Recently, The Austin Post was kind of enough to write a feature on me. It was very sweet of them considering I’m about as interesting as a ADD-tainted squirrel these days.
In the comments someone bemoaned that I “brag too much about my connections” and “whine about turning 30”. I would be lying if I didn’t admit these sort of comments bother the living shit out of me, but I typically get over them in about five minutes (of drinking). Though I don’t think the commenter is correct in that I brag about my connections (having Jeff Goldblum rub his boner up against you doesn’t mean you know him!), it did make me contemplate the nature of over sharing in blogging and social media.
Though I’ve been blogging for over three years now, I’m still learning the rules as to what is too much when it comes to self-promotion. I tended to lean on not broadcasting my accomplishments for my social network to see, but then I realized that most people do. In fact, most people who get ahead do a healthy share of self-promotion. This boils down to two motives 1.) They like plain ol’ bragging 2.) They have to be their own promoter.
The narcissistic types you can tell immediately. Every update is about some sort of marathon they just ran, someone fancy they just had dinner with, some hip concert they’re at or a “ground-breaking” thought they just had. They broadcast every accomplishment, whether it be small or large, for their network to see. They love and need positive confirmation all of the time. For example, “I just saved a puppy from getting hit by a car. I’m going to treat myself by buying tickets to Coachella! #puppysaver” or “I just ran 27 miles and according to my jogging app, I’ve lost twenty-two pounds! #summerbod”
The ones that have to self-promote are typically freelancers and creative types who are trying to get their work seen or voice heard. I do not fault these types for self-promotion for I feel that I fall into the same camp. However, there still is a fine line to walk here.
I haven’t gotten a lot of feedback on whether I self-promote too much, though I’m sure I’ve lost some followers both on the blog and my social media profiles because they get sick of reading my voice. I try to do a certain amount of self-promotion without being obnoxious. Without the self-promotion, I’m not sure I would have gotten some of the freelance work I’ve received.
Here are some tips below on healthy self-promotion.
Does social media self-promotion rub you the wrong way?
1.) If you want to promote an accomplishment, do it in a self-deprecating way: That way you don’t look like you take yourself too seriously. Some people become insecure when they feel someone is doing better than them. That’s why it’s best to share an accomplishment without sounding like a know-it-all. Say you just landed a sweet gig and you want the world to know. Say something along the lines of, “Whoa! I just got a sweet gig at Awesometown Networks! Guess the new deodorant paid off!”
2.) Don’t talk about your accomplishment(s) too much: One post or status update should suffice (unless you just became the POTUS or something, but then you probably shouldn’t be on Facebook). I’ve seen a few peers- and I may have been guilty of this- where something big happened and they want everyone to know every five minutes. Believe me, trying to extend the wave just makes you look desperate.
3.) Don’t spam your friends with the news: I’ve never been a big fan of folks sending mass emails or social media messages to others trying to get them on board as to what they’re doing. If I want to get behind your latest accomplishment, I’ll do it on my own accord based off of what I see from your social media profiles/blog. I will feel less likely to support you if you spam my inbox. Let people come into your space versus you invading theirs.
4.) Don’t retweet, reshare or post every time someone mentions your name: We get that you’re pretty cool, no need to reshare anytime someone mentions you.
5.) Know where to post: Not all accomplishments are created equal and some are best suited for various soapboxes. For instance, some professional achievements might be best suited for LinkedIn and that’s it. Some might be interesting and relevant enough to post on your blog. Others might be good for ol’ FB and Twitter. Either way, make sure you don’t post the living shit out of it.
I disagree with your #1 suggestion of promoting your self accomplishments in a self deprecating way. This is called humble bragging. If you’re gonna brag just brag.
Haha. I guess you’re right. I know personally I like when someone can make fun of themselves over full-on bragging.
I was gonna comment the same as Joanna up there. I find the self deprecating ones WAY more annoying.
Interesting! Good to know!
“In the comments someone bemoaned that I “brag too much about my connections” and “whine about turning 30″. I would be lying if I didn’t admit these sort of comments bother the living shit out of me, but I typically get over them in about five minutes (of drinking).”
When you get to your 40’s you just don’t give a damn about what anyone says about except for your closest friends and family. That person is an idiot, if they don’t enjoy their blog tell them to not read it then. However, I love it!
Love this post. Unlike the first two comments I completely agree with your #1! There is definitely a difference between self deprecating and insecurity, and I thought you were spot on! Great article!
I agree with #1 too. That’s exactly how I would have said it. I think it may have something to do with being an introvert and wanting to share good news, but not wanting the spotlight totally on me.
Great article. Nothing makes me as insecure as thinking I’m being an asshole on social media. I can’t deny a narcissistic tendency (I’ve got a photo of myself on the cover of my iPad, for god’s sake.), but I do struggle with the “how much is too much” question.
Case in point: My husband and I are going on a trip with my sister’s family next month, and we’re staying at a very nice resort. It’s almost laughable that simple ol’ me will be staying in such luxurious digs, but it’s hard to post about it on Twitter or Facebook without sounding like a creep.
On one hand, the earth will not end because I don’t post about my trip, but on the other hand, shouldn’t I be able to write about my life? Did mentioning my upcoming vacation on this comment sound assholey? I can no longer tell.
The internets is hard.
First of all, I think a little bragging is in order for accomplishments. People who tear you down about your “bragging” (which has never come across as bragging to me) are sad and small and jealous. Take a note from Jay-Z my friend, and brush your shoulders off!
Now I agree with Joanna – humble bragging is the worst. And it pains me when I see people I care about and am proud of belittling their accomplishments. I am proud of you, so you should be proud of you too 🙂
Great Read. Your humor rocks. Ah problems of the first world. – Dare I chime in.
Your first comment on “self-deprecating” – From a reading/comsuming point of view – it gets old to me. You can “own it” and still not be an ass. Which I might add you do a great job in, Tippsy Texan does as well etc. I think humor is more the key -“self-deprecating” can be funny sometimes lame. You can be funny and own it and you can own it and be an ass. People are reading for entertainment/information. Entertain me dammit! 🙂
That is also the beauty of freewill and the “unfollow” button 🙂 – These are great tips on putting it out there without driving your existing audience away. Thanks again for posting.
[…] of touch on this. Namely, “Friday Tattoo and Going Offline” by Austin Eavesdropper and “When Sharing is Too Much” by Hispercrite. Both posts touched a nerve with me, but none of them managed to get to me like […]