How to self-promote your work

Self-promotion can be uncomfortable. It is for me.

The idea that you have to promote your work can be daunting especially when you think

  1. Your work isn’t good enough
  2. It’s up to people to “consume” if they want to
  3. It’s patronizing to blow your own horn

But after my conversation with spoken word artist, Neil, we discovered some reasons why self-promotion isn’t that hard and why we should do it.


So in an effort to promote self-promotion, here are 3 good reasons to self-promote.

1) If you don’t talk about it, no one will know

This is fairly intuitive. Yet it’s easy to forget amidst the fear of putting yourself out there. So whenever it’s time to self-promote, always remember…NO ONE WILL KNOW OF YOUR WORK OTHERWISE.

It’s also helpful to remember that self-promotion is about getting people’s attention. It shouldn’t be about making the sale.

2) You’re not afraid of self-promotion…you’re afraid of the result

Oftentimes, the real fear of self-promotion is the worry that after you put yourself out there you find out that no one is interested in you or your work.

This will be a brutal defeat to the ego. But thinking it doesn’t bring it into reality. And even if it does, you must realize that people only start paying attention to you after repetitive episodes of self-promotion.

Sometimes you might get lucky and have people become attracted to what you have to say on the first attempt. But often, it’ll be a slow process to getting into your audience’s mind.

Don’t worry about the result, for you can’t control it. Focus only on your effort to bring your work to the audience’s attention.

3) If it was a group effort, you owe it to the rest to promote their hard work too

There will be times when you will have to promote something you’ve done together with others.

For instance, if you’re in a play, or have developed an app, you’re probably part of a group responsible for it.

It would be unfair not to promote it because of your insecurities. After all, everyone put in a lot of work to make it happen.

So why would you prevent them from getting the recognition they deserve because you feel uncomfortable promoting yourself?

Bonus: If you’ve worked hard on it, you deserve to promote it

This is especially true for me. I have to constantly remind myself of this. If I worked hard on a project and I think it’s good, then I deserve to promote it.

Who cares if no one notices it?

But I shouldn’t be the reason why it doesn’t get noticed.

Self-promote. Put it out in the world and let the world decide. If no one shows up, keep improving and keep promoting. That’s all you can do and all you have control of.

And if you’re wondering how to stay motivated during the process, you can check out this article on Internal vs External motivation.

Happy self-promoting!