After last week’s “Taking the NO Out of InNOvation” presentation for the AAFKC “Get Charged Up” Symposium, I was talking with one attendee about the strategic challenge of successfully promoting oneself. Even for people who are great at successfully marketing other people, products, and services, selling yourself can be a daunting task.

In response to her question about strategies for how to approach it, here are three suggestions:

  • Do Some HomeworkInvest time defining a personal category by exploring your distinctive talents and developing a strategy for how you can accentuate them to set yourself apart.
  • Ask a Fan for a Recommendation – I wrote a sincere, very favorable recommendation letter for a long-time business partner recently. His response, “(This guy) seems to be everything I doubt about myself.” Everything in my letter was true, but it was a lot easier for me to say it than it was for him. You may be in the same situation. If you are, reach out to someone who understands your skills and can succinctly package them in a recommendation letter. Ideally, it will provide the basis for words and phrases you can use to promote yourself.
  • Get Professional Help – If you’re struggling with a resume, consider having a professional assist in preparing it. Select someone who puts you through the discipline of answering questions about your responsibilities and justifying the results you delivered. Being forced to think through answers to these types of in-depth questions is of value all by itself. – Mike Brown

The Brainzooming Group helps make smart organizations more successful by rapidly expanding their strategic options and creating innovative plans they can efficiently implement. Email us at brainzooming@gmail.com or call us at 816-509-5320 to see how we can help make your strategic thinking and brand planning more productive!

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Mike Brown

Founder of The Brainzooming Group, and an expert on strategy, creativity, and innovation. Mike is a frequent speaker on innovation, strategic thinking, and social media.

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5 Responses to “Talking Yourself Up”

  1. Les Szpakowski says:

    Just read the Article about Talking Yourself Up, and I absolutely agree. Doing your best is totally admirable and you deserve to give yourself the best. But, it has to be accepted that the do-it-yourself approach mightn’t be giving you the best chance for success. So, seriously think about investing in yourself. After all, if you’re expecting others to invest in you shouldn’t you be prepared to invest in you?
    Take a measured and considered look at the expertise you have, and if you need help, get it!
    One word of advice…when it comes to your resume, look for a provider who is interested in you, in helping to bring out the best in you, and isn’t simply chasing ‘the order’.

  2. Mike Brown says:

    Thanks for the comment Les. I’m a big proponent of DIY in many instances, yet I’ve met so many people who have trouble positioning and marketing their capabilities effectively. That’s when it’s important to get an outside perspective!

  3. Great advice, Mike. Thanks for the kick in the arse!

    • Mike Brown says:

      Thanks Alex!

      One other suggestion that occurred to me on this topic recently is to try to think of yourself as a client that you are trying to market. If it’s possible to step away and provide some distance between how you view yourself and instead see your strengths and capabilities as you would those of a client, it may help you be more successful in communicating your skills.


  1. Tweets that mention Talking Yourself Up | Strategy Consulting and Strategic Planning -- Topsy.com - October 30, 2010

    […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Mike Brown and J. Alex Greenwood, Alex Greenwood. Alex Greenwood said: RT @Brainzooming: An Oldie for a Friend: "Talking Yourself Up" http://bit.ly/9Eizjf #SelfPromotion #Resumes #PersonalBrand […]