What is Authentic Self-Promotion?



Many people I talk with and work with don’t realize how talented they are! You are good at your job, you go above and beyond, you meet or exceed targets, find solutions that work for your client and your company. Yet, why aren’t you getting noticed?

When your boss & superiors:

  • don’t know who you are – how can they help?
  • don’t know what you do – how can they help?
  • don’t know the results you generate – how can they help?

I know that a lot of women use the promotional strategy of “telepathy” (hope their boss can read their minds) however, the results are very “hit and miss”.

A better strategy is self-promotion and learning how to get comfortable with being your own biggest fan.


Authentic Self-Promotion is successfully marketing yourself inside your current organization and externally in your industry and community. Research proves the leading strategy to advance your career today is Authentic Self-Promotion. The 2011 Catalyst study, The Myth of the Ideal Worker: Does Doing All the Right Things Really Get Women Ahead?, found that to have a positive impact on advancing women’s careers was the communication of their achievements.

The essence is to communicate clearly and passionately your unique strengths, experience, relevant achievements (competitive edge & value proposition) to your SUPERIORS and other decision makers this results in increased credibility and visibility.

Confidence is when YOU know that you can do the job. Credibility is when OTHERS know that you can do the job. Visibility is when people that you DON’T KNOW, know that you can do the job (think your boss’s superiors).

“Self-promotion is educating RELEVANT people about your skills and the value that you bring to an organization. Think of self-promotion not as a selfish act of “tooting your own horn”, but as a favor to leaders who work with you. How else would they know what expertise they can leverage?” says Nancy Joyce, CEO, Joyce Advisors

But how do you promote yourself in authentic confident manner?


To communicate your value, you must feel confident with these three key components your competitive edge, value proposition and a support network. You need clarity on what makes you better at your job and the value your role brings to the organization in terms of business outcomes (increase productivity by 10%, reduce costs by 5%, etc.). You also need to know who to communicate with.


This is the clear advantage that you have over other candidates by way of unique strengths, experience, knowledge, education, expertise, your professional network, relevant achievements or other aspects that make you stand out from others in your profession. Know yourself – confidently promoting from a true understanding of who you are and what unique value you bring to your job and your community.


The total worth of all the benefits you can offer an employer in exchange for the compensation package by way of promised deliverables backed by matching achievements and social proof. How your assets; (skills, knowledge, attributes) can help potential employers. Self-promote in ways that management cares about by speaking the language of business outcomes when talking about your accomplishments.


Your professional network is an important cornerstone of your career advancement in the short-term and especially in the long-term. Develop a support network of peers, associates, mentors, ambassadors, cheerleaders, sponsors and champions.

Once, you are clear and comfortable articulating your competitive edge and value proposition you will need to communicate your recent relevant accomplishments to your boss and others. Not by bragging, not being pushy and not being annoying (bothering people). Rather, being able to answer the question:

The Catalyst study found when women were proactive in making their achievements known, they advanced further, increased their compensation, growth and were more satisfied with their career.

Remember, “It’s not bragging if you can back it up”. Muhammad Ali

Written by Maureen McKinnon, MSc. In Management, Career Strategist, McKinnon Career Strategies. Maureen offers programs, services and coaching to help women move their careers forward. Contact her at 604.908. 5058 or leave an email message: maureen@mckcareer.com

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