How to Self-Promote As an Entrepreneur

As an entrepreneur you need to figure out a way to self-promote your business. Now I’m not talking about people who are cocky. This message is more for people who are uncomfortable with how to promote themselves and their business. This is important because if you don’t know how to self-promote as an entrepreneur, not only does it cost you profit, it hurts everybody in your company.

So in this video I get into the proper way of self-promoting what you already believe in, whether it’s yourself, your business, your clients, your product, your vendors and anything else.

How to Self-Promote as an Entrepreneur

Note: Be sure to watch the beginning of the video to hear the story of the chair in this image.



The Impact of Self-Promotion on Four Presidential Candidates

Before I get into the main points, I want to talk about four presidential candidates, Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, Gary Johnson and Jill Stein.

If I asked you who Jill Stein is, I am willing to bet 90% of you have no idea who Jill Stein is. If I asked you who Gary Johnson is, I'm willing to bet 80% of you have no idea who Gary Johnson is. Now if I were to ask you if you know who Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump are, I’m willing to bet that 99.999% of you know them.

Do you know why? It’s because they know how to self-promote.

Johnson and Stein don’t know how to self-promote. This doesn’t mean that their argument isn’t strong. It just means they’re terrible at self-promotion.

Let me give you some stats to think about.

  • Jill Stein, who represents the Green Party has 261,000 followers on Twitter.
  • Gary Johnson, a Libertarian, has 397,000 followers on Twitter.
  • Hillary Clinton, a Democrat, has 10.1 million Twitter followers.
  • Donald Trump has 12.9 million Twitter followers.

Brand-wise, Trump is by far the best self-promoter in the marketplace. You see the Trump brand all over the place. Whether you like him or not, there’s a lot to learn from him.

Here are some other great examples:

Muhammad Ali was declared by Sports Illustrated to be the greatest athlete of the last century. Ali himself said, “I’m the greatest,” even before he fully believe it himself.

Floyd Mayweather said, “I’m the best ever.” So many people hate Mayweather. And so many love him. I’m not a Mayweather fan, but guess what? The reality is that he never lost.

Apple self-promotes.

Nike self-promotes.

It Takes More than Audacity

You need the audacity to say, “I’m the greatest.” But you need more than audacity. You have to be able to back it up.

A lot of introverts don’t like to self-promote because they don’t want to come across as a bullshitter. But listen. If you know what you’re doing, don’t worry about it. If you know how to deliver, self-promote.

Keep reading for a formula on how to do it so you won’t feel uncomfortable when you go out there and self-promote.

Fake it Till You Make It?

A statement that we hear all the time is “fake it till you make it.” Well, yes, fake it till you make it, but you better know what the hell you're doing while you're faking it on the way to making it because if you don’t know what you’re doing, you’re just fake, period. You better know what you’re doing while you’re acting “as if.”

Now let’s get into how to self-promote as an entrepreneur.

Be Shameless

The first rule is that you have to be shameless about self-promoting. You can’t be uncomfortable when promoting yourself.

I guarantee you, Deion's shameless.

Ali is shameless.

Mayweather is shameless.

Steinbrenner, the owner of the New York Yankees, that recently passed away and passed it over to his son was shameless.

Phil Knight of Nike is shameless.

Jerry Jones of the Cowboys is shameless.

Trump is shameless.

Hillary Clinton is shameless.

Gary Johnson and Jill Stein are a little shyer, but there still more shameless than the rest of the people in the world.

You've got to be shameless. If you're not shameless, no one is going to know who you are.


A big part of why we don’t want to be shameless is because we’re embarrassed if we’re humiliated. So what if you're humiliated? Do you know who's not humiliated? The people no one knows anything about.

You tell me what's more humiliating than what happened with Trump. You tell me what's more humiliating than what happened with Clinton. Tell me. You tell me what's more humiliating then when Ali said he was gonna knock out Fraser, and Fraser knocked him out. You tell me what's more humiliating than that.

There’s got to be a part of you that’s shameless.

Tell Your Victories Through Personal Stories

You can tell about your victories through personal stories.

Let me explain. Let’s say you’re a Yale alumni, and you’re sitting with a client. You can say something like, “You know, it's interesting, I like the fact that you are a Yankees fan because one of my good friends who I knew when he and I both went to Yale is also a big Yankees fan. And I remember when. . ."

Do you see what just happened right there? Now the client is saying, "Oh wow, you went to Yale." But in this example you didn't say, "Let me show you my degree from Yale." You don't do it that way. You connect and then you talk about what you did. Right?

Here's another way. Let’s say you’re in an attorney’s office and he or she has some plaques on the wall. You could say, “You know, these are impressive plaques. Listen, I can tell you that to be recognized as a top attorney takes a lot of work. I respect that because in our company when I got my plaque for being the top broker of our company, I remember the effort it took to get there. What's crazy is many times people don't see the effort behind closed doors. So I applaud you for what you did."

Did you see what just happened right there? There's a linkage of self-promotion.

You may feel uncomfortable bragging, but you can do it in subtle ways through stories.

You're Only As Good As Your Last Victory

By the way, you’re only as good as your last victory. So let me explain what I mean by this. If you're talking about your victory from 28 years ago, you’re Al Bundy. If you don’t know who Al Bundy is, back in the day there was a show on T.V. called Married with Children. The main star was named Al Bundy. He always talked about how he threw four touchdowns in high school, and how they won championships. He was still telling these stories in his fifties.

