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One of the things no one tells you about self-promotion



One of the things that people don’t seem to talk about a lot is how unnatural it is to do marketing as a solopreneur coach, professional freelancer, or course-creator. 

Especially if you’re shy, introverted, a GenX’er, or afraid of being annoying or looking dumb.

It’s something I have thought A LOT about as I’ve been putting together the selfie challenge and officially launching it last week.

And here’s the show I recorded about it on Tenacity, Truth, And Tea.

Here’s a summary if you prefer reading:

It’s one thing to sell a car to someone and talk about how great it is.

And another thing entirely to put out day after day of social media posts about how amazing you and your life are. And to strategically spin everyday activities into proof of your awesomeness.

Let’s just say it; the “humblebrag” doesn’t feel that humble to a lot people.

Being an upbeat, efficient, brilliant robot is what we have to do when we’re in this position.

Or, we feel like that’s what we have to project.

To show weakness is, well, weak.

And the one thing we know about humans is that the stronger and less emotional we are, the more respect we get.

People who are steadfast in their beliefs, or even bullies, are adored. They are even put up on a pedestal and praised like some sort of messiah or god.

And I get that.

I do it too.

When I see someone who becomes stronger when things don’t go that well for them, it impresses the hell out of me. I aspire to be like them!

Are they lying?!
Are they fake?!

Honestly, I don’t know.

I don’t even know if they do?! And that isn’t the point.

But I believe that as your business grows and you have more support, it becomes a lot easier to live in your “zone of genius”. And when you are living in your zone of genius:

  • It WILL make you feel more confident.
  • It DOES make you feel more invisible.
  • And life WILL feel more magical.

And let’s just agree or agree to disagree that it’s better to have someone else do the humblebragging for you!

It’s almost like being a movie star and having an entourage. You know, people to hype-you-up when you can’t do it yourself.

Why it’s so hard?

When you’re doing it all – moving between a web developer, ads manager, content creator, strategist, admin assistant, CEO, let’s face it > it insane!

For example: I have been coaching professional freelancers to help them get better results with their ads and have often wondered why it seems so much easier being strategic, creative, and organized for them.

And this is what I realized.

I realized that when I’m talking to them, I am ONE thing – A strategist.

YES > I am drawing on my experience in online marketing, branding, and everything else I have done to help them improve what they’re doing and to help them stay motivated and positive along the way.

BUT > I’m not thinking in the back of my mind:

  • “ugh… how do I do that”
  • “ugh that is going to take forever”

Also, I’m not trying to coach myself into being less negative, scared, or anything else.

I’m just focused on my expertise and them!

That separation makes it easier to be creative, strategic, and organized. 

It’s simpler.
…Cleaner.

So what am I suggesting? Do you have to get yourself an entourage?!

Ideally, yes.

But, I think that the smarter thing to do, especially if you’re near that mid-5-figure area with your income, is to batch things.

The power of batching!

When you batch your work, you’re putting on different hats at different times. This means that you CAN be one thing at a time.

It’s one of the reasons I first started the Selfie Upgrade Challenge.

  • Suppose I needed a post with a picture: Previously, I would have to stop what I was doing to take one. It would distract me and make it hard for me to get back into what I started to do in the first place. 
  • And it was the same if I needed an image for a blog post, sales page, or anything else.

I love how the Selfie Upgrade Challenge course helps people elevate their brands and feel more confident. BUT, I also love that it helps to simplify marketing.

And realizing that has made me want to find more ways of doing that.

I have heard about people who go away alone for a few days to plan a whole quarter or even a year.

That sounds awesome and I would love to do that. But, that’s not what I’m planning. At least not yet.

Instead, my accountability partner and I are finding ways to work this into our monthly and quarterly meetings.

And another simple example is setting up client-only days. 

Is the idea of this stressing you out?

Tbh. I actually struggled with this for a long time. 

But, I started with one thing and am slowly adding it to my life in other ways. 

So if you’re going crazy and can’t figure out how to juggle everything, this might be something that could work for you too.

I would start with one thing at a time and stick to it for a few months. Then, when you feel ready, you can add something else.

One of the great things that will come out of this is that it will flex your CEO muscles so that you’re ready for growth when it comes. Not just in mindset, but by having processes ready too.

Sharing pictures can feel unnatural, but it too is aided by batching!

As I was preparing to launch the selfie challenge, I realize that sharing pictures of ourselves is another one of those crazy things that we have to do.

BUT, I also believe it has become a necessity. Unless, of course, it’s not in alignment with your brand or niche. 

And even then, it’s probably a good idea to share at least a few pictures:

  • in profile photos
  • the occasional update
  • etc.

But I think it goes beyond marketing.

Having pictures of ourselves (that we like) makes us feel good.

And when we feel good: we are more confident, willing, and excited to put ourselves out there.

Yes: I know many people who do very well without sharing many pictures of themselves and have no intention of ever changing that.

And that’s great.

I am not a big fan of sharing my face every two seconds, either.

But I do know that for me, having more professional pictures has done wonders.

Is it unnatural to share?! – hell, yes!

Do I like it?! – Not really. But it bothers me much less than it used to.

And if I’m 100% honest, it helps to take photos on a day dedicated to that. And then not have to do it again for several months.

I get a night of good sleep, hype myself up, take care of my skin for a few days, and get into the right headspace.

Essentially, I like myself (inside and out), and I’m in a good mood on those days.

When we batch, we can get into the right mood and get to stay there.

Everything we do requires that we be in a certain mood.

By letting ourselves get into that mood, and then letting ourselves stay their for an extended period of time we can get more done, more quickly.

And we can feel happier, more sane, and more productive.


What Now?

Well, the first thing I would suggest is to start batching 😀

My Selfie Upgrade Challenge course is a straightforward place to start. You can go here for more information.

You can also find ways to schedule your time: from client-only days to strategic planning time.

The idea is just to start.

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About Susanna Miles: ...Designer, Stylist,  branding coach, and photography aficionado

Susanna turned to online marketing in 2008 to escape the suffocating fashion industry. And much to her amazement, she landed right where she started > with a life in pursuit of helping women love and accept themselves. Then expressing who they are confidently. 


In this age of personal branding, she shares a unique perspective for freelancers, creators, and coaches trying to understand how the personal and business brand work together with content marketing, design, and selfies.


And because of what she has done and where she has been, she is able to help bootstrapping brand as well as booming ones! 

~ Why fit in when you were meant to stand out?