The Secret to Self Promotion: Radiance and The Facts, Jack

By Danielle LaPorte   |  28Comments|

Dear Danielle,

“Can I ask a question? I love working for myself and don’t want it any other way, but it seems that when you work for yourself you have to be a salesperson. I’m not a huge fan of salespeople and hate feeling like I’m pushing something on someone. If you have any opinions on that I’d love to hear them!” – Dani Griffin (via Facebook)

Dear Dani and the leagues of people who hate self promotion:

I never really understood people who are loathe to sell themselves or the stuff they make. But then again, my whole twenties (OK, and thirties) was solar-powered by the rays of my seduction. From boys to gigs to new age notions, I had a deal for you! “I got what you want and you don’t even know you want it. And I make house calls.”

Now? Meh. I’ve got what I’ve got, which is a lot. If that warms your cockles, let’s talk. If not, my engine is running, and I trust that your tribe is waiting for you elsewhere. Meep meep.

Do I sell my self? Damn straight I do. Every day, all day. I’m doing it right now. I’ll do it on Twitter, CBC TV, Facebook, this week’s speaking gig for the Travel and Media Association of Canada, and when the waiter asks me what I do for a living. But I’m no longer trying to convince you to believe and buy. Rather, (and this has been one of my most gnarly, redeeming spiritual journeys) I radiate and state the facts. That’s it. And it’s a helluva lot more efficient than sales.

So, why do you hate self-promotion?

1. Because … it makes you feel like you’re pushing something on someone? Passion is a force – and an essential one at that. If you’re not passionate about your service or your product, you shouldn’t be selling it in the first place. If you’re not passionate you have to fake it, and that’ll just make you feel like a sleazeball.

But let’s assume you are fully and truly turned on, and you’re offering the world something that you wholeheartedly believe in. Repeat: you’re anchored with integrity to purpose and meaning. That being the case, and the premise for everything I’m about to say after this, let’s proceed:

Don’t burn energy trying to assume how people will perceive you. What some people will read as enthusiastic stamina, others will interpret as pushy intruder. It’s your job to show up as you, passion and all, and let the right customers make up their mind about you.

2. Because … you’re shy? You have three choices here: a) Get over it. Nothing like motivation to put food on the table or achieve your life dreams to cure shyness. It happens all the time. b) Let someone else do the selling for you – a writer, a rep, an agent, a virtual assistant-type. c) Pray that your good intentions and the high quality or originality of your offering will attract customers and prosperity. This tact, on it’s own, never ever works.

3. Because it’s not a “strength” of yours? see #2.

4. Because you’re afraid that people will think less of you? That you’ll be less of an artist, social steward or true professional if you’re hawking your wares or blowing your own horn.

Then I have bad news for you: everything you do is promotion, so you may as well do it with aplomb. The good news? Everything you do is promotion. You are always radiating. From the personalized note that you tuck into your product shipment, to what you say at a party when someone asks you what you do, to how you pitch the art gallery or the corporation to get the big account – to the message you leave on a Facebook page.

HAPPY SELF PROMOTION = RADIATE your passion + STATE THE FACTS of what that passion generates – the results it brings for you and your customers.

I’ll go first: I’m really passionate about the practical applications of love and consciousness in life and entrepreneurship. I write and speak about it in every way possible. I ran a think tank without any formal education, I wrote a book that got the attention of Oprah’s producers, and now, in my current incarnation, I’m booked four to six weeks in advance with clients – many of them say they got enough love ‘n strategy in one hour to blow their circuits. I’m writing my next two books now and will launch them online this year.

That’s the passion, backed by the facts. Sometimes, at the start of your journey, all you may have in your inventory to “sell” is passion. And sometimes, that’s enough to open doors.

If you’re loving what you do and believing that it’s going to make a positive difference in people’s lives – whether it’s your wedding photography, your coaching methodology, or your zero point energy invention, then, you my friend, are ahead of the game. You’re light years down the path from the sorry sods who are grinning and bearing it in soul-sucking j-o-b-s.

So please, don’t devalue your currency. I’m so emphatic about this, I’m willing to get all Hallmark on you: a gift isn’t a gift until you give it away. Put a bow on it.

With much Love,
Photo Credit: Anastasia Photography

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28 responses to The Secret to Self Promotion: Radiance and The Facts, Jack
  1. This was right on time for me to read. I Have the passion about coaching people towards successful marriages (I’m a psychotherapist teaching tough topics in a fun and lively way) but people are slow to catch my bug. It’s easy to want to give up in marketing myself because it can be embarrassing and you begin to wonder…But I’m not giving up and this post was very helpful in my push to keep going. Thanks.

  2. You just described me. Hilarious! Thank you. I call myself a zealot. Having extreme passion fuels me and pushes me further and further. It’s amazingly addictive and better than any drug!

  3. Yes. Yes. Yes.

  4. This is just AWESOME!

  5. Danielle – you are so funny. “I’m going to go Hallmark on you”. LOL! Love it. My favorite part of this is how you explain you “radiate and state the facts”. You are right on the money about the difference between trying to convince someone and standing confident in what you offer. A small difference that pays big dividends.

    Great article. Thanks!