Everyone that talks about their high school victories are like Al Bundy. Don't talk about victories from 22 years ago. Talk about more recent victories. The exception is if you’re a grandpa and are telling a story that happened 39 years ago to your grandkids . If you’re in the hunt today, building and competing, you’ve got to talk about your recent victories.

Build Up Others

Listen in here to discover how you can self-promote by building up others.

Make Some Predictions

Another way to self-promote is to make some predictions. Say something like, “I predict _________ is going to take place.” For instance, last week I made a video with some predictions about Twitter. I may be completely wrong, but I feel based on the research I've done and the intuition that I have, I feel that something's going to happen with Twitter and there's a reason why their valuation went from being a $40 billion company to today no one wanting to pay them $10 billion.

If you haven’t seen the video, you can check it out here:

How Twitter Can Avoid Being the Next Myspace

So make some predictions based on your intuition and research. Why is that important? Because if some of your predictions become a reality, then you have credibility.

Just make sure you're not making things up based on a nonsense opinion.

Now some people may say, “What dumb advice, Pat. Are you really telling people to make some predictions?” Yes, that’s what great real estate developers do. It’s what great stockbrokers do. They say things like, “I think this is what's going to happen with the market and if you want to position yourself, I foresee. . . taking place.”

So don’t be afraid to make some predictions within your industry.

Name Dropping

Next is name dropping. There are ways to name drop that are absolutely annoying and backfire. Here’s the simplest one. Don’t name drop if you don’t know the person.

[bctt tweet="Don’t name drop if you don’t know the person." username="patrickbetdavid"]

For instance, don’t say “I'm good friends with Beyoncé” just because you went to one of her concerts and follow her on social media. You’re not friends, right? If you name drop when you don’t know someone, you’ll completely lose credibility.

Now here’s an example of how to name drop the right way. “You know, one of the things I like is that you kind of remind me of Steinbrenner. Back in the day I used to work for the Yankees and when I worked for the Yankees, I moved up in the company and I started working with Mr. Steinbrenner. I traveled with him and his family, and it was a great experience. You and he have a very similar presence, and I’ve heard a lot of good things about you. It’s great to meet you.”

There’s a connection. Now if he goes back and finds out that never happened, you lose the deal. But if he goes back and finds out that happened, man, you have credibility. You’ll always be known as the guy that knows Steinbrenner.

If you don’t tell that story, you wasted an opportunity to self-promote.

Book Dropping

Here's another way to “drop.” Instead of a name drop, book drop. What's a book drop? This works well if you’re well read. Let’s say you’re sitting in a meeting and in response to something someone says you say, “One of the books I read was such and such, and in this book it talks about this and I feel like this is what's going on here with the company. And I recommend that book to you.” If they’re sharp, they’ll write down the name of the book.

If you can give two or three book recommendations in a business conversation with somebody, in their mind, they're linking you to a self-educated autodidact. Whether you have a degree or not is irrelevant.

Have Strong Opinions in Your Field of Expertise

The next way to self-promote is to have strong opinions about certain subjects within your field of expertise. For instance, you may say you don’t agree with where the marketplace is going or talk about one of the mistakes the industry is making. A great place to do this is on your blog, vlog, or podcast.

When the topic comes up, you can say, “You know, I wrote this one blog about this. It created a lot of controversy because my belief was such and such. I’ll send it to you so you can read it.”

I wrote an article about why home ownership is not the American dream.

The thing blew up. Fox contacted me. CNN contacted me. The Denver Post did a feature on it.

They wrote about this entrepreneur that doesn’t believe in home ownership.

That was my opinion. It created so much controversy just because I did one video on YouTube saying what the real American dream is, and that it’s not home ownership, it’s entrepreneurship.

So share your thoughts and opinions and then self-promote the articles you write.

Have Certainty in What You’re Talking About

You need to have a level of certainty on what you’re talking about. People can tell the difference between certainty and uncertainty. Believe me, it's not that hard to know when somebody is certain about what they're talking about.

Initially when we started doing videos people asked if I used a teleprompter. I don’t have a teleprompter. If you feed your mind, you’ll speak with certainty. Your certainty alone is a way of self-promoting.

What to Do If You Don’t Yet Have Any Victories

Listen in here for what to do if you’re a young or new entrepreneur and you don’t yet have any victories.

Don’t Overdo It

Now don’t overdo it, and don’t make things up. It’s annoying.

Let me explain what I mean when I say not to overdo it. Ladies, think about it. If you go on a date with a guy who constantly brags about himself, and he talks 80% of the time and you only talk 20% of the time, you don’t like that, right? Who does? When someone constantly brags about themselves, it’s annoying, and it shows they’re hiding an insecurity. There’s something about themselves they’re not comfortable with, and everyone can tell.

Listen in here for an example of how my wife self-promoted herself the right way, when we were dating. What she said had an influence on my decision to propose to her.

My Challenge to You

So we all self-promote. The only difference between you and some of these bigger guys is they just self-promote better than you. And they work harder to be able to deliver.

So my message is very simple to you here. Go back, watch this video again. Take some notes. Make a decision for yourself about what type of a brand do you want to build. Don’t be the entrepreneur that doesn’t self promote, because you’ll miss out on so many opportunities if you don’t self-promote.

If you have any questions or thoughts, comment on the bottom. And if you haven’t subscribed to this channel, please do so by clicking on the button below.


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