How to promote yourself without feeling gross; How to stop drowning in your to-do list

If I might briefly be not very British or Canadian, I got to give some REALLY good advice last week. Some of my favourite questions to answer, in my monthly live Advice column, Yes Yes Questions.

Before we get to the recording and a run down of the questions, the next Yes Yes Questions is soon.

Want a heads-up, plus all the links and insider info AND my free guide for how to woo clients and supercharge your stories? Join the Yes Yes Questions Family here – it’s free–or Click HERE.

I answer these questions:
1. What is the art of writing posts to promote yourself on social media without feeling like a self-obsessed narcissist and annoying everyone you know?
2. How do you share stories about other people without being indiscreet?
3. How do you make writing about boring or essential items more engaging and interesting?
4. What are some tips to drown less in admin?
5. How often should update my clients or followers on what is happening while I’m changing course on my business, even when I’m not sure what those changes are?
6. How do you know if something you think you might want to write about is interesting enough to write actually about?
7. How important it is to have an avenue outside of FB to collect email addresses and how do you overcome a block in doing so comfortably?
8. How much should I show and not tell and should well writing a memoir and should the memoir have a message?
9. How do I ask famous authors to read my book and write me an endorsement?

Hear the whole thing here:

Or, if you’re more of a reader (or just want a preview), here’s a run-down of the questions asked, and a short form of the answer I gave:


1. What is the art of writing posts to promote yourself on social media without feeling like a self-obsessed narcissist and annoying everyone you know?

i LOVE this question. Because so many people I know don’t think its possible, but it totally is. Two things:

(1) Remember the wise words of my Huru, Marie Forleo:
“If you have a product or service that you know someone will benefit from, and you don’t tell them about it?
You’re STEALING from them.”

“If you have a product or service that you know someone will benefit from, and you don’t tell them about it,
You’re STEALING from them.” – Marie Forleo

(TWEET THIS HERE)

(2) If you still feel gross about promoting then just add value with each post.
So rather than saying, HEY GUYS, MY THING IS HERE, COME LOOK AT MY THING, I’M AMAZING, RIGHT??
Tell us a story. Give us a piece of advice. Share an interesting fact.
For example, if you’re promoting something creative, tell us a little story (can be TINY and LOW-STAKES) about a thing that happened during the process.
If you’re promoting a course or a blog post, give us one of the pieces of advice you share in it.

This way, it’s like walking up to your followers’ front door, pressing the doorbell, putting a little gift on the doorstep, and then running away.


2. How do you share stories about other people without being indiscreet?

Either:
(a) Write the story (or an outline), then run it by them, or
(b) Remember that what’s most important is the EMOTIONAL truth. Change enough details about their demographic (eg their gender, location, job, age) that they wouldn’t recognise themselves in it, but just keep the emotions true.


3. How do you make writing about boring or essential items more engaging and interesting?

Three ideas:
(1) Tell me why I should care. What is the worst case scenario if I don’t pay attention to this information? Or the best if I do?

(2) Find a way to anchor them to something we’re interested in. Especially someone famous! The example here was that Tamsen was asking about regulations for data protection online. I reminded her that, while Zuckerberg is in front of Congress, we’re ALL thinking about this stuff.

So lead with the sexy celebrity stuff, then tie it into what you’re talking about.

(3) Tell a story. This can be a small, true story about you or someone else, or a fictional, theoretical story. Just remember the golden rule,”
Keep answering the questions:
What did it look like?
How did you (/they) feel?

(want more help on this? I’D LOVE TO)


4. What are some tips to drown less in admin?

OOH, I LOVE THIS. I’ve been toying with running a one-week challenge on this. Here are my top tips:

(1) Do a handwritten big brain dump of everything you have to do. I do this about once a month and call it “Everything In My Brain [DATE]”. If you can, write things in categories (Business; Home; Travel; Finances). Don’t worry if this is a big mess.

(2) Set aside two hours on ideally Sunday (if not, then Sat or Monday), to plan your week. I know! You don’t have two hours, you need five more! But trust me, this means you will get WAY MORE done.

(3) During that two hours, do this:
1. Imagine the big picture. Think about what you’re aiming for in your life.
2. Celebrate last week. Everything you did and everything nice that happened. You’ll be surprised that you got more done than you think (you just did a bunch of stuff that wasn’t on your to-do list!)
3. Lessons Learned. What didn’t happen? Why not?
4. What do you want to get done this week? How long will each task take? Add all the times up.
5. Now, look at your calendar for the week. Block off everything that can’t involve you working (meetings, childcare, appointments). Block off lunch (I always forget this!). Then look at the gaps you have, and count up how many hours you actually have to work on things.
6. Look at the numbers from 4 and 5. Is 5 bigger than 4? no probs. Is 4 bigger than 5? Then figure out what HAS to happen from 4, and cross the rest off.
7. Write THE LIST. This is the order that you’re going to do your tasks in.

