Do you want a promotion, new leadership role at another company or a seat on a corporate board? If so, you must learn how to unapologetically toot your own horn. Mastering the art of self-promotion is essential for you to rise to the top of your industry.

But for too many women, talking about their accomplishments can be uncomfortable. We have been conditioned to be cheerleaders for others while staying quiet about our own achievements.

Adhering to these cultural norms is a good practice – if you want to be average and ordinary. However, being modest about your achievements can make you invisible in the workplace. Other social and career costs may include:

  • Lost wages due to ineffective salary negotiations.
  • Missed career opportunities such as job promotions, leadership roles and high-profile projects.
  • Lack of self-confidence and a fear of failure and/or success.

When it comes to telling our stories, we must be intentional. We can’t hide in the background and hope that luck will bring us new opportunities. Here are three self-promotion tips to help you elevate your professional brand and climb higher on the corporate ladder.

Know the difference between bragging and self-promotion.

Women and men are equally as concerned that people will judge them if they engage in self-promotion. But the difference is most men won’t let the fear of what others say stop them from moving forward. Some women are apprehensive about telling people about their achievements because they view it as bragging.

If you’re new to professional branding, it is important to know the difference between bragging and self-promotion. Or else you could unintentionally come off as conceited and obnoxious. Having those labels tied to your professional reputation can tarnish your career.

For starters, the purpose of self-promotion is to shine a light on your unique value proposition, accomplishments and what you bring to the table. Its purpose isn’t to belittle others, make exaggerated claims or puff yourself up.

Another thing to remember is self-promotion is a tool that should be used strategically. It doesn’t have to be over-the-top. In fact, if you promote yourself too much at the inappropriate times, it may have a negative impact on your reputation.

Fortunately, there are positive and less-annoying ways to practice self-promotion. These include:

  • Discuss your team’s accomplishments at meetings.
  • Make a list of your successes and share them with your boss during performance reviews and quarterly meetings.
  • Take on high-visibility assignments.
  • Invite others to your speaking engagements.
  • Share articles that you’ve written on your social media page and company newsletter/blog.
  • Invite feedback and make adjustments to your personal branding strategy as needed.

Summarize your achievements before sharing them.

Your colleagues and bosses are busier than ever. They may only have a few minutes to listen as you share your latest achievements. Remember to be respectful of their time and be as brief as possible.

Share only the highlights of your accomplishments unless the listener asks for more details. Leave out any information that doesn’t add value to your story. It isn’t necessary to provide every detail about your accomplishments at once.

Try not to dominate the conversation. Once you have shared your information, show interest in what the other person has to say. That way, you won’t come off as only being interested in matters that pertain to you.

Develop a plan for self-promotion.

What is the goal that you’re trying to achieve by promoting yourself? Whose attention are you trying to get? Which mediums do you want to use to promote your messages?

Major corporations have a strategy in place before they create their branding messages. They know exactly what they want to say, how they want to say it, who would benefit from the message and the goal they want to accomplish. And you should too.

If your goal is to strategically promote yourself, you must create a plan. Here are a few tips to implement.

  • Write your goals – get a job promotion, board seat, new clients, etc.
  • Make a list of your promotion channels – internet, professional web page, television, social media sites, workplace, etc.
  • Analyze your unique value proposition.
  • Learn what motivates the people you are trying to reach.
  • Develop messages that resonate with your audience.
  • Be consistent in your messaging even if you don’t achieve your desired results right away.
  • Align your messaging with your professional brand.

Getting ahead in the legal profession or any industry requires you to step into the spotlight. Apply these self-promotion strategies to elevate your professional brand and climb higher on the corporate ladder.

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