John Jantsch of Duct Tape Marketing (@ducttape), shares a concept which I totally believe in, that being to use reverse self-promotion to generate exposure and good-will for yourself.
With everyone looking to social media as a broadcast medium to toot their own horn or to share their own content, the better approach is to share others’ content and sing others’ praises. Say what?
Think about it. Aren’t you turned off by lawyers and law firms who use social media solely to share their own content and news about them or their firm? How about when they auto-post items from their blog to social networks where they do not engage with commentators to their content?
If you are looking to build your reputation as an authority, get to know people in your target audience and grow a following of people who will share your content on social media, then you need to promote others and their content. I call it earning social media equity.
I keep my news aggregator full of influential sources (blogs, news sites and magazines) and subjects (company names, association names, product names). My focus is a combination of good sources of news/information and people/companies I want to get to engage and know.
I then tweet or share on Facebook the news headline, including the Twitter handle of the source or the subject. That way they see me and we may engage. Of course each item I share has to be something of interest to me of value to my audience.
Here’s my Tweet from this morning sharing John’s post. We’ve gone back and forth on Twitter a couple times since then, the most recent being a few minutes ago.
— Kevin O’Keefe (@kevinokeefe) June 9, 2015
Twitter is not the only way to promote others. You’ve got a good blog that’s a stand alone site apart from your website. Such a blog is akin to a niche publication.
Write about others and their content. Imagine a local business you are targeting for work seeing your post highlighting something positive they’ve done or a piece they’ve published on their blog being referenced in your blog.
Maybe ask an in-house counsel with a company you are not representing to do a guest post on your well established blog. They are looking to build their reputation and would see this opportunity as a gift.
Maybe it’s highlighting people who spoke at a conference or the association who put on the conference. You may get to speak at the next conference.
This sort of “blog engagement” leads to connections, conversations and face to face meetings. Try calling these folks up and saying “I’m a great gal or guy whom you really ought to meet.” Click.
I am right with John that your promotion of others absolutely has to be sincere and authentic.
In no way am I suggesting this as a corny, slimy way to gain exposure. This is an intentional practice, done in the spirit of sharing and referring, that just happens to pay dividends.
There are so many reasons to reverse self-promote, with John sharing a number that apply to lawyers and law firms.
- It’s a good thing to do
- It makes you feel good
- It activates the law of reciprocity
- It creates influence and authority
- It reins in blatant self-promotion
- It makes sharing easier
I probably share fifteen or twenty pieces of content from others on Twitter for every one blog post of mine. On Facebook, it’s probably two or three to one. On LinkedIn, it’s unfortunately more of mine than others. In blog posts I am always referencing sources/people I am looking to engage — like here.
John advises promoting others as 50% of your social network activity.
Either way, you’ll find your reputation as an authority and your network of meaningful relationships growing a rate unequaled by other forms of marketing.
Image courtesy of Flickr by Nan Palmero