It may come as a surprise to you, but research has shown that marketers tend to do the worst job at marketing themselves.

According to Wikipedia, narcissism is a personality disorder in which a person is excessively preoccupied with personal adequacy, power, prestige and vanity, mentally unable to see the destructive damage they are causing to themselves and others. But does self-promotion really mean you are becoming a power hungry mongrel or a narcissist? Of course not!

We have learned to shy away from boasting our achievements in fear that we will come off as overbearing or self-centered and in return, lose the self-praise we deserve. We spend our days as digital marketers pushing out content, starting conversations, and gaining recognition for clients but resist when it comes to our own successes.

Now I’m certainly not encouraging you to issue a press release every time you get a job promotion or try to make your name start trending on Twitter, but with the right motives, self-promotion can actually be a good thing.

An article from Performance Marketing Association stated, “It’s ironic that people who specialize in promoting other people’s stuff are often so bad at marketing themselves.”

So let’s change the negativity surrounding self-promotion and become better marketers to ourselves. Here are some tips to increase your online personal brand and feel good about it.

1. Become a Thought Leader

Search blogs and media sites that discuss the topics you are interested in, experienced in, and love to write about. It doesn’t have to be Forbes or the Wall Street Journal; by putting yourself out there online you are building up your personal brand and portfolio. This also allows you to show credibility to clients because you are actively engaged in online discussions as well as knowing how to make connections with editors and the media.

With some outreach and patience, you can become a contributor and influencer online in no time. Just remember to keep topics appropriate and stray away from controversy that may put a damper on your company’s image.

2. Share your Accomplishments with Others

Don’t be afraid to post a tweet or Facebook status update. We all know that one person who seems to crowd your newsfeed and you can’t help but feel nervous about becoming that person. However, it is beneficial for your well-being to celebrate yourself and your successes. You don’t need to brag every day, but use your social networks to share positive news and achievements with others. According to the Family & Children’s Centre, “People who take time to reflect on — and celebrate — their successes are generally more optimistic, take better care of themselves and tend to be less stressed.”

If others are able to see what you have achieved online, you are not only “promoting” yourself but you are also getting others interested in your company and wanting to learn more about where this praise stemmed from. This also can spark networking opportunities when people in your social network know exactly what you have been involved in and what your work entails.

Reap the psychological benefits and treat yourself after each success. Just make sure to reward yourself offline as well -a bubble bath or chocolate should do the trick!

3. Utilize LinkedIn

If you are still feeling weary of turning your personal networks into business ones, then stick to LinkedIn. Use the publishing feature on LinkedIn to reference a post you had published from your thought leadership pieces or write something exclusive to share with your connections. LinkedIn does a great job at making authors stand out in LinkedIn results so this may also benefit future business endeavors.

American Marketing Association suggests using an 80/20 rule. Update your status at least once a week, but make sure that eight out of every ten updates are supporting your personal brand. “Use this space to tell people about the work you’re doing, the type of employment you’re seeking, or about career-related events, books and articles.”

4. Maintain a Portfolio

In college I thought creating a portfolio might just be busy work, but it truly is what set me apart initially when I delved into the job world. Although LinkedIn has a useful feature for allowing you to upload samples of content and links to work, a portfolio provides a space to showcase your personality and identity. There are simple, easy-to-use website creation services such as Wix and Squarespace that you can use to create a website for your digital portfolio.

A new social platform called Shocase is catered specifically to marketing professionals. This is another helpful site to establish online presence, participate in conversations and have a simple-to-use method to display your work and talent online.

Whatever your career goals may be, these steps will help out while you build your online identity. Get out there and market yourself. With good intentions, it can’t be seen as narcissistic. You’re just simply celebrating and networking 24/7.

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