Is Self Promotion Good or Bad?

Self promotion can get a bad rap. Most people can think of self promotion examples that came across as arrogant or out of touch. But that doesn’t mean self promotion is bad. It means that there’s an art to doing it well.

In this article, we’ll look at self promotion psychology, self promotion in business, and explain the best ways to self promote to yield the changes that you want.

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What Is Self Promotion?

What is self promotion? A standard self promotion definition is “the act of furthering one’s own growth, advancement, or prosperity.” Do you want to move forward in your career, grow as a person, or improve your finances? If we follow this definition, anything that helps you do these things counts as self promotion.

As you can imagine, if we think about it in this way, self promotion is important for just about anyone. As a result, the field of self promotion psychology is growing, and there’s a lot to learn to help you promote yourself effectively, whatever the context.

Self Promotion Psychology

Understanding self promotion psychology is crucial to successful self promotion, because the best way to self promote starts with self awareness. You can start out by asking yourself two simple questions:

  1. What do I want to achieve?
  2. How do I appear to those around me?

The first question might seem basic, but don’t skip over it! Self promotion is most effective when you do it with a specific goal in mind. The clearer you are about that goal, the better you’ll be at making decisions that help you move toward it.

Common errors in self promotion usually come down to misjudging the second question. Especially when it comes to self promotion in business, it’s easy to misjudge your effect and act in a way that comes across as arrogant or shy. Pay attention to the social cues around you. If you’re not sure how you’re coming across, ask people you trust.

Healthy Self Promotion Examples

Once you’ve assessed what you want and how you appear, the next step is how to self promote. Here are some healthy self promotion examples:

  • A small business owner targeting millennials is active on Instagram, posting regular, interactive content and building relationships with followers and influencers.
  • A college grad with some freelance experience builds a network on LinkedIn, paying attention to the details: a professional headshot and a simple website with testimonials and links to their work.
  • If you’ve ever listened to a podcast, you’ve heard this one: a podcast host, at the end of each episode, asks listeners to rate and review the podcast.

How To Self Promote

Whether you’re interested in self promotion in business or how to self promote in other ways, there are a few simple tips to keep in mind.

  1. Develop Your Brand

First, develop your brand. What qualities do you want people to know you for? Your brand will be most effective when it’s authentic to you.

  1. Brainstorm

A good place to start is brainstorming positive feedback you are consistently given for your work. Which of these are most important to meeting your goals? Summarize them in a few words. That’s your brand!

  1. Network

Then, network. This doesn’t have to be scary. It just means building and reinforcing your social and business circles in a way that can help you progress.

As with branding, you should figure out how to network in a way that feels genuine and authentic to you. Test your comfort zone, but don’t go completely outside it. If you feel very uncomfortable, it will show.

You can network via LinkedIn, over social media or email, or in person – or all of the above! Focus on being generous, friendly, confident, and humble.

Self Promotion Within Consulting Firms

Self promotion in business is always important, but if you’re working in a consulting firm, it’s particularly important to know how to self promote. Because of the competitive working environment in consulting firms, you should be thinking about how to bring healthy self promotion into your day-to-day work.

What is self promotion in the context of consulting firms? There are a few things to keep in mind.

  1. Be a team player. The way you work with others will affect your candidacy for promotion. This means giving other people credit where it’s due, offering to help your colleagues out, and even joining in on the lunchtime frisbee game. It’s all noticed, and it all counts.
  2. Anytime you achieve something measurable, write it down! The more data you can show about specific achievements you’ve contributed to, the more evidence you’ll have when it comes time to advocate for yourself.
  3. Most firms have annual, bi-annual, or even some sort of quarterly review process. And oftentimes, there is a “self-review” element of the process. Don’t be afraid to clearly state the things you’ve achieved and the competencies you’ve demonstrated.
  4. Make a point of taking a risk and raising what you think is a good point during a team call with your Manager or Partner on the call. Or, “reply all” in an email exchange to land a good point. This highlights to leadership that you are engaged, on point, and have good ideas to share (beware, it’s easy to overdo it here – use common sense).


In sum, to self promote effectively: create an authentic brand, network, be a team player, and document your achievements. With the right strategy and healthy execution, you can move your career forward, grow as an individual, or improve your finances through self promotion.


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Filed Under: Consulting skills, Corporate Training, management consulting