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How to shamelessly-self-promote and why

Life, like marketing, requires a thick skin... and your career can be a wonderful learning opportunity.

One of my all-time favorite descriptions of dealing with criticism... (and shameless self promotion, as well) comes from E-FLASH, the newsletter from

An excerpt follows:

Dear Ms. Butterfly

I have read several postings online where individuals were critical of your marketing strategies and your philosophy of 'shameless self promotion'. I mention this because I had planned to start marketing myself and a project I am working on but I am not sure how the other people I am working with will deal with criticism. You and your husband seem to be unfazed by what others say about you. I must admit I have a hard time getting over people telling me I should be pursuing another career instead of screenwriting and moviemaking....

Dear J.

My husband has three very simple philosophies about people who criticize others.

  1. "Is anybody criticizing what you do and how you do it paying your bills? If not f---'em".
  2. "The cost for finding someone to critcize what other people do is about the same cost of a nickel balloon and their opinion is worth the same amount, and what the hell can you buy with a nickel these days!".
  3. "No one in the history of this planet ever did anything worth a damn by hiding from the criticism of negative, jealous, do nothing talkers who were too afraid of what other people are going to do or say".

I may not necessarily agree with his word choices but I can appreciate the sentiment. You are in an industry that will require you to have the courage to "shamelessly promote" and advetise your knowledge skills and ability. It is called "shameless self promotion" because no one else is going to show up and do it for you. YOU will have to do it for yourself. Don't worry if it stirs controversy, criticism or condemnation. Don't let the "box of opinion" that other people live in become your prison.

The world is crowded with people whose entire goals are to reach a level of mediocrity and pull you down to the way they live and think.

Headshots, comp cards, resumes, websites, news releases, flyers, human interest stories and business cards with your picture on them are just some of the ways everyone "shamelessly self promotes" themselves in this industry.

Muhammed Ali called himself "The Greatest" long before he had the opportunity to prove it.

Steven Spielberg called himself a director before he had ever been hired to direct a simple commercial.

Peter Jackson considered himself a movie producer even as he was making some of the worst, most cheesy movies ever made.

Imagine if these individuals had listened to all the negative comments that others made about their career choices and belief in themselves.

Guess what. Once you reach a certain level of success you will hire someone to do all that shameless promoting for you. The way Ford, Coca Cola, Bon Jovi and virtually everyone in the business of selling a product or skill does. Until that time it is "Do it yourself".

The truth is, no matter what profession you choose the moment you decide that you are going to promote yourself in it, and commit to be a master of it, someone is going to show up to criticize you for it. Their attitudes and comments are relevant only if you allow them to be.

My Best Wishes

...and there you have it. Do it yourself. Anyway you can get the job done. And strive to master your craft...and your life!


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