Copyblogger's Nathan Hangen tackled this question recently and came up with a very simple but hugely useful distinction between boorish bragging and helpful self-promotion -- the former is all about you, the latter all about your audience. Hangen explains:
The reason that self-promotion works and self-adulation doesn't is because self-promotion is the art of spreading ideas, concepts, and a greater vision. Self-adulation is just the promotion of accomplishments, deeds that have already been done.
When you promote ideas, you give people something to cheer for. You give people a cause to support. People, in many ways, are selfish. They promote the things that make them feel good. Your accomplishments aren't likely to make them feel good, but your ideas do.
Your ideas might inspire hope, thought, or action . . . but as a general rule, good ideas inspire something.In the rest of the post, Hangen offers some tips on exactly how to broadcast your ideas effectively. If you're interested in the topic, it's well worth a read.
Read More on BNET:
- How to Brag (Without Annoying Everyone)
- Five Confidence-Building Tips for the Self-Promotion-Phobic
- Self-Promotion for Introverts | Useful Commute podcast