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February 3, 2010

Getting Cozy with Self Promotion – SEM Synergy Extras

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On today’s episode of SEM Synergy, guest Lisa Barone joined us on the show. If you read the BCI blog before September of ’08, you know The Lisa from these very pages. There’s also a chance you know her as the blogger kicking butt and chief branding officer of the marketing company she co-founded, Outspoken Media.

colorful margarita drinks

During what I’ll loosely call our interview (i.e. happy hour at Yolanda’s Mexican Restaurant), Lisa touches on the need for writers to overcome any lingering aversion to self promotion. Because, as she explains, promotion is the difference between awesome content and awesome content that people read. It’s a topic she tackles is greater detail on the Outspoken Media blog, where she writes:

“Content is not king. Your ability to promote that content is.”

Last night I was having dinner (coincidentally enough) at a Mexican restaurant when I learned another lesson of marketing: people will rave about stuff they like, but it has to be promoted to the public consciousness first.

The loud couple sitting behind me was having an interesting conversation about Twitter. From the sound of it, this guy was the Christopher Columbus of Twitter, the discoverer of a brave new world. In his own words, he was now “preaching the gospel of Twitter” to the masses. He boasted that today he had sent out three @replies, retweeted two tweets, and had been retweeted by a friend — all before noon!

(I wanted to turn around and pinch his widdle cheeks!)

He was talking about the service like it was the best thing since Disneyland — and he wasn’t going to rest until the whole world knew about it. He wanted bragging rights as an early adopter. And all the while he was fueling and amplifying a hype machine that had long been in place. The attitude of positive promotion had started down the line, from the founders, to the first employees, to their friends, and their friends and so on. But without that first push, Twitter would be no where.

open oyster with pearl

It’s not cockiness or displaced pride. Here’s another line of Lisa’s that cuts to the quick: “[…] just as we tell our clients, your audience will not find you because you throw a Web site up on the Internet.”

If the product/service/content is worthy, your self promotional push can be like a grain of sand inside an oyster. You might worry your promotion could be perceived as an irritant, but give it a try. There’s a chance it might be spit out. But it might also grow like a beautiful pearl, building layer by layer as people embrace it, adding their glowing recommendation to the polished sheen. There can be no pearl without the first grain of sand.

Thanks to Lisa Barone for being a guest on our weekly radio show/podcast. Go check out her post on this topic, which I’ve simply added to anecdotally — as is my poetic license during SEM Synergy Extras! As for me, I’m off to go tweet about this blog post…

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One response to “Getting Cozy with Self Promotion – SEM Synergy Extras”

  1. Dreamer writes:

    Great blog :) Keep working well :)

    Bookmarked your blog :)

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