To kick this post off, let’s play the word association game for a minute.
First word: Self-promo.
Now I don’t know about you, but as soon as I read that word, my mind unconsciously goes to about a million negative words. Annoying. Nuisance. Frustrating. The list goes on. Why wouldn’t it?
Like YouTube ads and the Instagram algorithm (both of which are seriously out of control, tbh), self-promo is one of those things that we as a culture are conditioned to hate. You rarely hear the word ‘self-promo’ used in a positive connotation. And if you type it in a search engine, you’re bound to stumble upon at least a dozen think pieces about how self-promotion is making us more selfish and ruining today’s youth.
In some respects, I suppose the criticism is fair. The amount of self-promotion that appears on social media every day can be overwhelming. There are definitely days when it seems like you’re scrolling through promo after promo after promo. You can’t help but be annoyed by it at times because it’s just so difficult to filter out.
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However, given how much hate the concept of self-promotion gets, I think it’s only fair that someone come to its defense. Today I want to explore some of the positives of self-promotion, and why we shouldn’t be made to feel all that guilty it.
To begin, I’d like to say that despite my belief that self-promo shouldn’t elicit feelings of guilt, I can’t help but feel guilty when I post something on social media that falls in the realm of self-promotion. I know that sounds like a total contradiction, but I think it’s why I feel so strongly about self-promo in the first place. Like most people, my biggest worry in terms of self-promotion is that I’ll come across spammy and annoying. I don’t want people to see what I post and feel like they’re being suffocated by the words “check this out” or “click the link in my bio.” Bluntly, I don’t want to be viewed as a bother.
As those feelings of guilt and insecurity arise, I will often find myself stopping and wondering what it is about self-promo that we find irritating. The aforementioned abundance of it is an immediate and obvious answer. But other than that, I have a hard time figuring out what it is that makes self-promo so pesky.
The way I see it, self-promotion isn’t all that bad, especially when you consider what is really is. At its core, the act of self-promo is someone trying to share something they’ve created with other people. This is something they’ve probably devoted a lot of time and energy toward, and, as a result, feel very passionate about. It makes sense that they would want to let people know about it.
So, why do we feel guilty about self-promo? Why is it such a bad thing to want to tell people about something you’ve worked on? If you spent hours planning, writing, editing, and photographing a blog post, wouldn’t it make sense for you to mention it on social media?
Let’s face it: As much as we might dislike self-promo, nothing on the internet could function without it. Promoting ourselves on platforms like Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram, we are able to connect with other bloggers and creatives and share what we do with an entirely new audience. It may seem awkward, and we might not like doing it, but we need self-promo. And is that really such a bad thing?
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What are your feelings on self-promo?
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