A note that some people like to schedule what gets done where. This didn’t work for me, because if I miss one, it throws the whole thing off, so I find THE LIST works better.

(4) This is the most important: 
When shame comes up about not getting enough done, just notice it. Just observe, like a scientist. I like to imagine mine as a little monster on the floor, and look down at it. “Wow, you are NOISY today”.

This is a precis of what I do every week that helps me a lot. Big shout out to Kate Riordan who taught me most of this and CHANGED MY LIFE. krbusinessconsulting.com.au

I’m thinking of doing a long blog post on this, or even a free call. If you want to find out as soon as I do, join the Yes Yes Family, for free, here (I’ll even throw in my best dream client-charming secret, free!):


5. How often should update my clients or followers on what is happening while I’m changing course on my business, even when I’m not sure what those changes are?

If you have a personality based business and your changes won’t affect the work you do with clients who’ve already paid you, you shouldn’t. If you’re considered an authority, we want to know we’re investing our time/money/email inbox in someone who isn’t floundering. While floundering is FINE and a NORMAL part of being an entrepreneur, tell us about it after it’s done!


6. How do you know if something you think you might want to write about is interesting enough to write actually about?

(1) You can make almost anything interesting if you write well about it.
(How? STORIES!!)

(2) If it’s bursting out of you, it’s probably interesting to someone.
The wonderful thing about writing stuff on the internet is that you’re NOT trying to attract everyone. You’re just trying to pull in your people. So if you find it interesting, they likely will too.

How do you know if something is interesting enough to actually write about?
If it’s bursting out of you, it’s almost certainly interesting to your ideal audience, so do it!

(TWEET THIS HERE)


7. How important it is to have an avenue outside of FB to collect email addresses and how do you overcome a block in doing so comfortably?

It’s very very VERY important because Facebook etc change the rules all the time (hello FB Business Pages). So if you want to build (or keep!) an audience, you can’t afford not to.

Overcoming the block: First, see my answer to question 1 (and the Huru quote!). Second: remember, people will sign up to your list because they’re interested in YOU. Don’t deny them that pleasure.


8. How much should I show and not tell and should well writing a memoir and should the memoir have a message?

Generally,
Memoir = “Show not tell”
Self-Help Book with Memoir Elements = bit of both.

A great example of the latter is Ebonie Allard’s From Misfit To Maven

But really, if you’re writing ANY kind of memoir or true stories, you MUST read everything Marion Roach Smith has ever written (esp her book, The Memoir Project): www.marionroach.com


9. How do I ask famous authors to read my book and write me an endorsement?

Make friends with them.
Show them you’re not just sending the same rando email to everyone.
ASK. Because you never know.
Use my email template for How To Get A Favour From A Bigshot.

Want to get some free advice of your own, and sit in live on the next Yes Yes Questions? For dates, details and the secret link to join, pop your details in below or Click HERE.

Thanks so much for reading! Which of the things above are you going to put into practise? Let me know, in the comments below!

And if you can think of anyone that NEEDS to hear one of these bits of advice, you can share the whole post using one of the round buttons below, or click HERE to share on Facebook

You rule!

xx (Yes Yes) Marsha

PS want to find out the details for the next Yes Yes Questions or maybe even ask a question? Join the Yes Yes Family, free! I’ll even send you my biggest potential client-charming secret :)

Photo credit: Annie Spratt via the ever-excellent unsplash.com

6 Comments

  • Tracy Guillet

    Reply Reply May 2, 2018

    Hi Marsha,

    I love getting your emails, thanks for all the great content you share! (yy)

  • Claire Stone

    Reply Reply May 2, 2018

    Oooohhhh, I loved this. Especially the brilliant how to stop drowning in admin because it seems very much like how my brain works. I’ve been struggling with planners in the past few years because I can’t ever get one to work for me – so I’ve been dabbling with making my own, and having a LIST like this is just what I need!
    Thank you so much for giving me permission (and the guidance) to do it my way!

    Big hugs, and lots of yy!

    Claire

    • Marsha (Yes Yes Marsha)

      Oh yes! Omg I get angry with other people’s systems ALL THE TIME. I’ve found adapting them is the answer, but it took me a long time to get there!

      DELIGHTED to have you in the Yes Yes Family, Claire!

  • Hazel Behrens

    Reply Reply May 11, 2018

    Thanks, for another home run. (Baseball season approaches fast here in States).
    You bring pleasure to many by being you and sharing what you know. When I grow up I want to be like Marsha!

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