When Financial Advisors’ Self-Promotion Is Not Shameless
Is self-promotion a shameless thing for Financial Advisors? If we should be self-promoting, what exactly should we be self-promoting? Do I know wealthy people well enough to know what they consider unattractive? Where is the line I probably shouldn’t cross?
I think it’s a bad thing to promote yourself. I don’t think it’s a bad thing to promote the value you can and do add to peoples’ lives. I think it’s a bad thing to inflate your ego. I don’t think it’s a bad thing to explain that you are helping families succeed financially.
Self-promotion is not shameless when it’s done gracefully, letting people know you can be a relevant force in their lives.
There’s good bragging and there’s bad bragging. The line to avoid is a clear one. A 1950’s survey of U. S. college students revealed that 12% of them described themselves as an “important person.” By the 1980’s, that proportion had reached 80%. I haven’t seen more recent figures, but I can take a guess. If you think you are an important person, you will cross the line.
You can avoid the line by promoting your ideas and not yourself.
Offer yourself as a speaker and a writer wherever possible. Show others how they can benefit from your ideas. Let your passion show through. That’s not shameless.
When someone asks you what you do for a living, don’t blow it.
In a matter of a few sentences, explain what you do and why your clients hired you. Explain in a few words how you are different. Get your “Who I Am” story down and practice it. Don’t be shy about your accomplishments. Facts are not bluster. After all, doctors run ads.
Bad self-promoting is shooting your mouth off. Good self-promoting is giving people reasons to associate with you. Braggarts are insincere.
There are rules of self-promotion.
As Dustin Wax writes, “The main rule of self-promotion is to be the best version of yourself.” Don’t try to be someone you’re not. You’re promoting yourself, not some fictional character.
Make sure your timing is right. Promote yourself when called upon to do so, not as an ice breaker.
Don’t talk about yourself. Talk about what you believe in. Be enthusiastic. Show a little vulnerability. Be likable. Be trustworthy. Be excited about what you do. If you don’t believe in what you are doing, neither will anybody else. Listen and learn so you’ll know what’s important to people, so you can frame your message properly.
Don’t rush your message.
Networking is a marathon, not a one hundred yard dash. You are building relationships, not knocking on doors and running away.
You’re good at what you do. Don’t be afraid to enjoy the success and the public recognition that comes with a job well done. “It ain’t bragging if you can do it,” said Dizzy Dean.
So go out there and high-five yourself. Just do it with class.
If Kim Kardashian would do it, don’t do it. IT Consultant Jim Anderson said it well. “Whoever takes the time to promote themselves will get the deal or will earn the promotion because they’ve made a nice package of themselves that makes it easy for the decision-maker to choose them.”
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