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  • Jess Ponce III

Four PR practices essential to your brand's success in 2021.

Do you actively publicize your brand? You might be surprised how many clients stumble when I ask this question. This response is especially true when I am referencing one’s personal brand.

There are two reasons why. First, the idea of “self-promotion” repels many of us. We approach “S.E.L.F.” literally as a four-letter word. And I get it. In pop culture, in the media, and in the political arena there are indeed grossly indulgent models of self-promotion—loud personalities drawing attention to their manufactured, supposed greatness.

In contrast, the second reason some of us fall short in publicizing our irresistible offers is we don’t clearly see or fully appreciate our own true value. We may not yet believe that what we have is unique and equitable. And if we do see ourselves as a worthwhile product, we often value our own worth at a rate far below what others perceive, or even worse, we value ourselves at a lower rate than we would if we saw a similar offer from someone else.

In today’s uncertain economic climate this behavior, underappreciating your value, is more rampant than ever. You are not alone. But, as a result, we don’t self-promote or optimize publicity to further our product or service – whether it is a personal brand or a corporate brand. This perpetuates a cycle whereby we undervalue our offer, undersell it to customers,

It is time to break this cycle. It is time to put your S.E.L.F. in the public’s eye and purposefully garner the attention you deserve. Whether you have a business or a personal offer, here are four key publicity practices to use this year, starting right now in the beginning of 2021.

1. Pull, and then Push.

One of the reasons so many of us are disgusted by the self-indulgent figures we see in the media is that their self-promotion relies solely on a push marketing approach. They bombard us with what they can offer. It’s all about them. They are purpose-driven, which is a trait we might appreciate until we recognize that their purpose is not to help others, just themselves. They make noise to garner attention, not to help their audience.

If you really want to be of service to your audience, and not just a “star,” then draw people into who you are. This is a pull strategy. It is about attracting people to the best of what you have to authentically offer. Playing small does not work here, nor does playing too big. Rather, you seduce, or pull in your respective audience, and then you push, or promote, your offer in a special way.

2. Focus on emotional satisfaction.

One way to pull in an audience is to touch their hearts. Don’t just give them what they think they need, give them an emotional reason to connect to your brand. This requires you to be self-revealing, to relate to others on a human level. For example, have you gone through a similar pain point? Do you have a shared experience where your offer can help them successfully navigate the same path? Relate to them and empathize with whatever they may be going through. Tell them how your product or service can improve their situation (whatever that might be). Make it about them and their needs.

3. Be the story.

Get personal with your desired audience, followers, or customers. Put yourself in the center of the brand. Be your own best advocate by becoming a storyteller who authentically shares something valuable. Don’t be a reporter merely giving highlights of you and your offer. Share your own personal success story. For example, reveal how you overcame an adverse situation or experience. Be the protagonist. This is very different from being the “hero” that the self-indulgent pop-culture figures claim to be. The difference is vulnerability. Share your mistakes as well as your successes. Share how you got from one place to the next. Show your humanity and give your audience something to relate to.

4. Get over yourself.

What all of these above strategies require is that you actually put yourself out there. Too often clients wait for the ideal situation, the optimum number of followers, or the perfect platform. The reality is you’re not going to know when the breakthrough moment will happen. You have to experiment and keep trying. Perfection is the wrong expectation. Expect to make mistakes – – just focus on learning from your mistakes and try not to repeat them. Do not get crippled or frozen by the shortcomings along the way.

On many levels, your mistakes help pull in your audience, provide them with the emotional satisfaction that you won’t give up, and keep you in the center of the story.

One good way to summarize the publicity strategies above is to look at The A Factor. This is the interplay between your audience, your agenda, and your call to action. Your audience is made up of your tribe, the people you want to serve. Your agenda is to publicize your product or service to these people. Your call to action is to get them to consume your offer, follow you, or purchase your product.

The A Factor is a principle I use when working with clients and I’ve attached a diagram of it to help you with your publicizing your brand.

The A Factor
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Effective self-promotion is a revealing process. Share a piece of yourself with others and allow them into your world.

Challenge yourself this month to get out there. Make 2021 the year you promote your brand. After all you’re the only one who will!

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