February 24, 2014 | life

The Art of Shameless Self Promotion


We’re not really supposed to say when we’ve done well. We’re definitely not meant to be proud of it or make a big deal of any kind, because, you know, who would want to hear others good news? We live in a cynical age where it’s not OK to be proud of oneself. Sure, I admit, there’s a fine line between showing off an achievement and being a bit of a twat, but I think it’s high time we brought being proud of our achievements back into fashion. Who’s with me?

I guess it depends where you’re from to an extent. In England, actually saying you’re proud of something you achieved in punishable by death. It’s just not done. I promote my work constantly. I’m a blogger and freelance writer – I don’t have the budget for a PR team so how am I supposed to get my work out there if I don’t do it myself? I post links to my work several times a day to drive traffic to my sites. Hell, I took the time to write the damn stuff, my aim is that at least someone would see it. I see nothing wrong with a little self promotion.

And yes, on the occasions where something big happens like I get to write for the New York Times or I get shouted out in the Evening Standard as one of the top 20 bloggers in London, yes I bloody well do share that information across my networks. I do that for two reasons: Firstly, because I have a lot of long time, loyal readers who I like to think of as my cheerleaders. Without their constant support and them sharing my work, I wouldn’t have received that kind of recognition from anywhere, so a win for me, is a win for them. And secondly, I have a lot of brands and publications etc who follow me and me getting a bit of press may be just the nudge they need to hire me to write some words or something. So while it may not always be liked by the grumbly, cynical few, promoting my work and bigging myself up when I’ve done well, drives my business so frankly, deal with it.

Call me crazy, but I like hearing when people have done well, especially when it’s someone you know or like or admire. Why would you ever begrudge someone sharing their sense of pride? It’s actually pretty mean when you think about it. Last week, one of my besties, who’s an incredibly talented singer, actress, all round wonder woman extraordinaire got some massive news and she was lamenting on Facebook about how she feels she can’t talk about it, as it’s just not the done thing in her industry. Naturally, I got straight on there and said she should shout it from the rooftops. Listen, when someone works their ass off, then achieves their goal and you think they should tone down their enthusiasm for it, you’re an asshole.

We’re told to tone it down so as to not make others feel bad or uncomfortable. Other peoples lack of drive or ambition has nothing to do with you. Use what you’re doing to inspire and encourage them, but by no means should you be made to feel as though you should shy away from it. Blowing out someone’s else’s candle will not make yours shine brighter, as they say.

You don’t have to turn into Kanye West (but then again, if he feels he’s the greatest human who ever lived, more power to him), just be open to a little well deserved bragging every now and then, from both yourself and others. Share the brag y’all, share the brag.

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Rebecca Olds (@velovoice)

Yep, it’s a fine line. I’m American. I’ve lived in the UK for 15 years and find the whole “who are you to talk?” attitude to other people’s accomplishments sounds a bit, well, jealous and spiteful. Small.

As to tips for staying on the right side of the line? Follow Bang’s example! Watch and learn, folks.

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