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I Can’t Find You: How To Self-Promote Without Being a Douche

When you send an email, do you have a permanent signature on the bottom? If you do, YEA! If you don’t, why not?  Even if it is your private email, you are  missing opportunities to promote yourself. My email has the following signature:

Email Signature screen-shot-2012-03-20-at-10-40-56-am
My Email Signature

If you are uncomfortable with the idea of promoting yourself, think of it as providing a service to others. Frequently, I need to find people’s websites, blogs, or other online information. It is so easy if they include that information in their email. If they don’t, I have to search for it, which can take several minutes.

Here is a short list of easy things I believe we all should be doing to become more searchable and to promote ourselves-not in a spammy way, but in a professional, appropriate, and helpful way.

1. Email Signature (as mentioned above)

As you can see above, I include a tagline and links to my LinkedIn profile, this blog, and my Twitter account. Once I have a website up, I will link to that, which will include my blog. You can certainly include a phone number, an email address, Facebook page, or any of your other online accounts. I always thought including email was redundant. But it isn’t incorrect to do so.

2. Comment on Blogs

When you read blogs, do you leave comments at the end?  I make it a point to comment on blogs for a number of reasons.

  • It is a way to acknowledge that you appreciate the effort someone took to write that post. We all can look at statistics to see that people are visiting our sites, but it is the comments that really provide the proof that folks are reading and thinking about what they read–that we actually had an impact with our writing.
  • Great conversations can result from commenting. It gets me thinking and understanding the issues more thoroughly or from a different perspective.
  • Commenting on blogs increases my “search-ability” on Google. Yes, really. Comments show up and move you higher up in search.

3. Complete Profiles on Twitter, LinkedIn and Elsewhere

A Twitter profile without a bio or a link to a site means I generally don’t follow them back. That bio and site link give me back ground information so I know a bit more about who he or she is. Plus, why skip an opportunity to promote your website or your blog? LinkedIn is also an incredible way to promote yourself appropriately. Websites, blogposts, volunteer experiences, skills. People are looking at your profile. Why withhold information that may help them hire you or promote your work for you?

There are most certainly many other actions we can all take to promote ourselves without appearing promotional. What did I leave off of this list? Remember, if you comment, it’s great for your “search-ability.”  😉

This Post Has 16 Comments

    1. Thanks Kate! When I first read your comment, I got nervous you were chastising me for self promo. Isn’t that how we all, (especially women!) unfortunately react. We don’t want to self-promote. But it’s ok if done correctly. I am hoping I pushed a few to self-promote a bit more.

  1. Oh goodness Heidi, I can’t tell you the number of clients I’ve gotten due to my signature! So glad you pointed this out.

    Another (accidental) winner for me — the name of my company. People hear “Mac ‘n Cheese Productions” and they immediately want to know what I do. Plus it’s memorable.

    Oh and another (accidental) winner for me — my e-newsletter. Just started it to disseminate helpful/interesting info about others, and it turned into another non-douche-y way for me to share what Mac ‘n Cheese is up to.

    1. Thanks Saya! And you are the master at this…and are NEVER douche-y! Your email signature allows me to get to any links for you easily and quickly. And your company name. I smiled the first time I heard it and every time since 🙂 And the e-newsletter-yup. I do one every week. It is a pain, but it works.

      Thanks for stopping by. After Fear Experiment, we are due for another hang out!

  2. Almost forgot to mention, if you use Gmail and you haven’t already installed the Rapportive extension (in Chrome or Firefox), I recommend you do. It curates social network information for the email accounts you email with. On the right side, you’ll see name, title, social networks, etc. It’s a great way to connect with others. PLUS you want to make sure to edit your profile so it reflects the information you want to be made public. Link:

  3. This? So important. The thing that drives me crazy — when people don’t use email signatures on EVERY single email. Often I don’t have someone in my contacts and need to call or email, so I go straight to my inbox. If there’s no contact info, it drives me BATTY. And most times, I find a way of gently suggesting they stop that.

    Another thing that I hate — people so in love with their logo that they attach it as a jpg to every single email they send! People! If you don’t know how to embed that doggone logo, don’t USE it. (can you tel I feel strongly about this????)

    Lastly, don’t forget a permanent signature in email sent from your phone. Another thing that’s just a little detail, but so very important.

    Calls to action are so important. A tip? We run all our corporate email through Google Apps for business and use Wisestamp for our signatures. It allows you to add icons and also feed a link to your most current blog post (which is a call to action to read it). If you’re a gmail user, I strongly suggest checking this out – it rocks!!!

    Great post, Heids!!!

    1. Shelly,
      You are as brilliant as people say you are. Your comment pretty much blew my mind with all the great info in there. The logo issue, REALLY annoying! I have hesitating using my new email because everything loads so slowly and spam filters love that stuff. Didn’t even think to include that here! May have to do another post titled, “I can’t find you: How to Avoid Self-Promotion as a Douche.” 😉

      The email signature on the phone? Never knew it wasn’t already happening. Gotta check that out. Figured since gmail was cloud based, it was already happening. And I love google apps-Wisestamp sounds like a great too. I will check that out too! Thanks friend for all the great info. I will be very busy tomorrow!

  4. What is this “Elsewhere” site of which you speak? 😉

    More seriously, this is bang-on advice. All of us can quite easily forget basic, smart stuff that we should be doing, and your post points that out, to our (or at least my) benefit.

    1. Once again, Bob, you have confused me…but no worries! I’ll catch up.

      We all have our blind spots about simple things…hoping that this post serves as an epiphany for folks who just didn’t realize the importance.

      Thanks for proudly representing Canuckistan with your comment. 😉

        1. Don’t rush in posting a response, ok? Elsewhere, as in Saint maybe. Or perhaps I meant elsewhere as in other social media type sites. Quora, Google+, LinkedIn…feel free to add to this list.

  5. Thanks for the great advice! I am newer to the whole running my own business and I have been wondering about an email signature! I never really thought about it as promoting myself! So thank you for setting me on the right path!

    1. Hi Stephanie,
      I am so glad this was helpful. I hope you read the comments too. Some great info there as well. By the way, little boo creations is adorable! My kids are too big, but if I ever have a granddaughter…

      Thanks for stopping by and commenting.

  6. FYI, I have a NFP that supports the troops, and have found that a lot of government agencies (Including email addresses for any city or state employees) have such strict firewalls on their networks that they kick anything with a link to web, blogs, or Youtube to the junk or spam folder. I have to remember to move my signature completely for some of my contacts, or they simply will not receive them.

    1. That’s the thing. It isn’t always one size fits all. It’s about finding what works and doing that.

      I do wonder however, if there are ways to keep that stuff without it tripping up spam filters. Someone very smart will know the answer to that.

      Thanks for the comment.

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