In Is Self-Promotion “Bragging? Rosalie Hamilton, the leading authority on expert witness marketing and founder of Expert Communications,writes:
Does the thought of reciting your achievements and credentials make you cringe?
You’re not alone. Many experts are hesitant to ‘promote’ themselves. I want to share with you an email exchange I had with one of our readers on this subject.
The expert inquired:
I’ve never been all that good at self-promotion. It makes me feel uncomfortable, like I’m bragging or something. My grandfather used to tell me that it’s not bragging if it’s true, but I have a hard time with that.
I have been selected to give a presentation at a national trade conference and I want to put out an email to all my clients informing them of my good fortune. Part of me says go for it; part of me – the bashful side, I suppose – says to be more restrained. What do you say?
Is it in bad taste to announce this type of an honor? Guess I’m looking for solid validity, and seeing as how I love your newsletter I thought I’d run my predicament by you.
I responded with the following:
I understand your feelings. It is how were reared – to let someone else brag on us and not do it ourselves.
Business, however, is a different matter. Keeping in touch with your clients/prospects/possible referral sources such as business associates, vendors, etc., is a necessary part of doing business. People are so busy and over-communicated that if you don’t make yourself come up on their personal radar screen 2-4 times a year, business that should have gone to you will go to others simply because they didn’t think about you.
Being asked to speak is a good excuse to send what I call a Howdy card (and/or, now, an email). In my book, I listed 50 excuses for sending an announcement, and they are exactly that – excuses; the real objective is to simply remind people of your existence and, in a professional way, to remind them of your credentials. Be sure to state succinctly but completely what you do, which is the real reason for sending the announcement. Plus, the very fact that you were invited to speak demonstrates your stature in your field, which indicates your credibility to your attorney prospect.
Keeping a somewhat formal tone may make you feel more comfortable and less like you are bragging. It is, after all, a business matter, not a personal matter, even though it is an honor to have been asked.
I hope this helps you bridge that uneasiness in being upfront about the skills and accomplishments you bring to the table. How else will your prospects know how wonderful you are?
Best of success,
Ms. Hamilton provides customized marketing plans and consulting and coaching to individual experts and firms. Her Happy Clients (many of whom have made boatloads of money) are her credentials. She consults and coaches and provides full-service marketing for experts, including web site development. She is the author of *The Expert Witness Marketing Book* http://www.expertcommunications.com