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Promoting Yourself is Essential to Building Your Practice

Promoting your business can seem uncomfortable and awkward. Often we don't even feel like ourselves when we do it. Try keeping the following things in mind to help maintain focus.
Written Oct 06, 2008, read 1174 times since then.
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Here are thirteen principles that will sustain you in showing up BIG, the basis for what I call Authentic Promotion.

Promotion, or putting yourself out there, is essential to building a practice. Authenticity is the cornerstone of effective, sustainable promotion because being authentic draws on a renewable resource, i.e. your core values and strengths.

1. Know Yourself
In order to promote yourself effectively, you must know (and be able to articulate) who you are and why you do what you do.

2. Be Yourself
Once you've established a sense of who you are, be true to it. By practicing the art of telling the simple truth about your experience and your work, you will build a powerful, personal communication style.

3. Do Your Homework
Your homework around Authentic Promotion means studying the opportunities you have to show up, deciding which to employ in promoting your work, and then deciding how to follow through.

4. Keep It Simple
Whether you're writing a press release or building a Web site, keep it simple. Don't lose your message in a welter of jargon or Javascript.
 
5. Double Check Your Promotional Pieces (and Everything You Do In Print or Online is a Promotional Piece)
Nothing undermines a good impression faster than misspelled words, poor grammar or incorrect accounting. Since none of us are perfect, the only defense is to check and recheck your work. Spell check programs help, but will not catch all errors.

6. Mind Your Manners
Cultivate simple good manners. Everyone appreciates a "please" and "thank you." Let your frustrations flag opportunities for making fast business friends: if you are understanding and reasonable when folks make a mistake, they will be doubly committed to helping you in the future.

7. Listen
Promotion is communication, and communication is a two-way street. Learn to listen and really hear what others are saying to you. This will keep your promotions vital and pertinent. 

8. Ask Questions
As you develop listening skills, you'll often want more information. Get in the habit of asking questions to clarify, investigate, and expand new ideas and territory. The ability to ask questions is a key factor in transforming your communications from passive and reactive to assertive and proactive.

9. Set Goals, Make Choices
Set written long and short term goals for your practice.

10. Ask for What You Want
Once you know what you want, ask for it. Ask for help from friends, colleagues, clients, and family members. Ask magazines to write about you. Ask newspapers to publish your column or tipsheet. Ask an ideal client to try working with you for a month. Ask your current clients for feedback and for referrals.

11. Consciously Nurture Relationships
Consciously create an interdependent practice. The independent practitioner is limited to his/her own financial, imaginative and physical resources. The interdependent practitioner has access to the funding, vision and resources of a virtually unlimited community.

12. Don't Take Yourself Too Seriously
Though it's important that your do your best to communicate your values and vision, keep your efforts in perspective. A healthy sense of your own importance will grow your practice; a healthy sense of humor will help you rebound when you encounter temporary setbacks.
 

Learn more about the author, Molly Gordon.

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