  6. I so love the quote “A gift isn’t a gift until you give it away.” Even better: “Put a bow on it.” So true and so helpful to think of it this way! Thank you to Danielle for this essay and to Kris for this beautiful forum.

  7. This is my new motto:
    “I’ve got what I’ve got, which is a lot. If that warms your cockles, let’s talk. If not, my engine is running, and I trust that your tribe is waiting for you elsewhere.”

    Don’t worry, I’ll give you credit and refer everyone I can to this post. Love it. Awesome…and totally needed to read it.

  8. Thank you! Just starting a social media marketing business focusing on the self improvement market and this is perfect timing!

  9. always love my time on CrazySexyLife…

  10. Always love your articles and advice! Thanks for this one – I am getting ready to start my blog and put myself out there and this helps push me along!

  11. I love your work and your firestater sessions have been a miracle to me. I am so thrilled with the answers in this blog if what you adore and is your passion you also do then it cannot help but radiate our of you. What a great lesson.Much Love Callie

  12. So timely! Thank you, thank you!!!

  13. This is exactly what I needed to hear right this second! I have started my own business (photography, recipe consultation/development) in the last 4 months and my next step requires a lot of self promotion and walking into businesses cold. It’s very intimidating!!..

    Thank you so much for sharing this!

    It’s amazing that I get answers all the time to questions I’ve been pondering…or like this post, little nudges from the universe that helps me to reframe my thoughts.

  14. I think many people these days who start their own business, especially businesses whose goal is to help people and make the world a better place, are by nature compassionate and sensitive to other’s thoughts and feelings. This can make it hard for us to feel comfortable in the the role of “salesperson”. Being radiant and giving people information with passion is really where it’s at. During various times of my life i’ve had to let go of the idea of being a salesperson and simply embrace being a love and knowledge giver! When you believe in what you’re doing wholeheartedly it is quite easy to do. Awesome article; thank you!

  15. Perfect! I have created a new relationship with how I sell my business as well. I finally got to see that how I used to operate was based on my past experience with sales folks I didn’t much care for. What do they say, “what you resist, persists?” For sure.

    Now, I get to go out, be me and get surprised by the results! It’s a heck of lot more enjoyable…and less tiring to boot.

  16. I am always grateful for your sage advice and appeal. I most love the line “and now in my current incarnation”. I relate. When you are passionate and working on what moves you folks see, listen and notice. Doors open. You grow.

  17. I love it – speak your truth and you are selling your joy – if it resonates with people they will buy it – no hard sell required. I bought your first book and loved it – back then I was ‘Structured Divine’ – I think I am going to dive back into it for a second run. Can’t wait for the next two.

  18. Yay! How did you know I needed this today?

    Speaking of which – if you live in the South Bay of Los Angeles and need any real estate photography done, contact me. Today. I see lots of listings and rental properties for folks with weak (or awful) photos of their property. If you have such a property, you’ll need to market that bad boy…

    Off to drink more kale. {I added WAY too much ginger this morning. Yowza.}

  19. Thank you Danielle for sharing your “Gift” with us, and you are so right about: ” a gift isn’t a gift until you give it away. Put a bow on it.”

  20. I’m entering the second year of my business and needed this – I can’t keep hiding and hoping that someone will notice me and my work will take off. Time to take matters into my own hands, step out and actually tell people I exist.


  21. Put a bow on it. YES. I’m an artist and just started a food blog — it’s so hard for me to self-promote, but I seem to be doing better with the food blog that I started this month than with my online art store that I’ve had for five years…but my food blog is more about giving to people, sharing and educating, while my art store is more for myself…funny how people pick up on that.
    Thanks SO much for these tips. I hope my blog will turn into something greater every day!

  22. I do appreciate what you are getting at, Danielle, and want to say that you have been very helpful for me in my starting my own business. But for us sensitive types– which, as another commenter already mentioned: most of us who don’t feel comfortable selling ourselves *are these sensitive types*– saying “Get over it” is not exactly helpful advice. For most of us, our whole lives have consisted of people telling us to “just get over” our sensitivity– this thing which is with us from birth and will be with us til we die– which only makes us feel even worse about ourselves.

    The rest of your advice here is right-on and helpful, which is why I felt like commenting on the particular unhelpfulness of the “Get over it” line.

  23. Good stuff, Danielle. Look forward to reading some of your new material! Meantime, self promotion, self promotion, self promotion…

  24. my first hit of danielle laporte – FANTASTIC!!! i was enthused and inspired by the page and the comments. one question — any suggestions on how to actually FIND AND DETERMINE one’s passion? i imagine i am NOT alone with this one. heavy sigh . .


  25. p.s. thanks for the re-gift

  26. Great post- thanks! I’m self -employed and always need encouragement in this department!

  27. Whoowhee I loved this – hit home for me :)

  28. Danielle: I am keeping this post open in a tab, and I will re-read every single morning – until your advice is absorbed into every last cell of this body of mine – yes, until they dance and sing and radiate.

    I am so glad I found your website, Danielle. Helping me tremendously on this path of shaking off the demons of my past – a.k.a. all the negative and hurtful beliefs about my self as well as the world. The seeds for these have been sown at a young age, and been nurtured to create a deep dark forest over that bright source of radiance…