By Jael Strong
I recently realized that there is a thin line between self-promotion and shameless self-promotion. Among the millions of individuals around the globe trying to make a decent name in their market are the thousands trying to retain a name for themselves. Pop stars and television icons have to go somewhere when their popularity fades, and often that “somewhere” is the internet. And why not? It is the perfect venue for promoting a career that may be on the blink. It is a great place to tap into the throng of fans that still remains for one-hit wonders and cult hits like Xena: Warrior Princess and Twin Peaks.
Do I have a problem with stars of these shows trying to tap into their fan base online? Not at all! Do I have a problem when they try to exploit that fan base? Absolutely! One such star promotes “intimate luncheons” that cost a small fortune to attend, but you get to breathe the same air as your idol, or self-improvement sessions of a similar nature with a similar price tag attached.
Why does this bother me? On one hand, it doesn’t. This is just one more person trying to pay the bills through self-promotion. On the other hand, it feels a bit manipulative, it feels like shameless self-promotion. Is this person promoting something that is mutually beneficial, as she claims? Is she trying to share something that she really thinks will help me as a human being? In that case, the price is natural. Nothing is free. Conversely, if she is merely trying to take advantage of the crowds of people that would gladly pay for a chance to be in the same room with her, that feels dirty. As I read through the promotions, I felt less and less like her focus was a on a great product and more and more like her focus was on making a buck.
Some will say, “Isn’t the purpose of business to make money?” Sure, but we don’t want to come across as peddlers, taking advantage of the touristy types who don’t know what they’re buying into. Belief in our product and skill leads to fresh marketing, where we can talk with passion about our work because we really believe in it. Focusing on money-making leads to fishy marketing, where little attention is on the product and a great deal of time is spent dazzling the consumer with glitz and flashing lights. In the long run, a great product promoted with zest will go further than glitter and glamour.
About the Author
Jael Strong is a writer for TheWriteBloggers, a company dedicated to creating professional blogging content for increased internet visibility.