I don’t know if you’ve notice, but over the past few weeks I’ve been commenting on Twitter about self-promotion and the need to bring it back. With the impetus of social media being towards limited, if any, self-promotion (unless I missed the memo that it was okay), I’ve notice that the pendulum for people engaged in social media has finally swung from 100% to 0%.
I don’t know about you, but I have about 5-8 people nationally that I feel confident referring for marketing, PR or social media consulting. Locally, it’s even less than that. For all the people I know on- and off-line, it’s a little sad that I have such a small pool of people to refer. And isn’t that the point of social media to build relationships that could potentially lead to referrals? That’s what we tell companies all the time, right?
What’s the issue? Sure, we all follow the social media “rules” and we try to build relationships with people first and foremost and that’s great…but then it falls apart.
The people that I feel comfortable referring are people that I met online first, then offline, and then they’ve shared links to their client work or have outright been a part of their clients’ campaigns online. I’ve been able to see their campaigns and get a 360 degree view of the person, how they think and their abilities. I’ve also had conversations with some of them about their campaigns or projects.
There are people who I follow on Twitter or Facebook that I that feel comfortable saying I know them pretty well, but honestly I have absolutely no clue where they work and/or what they have done as marketing, PR or social media professionals that would deserve a reference.
I have people asking me all the time to refer consultants, agencies or speakers on particular topics because, in their minds, I am “well connected.” And I am consistently drawing a blank, which, needless to say surprises most people.
Honestly, I have to question this “no self-promotion” rule and why we all (I am guilty of it too) make people feel SO uncomfortable to do so. It goes back to my favorite adage “people don’t know what they don’t know” and right now I don’t know what you all do.
I am not talking about blatant, outright self promotion…I hate that as much as the next person. But once we have gotten to know someone, haven’t they earned the right to share online with us the campaigns they are working on or a project they are proud of?
And yes, I get it…sometimes there are NDAs or confidentiality issues. But find a creative way to let us know what it is you are working on or what benefits you might provide a potential client/customer.
I’d like to be able to refer all the smart people I am connected with…but I need more than just knowing what you share on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn or your blog to be able to do that. I need some kind of evidence that you are strategic, tactical and deliver results so I can feel comfortable telling people to give you a call.
Please, help me out. I’d like to be able to provide references for you or your business. If we know each other and have connected either here on my blog or on Twitter/Facebook/LinkedIn let me know what you’ve been working on or share with me some of your recent campaigns/projects.
Anyone else having this issue? What can we do to help people get business or job referrals? Is the lack of self-promotion actually hurting us?