection of their personality. Some are givers and some are takers.

Thanks for sharing your thoughts. They are, as always, worth hearing!


Sandra Beckwith said...

Hi Lynn,

You are so right. Sharing what you know is a great way to show that you are a competent and reliable professional, no matter what you do for a living. It builds faith in your service or product.

Thank you for sharing (and thx for the kind words!).