Download: MP3 (10.2 MB)

Today, I’ll be doing a shorter, hyper-focused episode on self-promotion.

I know a lot of people struggle with this. You have something you want to share, but you feel awkward telling people about it. It feels like you’re bragging or you’re being arrogant or something. Really, you just want to share something that you think is cool, or helpful, or valuable to someone, but for some reason it just feels weird.

In this short episode, I’m going to help you feel more confident about promoting, and not just feel less bad about it but actually feel good promoting!

Right now, you feel guilty promoting your stuff. It makes sense. It seems selfish at first, right? You feel like an attention hog. You feel like you’re just taking advantage of people who are giving you their attention.

Yet at the same time, you’re concerned because it feels like an awful, twisted mess. You actually want to provide them with more value, but they don’t even seem to know that it’s there. You “announce” it but nobody cares. What’s going on here?

Well, it turns out they do care, but they don’t notice.

People don’t notice announcements, they notice consistency.

You have to consistently provide unique value around the thing you want to promote. What do I mean by, “provide unique value around the thing you want to promote?” Well I’ll tell by showing you exactly how I’m doing it.

Provide Unique Value

I’ve been working hard on reproducing a brand new version of my course, Learn Lettering. As of this recording, I’ve written 19 daily blog posts on hand lettering. Every single day, in addition to the podcast, and in addition to writing for the actual course, I’m posting a daily blog post. On average, they weigh in at about 1,500 words. So I’ve written nearly 30,000 words in just the past 19 days on the blog series alone.

Are these posts just talking about my course, how great it is, and why you should go buy it? No, they’re providing unique value. Each and every one of them. Here’s just a few examples:

I’m posting these and sending them out on the newsletter to people subscribed at Every day, I get a ton of replies back. People tell me they eagerly await each post every day. Others say this has reignited their spark, Or that it’s made them feel like they’re valuable again. Others are now begging to buy the Master Class even though it isn’t launching until July 27th, 2015.

I get people writing in saying it’s amazing because they know I’m going to be launching a course and I want to promote it, but this doesn’t feel like an ad. It feels like pure value, they said. That’s because it is!

How to Promote & Feel Good While You Do It

This is the kicker: you need to provide value. “Yeah, yeah, Sean, I’ve heard it all before. You’re a broken record.” Am I? Here’s exactly how you promote your thing without it feeling like promoting:

Share something that’s valuable, and have that thing point to what you actually want to promote.

  • Step 1: Give value.
  • Step 2: Ask.

You must do things in the above order. If you say, “Go check out my new thing! Announcement! Announcement!” no one is going to care.

Do you want people to sign up to your newsletter? Do you want to promote your product? Here’s how to do just that without feeling like a jerk who’s taking advantage of people:

  1. Provide Value. I’m sharing things like:
    • How to Make a Living With Hand Lettering Using Client Work
    • How to Make a Living With Hand Lettering by Selling Products
    • How to Utilize the Selling Power of Hand Lettering With Licensing Agreements
  2. I’m teaching people these things without them having to sign up for my course or having to buy anything from me.
  3. Share a link to this content on your blog where you actually answer questions that real people have and address their pain points.
  4. At the end of your post, where you answered real questions people have—you’re not just guessing, you’re applying what I taught you in e099 How to Read Minds—you put a newsletter signup box: “Did you like this content? Subscribe for more.”
    • When they subscribe, send them an email asking what they’re struggling with.
    • When you make new content, make it in response to these struggles.
    • When people feel like you’re reading their minds, they will trust you more.

Are You Enriching People’s Lives?

If you’re making someone’s life better, then you should go out of your way to promote your product or service! Otherwise, you’re doing them a disservice by not letting them know.

If you knew a way I could turn a five dollar bill into a twenty dollar bill, should you not sell me your book for a dollar? We both win! You make a dollar, and I make fourteen more! You just did me a favor—that’s commerce.

Similarly, I happen to know a lot of things about business that can have a tremendous impact on your career and enable you to make 10x what you would normally make on your next project. Should I not tell you about my Value-Based Pricing course?

I know that feedback you’re not getting because you’re not plugged into a place with smart, likeminded individuals who want to help you succeed by providing tailored, real-time feedback on your product, newsletter, landing page, or design is costing you thousands. Once you understand this, once you understand that my consulting rate is $1,000 an hr and yet I will give you personalized advice and feedback on demand when you’re inside the Community for $39 a month, why would I not tell you about this?

Members are constantly talking about how their investment pays for itself anew every single day.

Every single day, they are getting more value in return than what they pay for an entire month. Lives are changing. People are getting breakthroughs. The things you’re frustrated with when it comes to pricing and building an audience, and struggling with your website development or setting up your newsletter, or filtering clients with your questionnaire, there are people in the Community who can help you. I don’t know why you’re not there, but I can only imagine it’s simply because you just don’t know. You’re just to afraid to part with the $39 for an impact that will make you thousands.

Focus On Enriching Lives and You Won’t Feel Bad

Now, I want to call your attention to what I just did: I just sold hard to you. If you were paying attention, you heard three pitches in this episode. I told you about Learn Lettering 2.0 launching on July 27th. I told you about my Value-Based Pricing course. I also told you that you’re absolutely crazy—or at least, you’re throwing money out the window by not joining the Community. I did all of that and I don’t feel bad at all. You know why?

Number one, I started by providing value. I stimulated your feelings of anxiety and awkwardness when it comes to self-promoting and I empowered you. Second, these things I’m promoting will give you a 10x return or more on your investment. They’re going to make your life better. I wouldn’t promote them if it wasn’t the case. I wouldn’t implore you to join the Community if virtually every person who joins has not remained a member. They can leave at any point, but almost every single one—hundreds of them stay. Think about that.

Why Do You Do What You Do?

I want you to really dig deep and think about your motivations for sharing whatever it is that you want to share. Why do you want to share it? Why do you think people should care about it? is it for selfish reasons? Do you just want to take advantage of them? Or do you want to help them?

I’m going to believe, because you’re listening to this show, that you are the type of person who wants to help others. You made this thing, and you want to promote because you believe in it and you think it can bring value to others. Hold onto that feeling! That is why you’re doing this.

Now, before you go shouting about this from the rooftops, I want to bring you back to something I said earlier that you might be forgetting: provide unique value around the thing that you want to promote. You can’t just promote your thing over and over.

Find out what people need. Help them with that by creating content that addresses their pain points and struggles, and have that point to your solution.