How To Promote Yourself Without Being Annoying

by  Karin Hurt  |  Career Development
How to Promote Yourself Without Being Annoying

Have you ever felt any of the following ways? You want the job, but you feel uncomfortable putting yourself out there.

Or you know you could do more at work, but you don’t want to look like you’re one of those self-promoting types.

Or maybe you’ve started blogging but don’t want to be too pushy about your content. After all, your work should speak for itself, right?

Or maybe you begin to doubt yourself. “If I were really that good, I wouldn’t have to work so hard at positioning.”

If you’ve ever felt that way about positioning, you’re not alone. Many managers I work with would rather have their boss or someone else do their positioning for them. The truth is, if you’re not deliberate in positioning yourself as a brand, you’re going to lose out to someone who is.

Tips For Promoting Yourself, Without Being Annoying

If the thought of promoting yourself makes you break out in hives, consider these tips.

  • Be Confident In Your Product – If you don’t believe in what you’re selling, your customer won’t either. Make a list of your features and benefits. What truly differentiates you? What’s your unique value proposition? If this step feels too hard, ask some trusted advisers to help.
  • Create Genuine Connection – Relating on a human level and demonstrating that you truly care is much more important than any positioning technique. Work to connect with people and get to know them as human beings. If you’re looking for new ways to create genuine connection, sign up for my Free 5-Day Video Challenge.
  • Be Truly Humble – Confidence without humility is annoying. False humility or stupid self-deprecating remarks will also make them gag.
  • Ask Great Questions – Find out more about what’s really needed in the situation you’re approaching. Help them clarify their vision based on their scene, not what you’ve got to give. Listen more than you talk.
  • Focus On Helping – Work to find creative solutions that solve people’s problems. Help without any expectation of reciprocity. Help people who you think can’t possibly help you. Connect others who can help one another. It’s tough to be annoyed with someone who’s just trying to help.
  • Don’t Sell Past The Close – Once the customer says yes, say thank you, and wrap it up. Don’t keep talking.
How To Promote Yourself Without Being Annoying
Photo Credit: 123rtf.com

About The Author

Articles By karin-hurt
Karin Hurt is a leadership speaker, consultant and MBA professor. She’s a former Verizon Wireless executive with 2 decades of diverse cross-functional experience in sales, customer service and HR. She was recently recognized on Inc.’s list of 100 Great Speakers for your next conference, AMA’s 50 Leaders to Watch in 2015, and Trust Across America’s 100 Thought Leaders in Trusted Business Behavior.  »  View Profile

What People Are Saying

Mary C. Schaefer  |  13 Oct 2015  |  Reply

Hi Karin. What a great post and timely for me. Thank you for both encouraging us to promote the value we have to offer and do it in a character-based way.

This is my favorite tip: “Help them clarify their vision based on their scene, not what you’ve got to give.” Strong professionals do not force their pet model or program to fit the client’s situation.

“Don’t sell past the close.” – I had the experience of someone doing this while selling to me recently. He talked me out of several hundred dollars of service/product. I found it perplexing. AND, thank you for the reminder for myself.

Great post today, Karin. Thanks again. And BTW, you have a snazzy website!

Karin Hurt  |  13 Oct 2015  |  Reply

Thanks so much!

John Smith  |  13 Oct 2015  |  Reply

Hi, Karen – excellent post:)

I like everything you highlight as strategies to confidently and assuredly promote yourself. Your starting list of self-sabotaging thinking and acting is right on.

I do have a question about one thing: This “Unique Value Proposition”. Maybe I am just being too literal here, but I have always found this difficult to do. When I see the word “unique” or the phase “sets you apart from everyone else”, I freeze up, because I cannot imagine any value, attribute, behavior, or trait that is truly “unique”.

I do believe that my blend of experience, education, and attitude makes me very competitive and a stronger candidate than many others, but “unique” is a word I just cannot use in reference to myself.

You mentioned asking trusted advisors for their input and I will do that … but I cannot imagine them identifying something completely unique to me.

Am I being too literal? Have I had too much coffee (if there is such a thing) this morning? Any thoughts?


Karin Hurt  |  13 Oct 2015  |  Reply

I think if you really consider this carefully, you will realize that there is something about the cocktail of John that is truly unique.

For example, when I am positioning myself for change management work in the call center space, I do believe I have a cocktail that is unique. There’s a blend of a significant academic background in leadership, a decade in HR strategy and field work, coupled with having led several internal large call centers at Verizon, and then completely transformed the entire customer service outsourcing function at Verizon to parity with internal centers by building strategic partnerships and great cultures….and I’m about to publish a book for AMACOM based on that experience.

I don’t have to say all that outloud, but it pops on LinkedIn.

I’m uniquely positioned to help a call center turn their results around.

Find me a guy that looks like that, and I’ll buy you lunch… she said with #confidenthumility.


Marvin Magusara  |  13 Oct 2015  |  Reply

Hi Karin,

Nice article. I always liked the term “drag them into your own reality”, I think it applies in so many things including and perhaps specially self-promotion. When you talk with such conviction and confidence about a product, service or yourself, you truly believe and show no hesitation in your voice or body language, people are much more inclined to believe what you believe.


Karin Hurt  |  15 Oct 2015  |  Reply

Marvin, I love that and so agree!

John Smith  |  13 Oct 2015  |  Reply


Thanks for the quietly confident and strong example of how to think in terms of your unique “cocktail” (love this imagery).

Your blending of education, experience, and skillset reminds me that we all have a unique blend of these things: the differentiators move around our level of self-confidence and the target we choose. Your self-example clearly shows the power of both having a strong sense of self-worth around your differentiators and choosing a focus that makes your differentiators incredibly applicable.

Thanks for the clarity. You have given me much to think about and that is a very good thing:)


Karin Hurt  |  15 Oct 2015  |  Reply

John, I appreciated the challenge ;-) I’d love to hear what you come up with.

Nina Steiner  |  15 Oct 2015  |  Reply

Dear Karin,

Thanks for this great article – especially like thinking of each of us as a “unique cocktail”…I believe in creating a value proposition to stand out from the crowd. I recently read Ken Blanchard’s “Raving Fans” which had a huge impact on me. Wonder what you think about it?

Thanks, Nina

Karin Hurt  |  15 Oct 2015  |  Reply

I’m a big believer in the concept of building a loyal following of raving fans… when you’ve got a tribe like that, it doesn’t feel like selling.

Mary C. Schaefer  |  15 Oct 2015  |  Reply

Unique cocktails all around! :)

Karin Hurt  |  15 Oct 2015  |  Reply

Mary, sounds good to me ;-)

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