Self-Promotion: If you don’t ask for it, you won’t get it

You’re trying to develop your business and increase your name recognition and your professional profile. Do you even know where to begin? One of the most basic steps is asking for the opportunity… asking to be able to promote your company, asking others to promote you, asking to be paid more, asking do to something that gets you exposure…

Locally, I have been referred to as the queen of shameless self-promotion, and I can’t argue with that too much. I started my business from scratch, with literally no money, no clients, and no spouse to float me financially. Ever hear someone say “you eat what you kill”? Well that was definitely true for me.

Early on, I had the chance to meet E. Kelly Hansen (now E. Kelly Fitzsimmons) and she was a local media darling. She ran her own computer security firm and you couldn’t open the Business Journal without seeing a picture of her or a quote from her. I decided that I wanted to be “the Kelly Hansen of fraud.” I wanted my mug in the newspapers and in the magazines.

And I did it. One newspaper employee even told me that a competitor mentioned “she’s aaaaaaaaaalways in the paper.” Heh heh… seems I was effective, no?

So it goes with all aspects of business. You don’t get if you don’t ask. So I’ve asked a lot in my career.

Most recently: My publisher Wiley and I agreed on a deal for me to write my second book. We hashed out the topic, the title (soon to be changed about 45 more times by Marketing) and a general outline for the book. And then came contract time.

I (mostly jokingly) asked my editor if I could have a raise. Although the process of writing my first book and getting it to production went really well, the jury is out on how many books I’ll sell. I know that I’m probably doing more promotional work than most of the authors in my area of expertise do. But we still don’t know how well my books will sell, so I didn’t think a raise was possible just yet.

Surprise, surprise. The answer was yes, and the “raise” was quite a nice bump. How much simpler could it be? This makes an easy moral to the story: Ask, ask, ask.

(Kelly ended up selling her company. She and her husband Jeff have started Comic Wonder, a competitive joke telling site, and they’re poised to do huge things with it. Such is the life of a successful serial entrepreneur. )

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