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Judith Halliday

The Shepherd Boy

How to promote yourself truthfully ...

Posted on: 27/08/2012   By: Judith Halliday

If your business is successful, of course you want to tell everyone about it - and there's never been a better time. Whereas once you had to accept that shouting about your successes was in the hands of the local newspaper's business editor - and if you didn't make the final cut, that was pretty much it - social media has changed all that ...

sometimes you should shout and sometimes you should get on with looking after your sheep

sometimes you should shout and sometimes you should get on with looking after your sheep

Now you're in control. When something good happens, you can get the full story up there on your blog and website, tell people about it through Facebook, Tweet to your heart's content and follow it up just a few days later with the whole thing all over again. But with the good, comes the bad. Because if you shout too loudly, too often, there might just come a time when no one is listening any more. Just like the boy who cried wolf - it can get to the point where your audience has heard it all before.

Not every day is special, some days we just plug away, earning a dollar doing pretty mundane stuff. There's not much to say, no great story to tell, just you doing what you do best. So leave it at that. If you tell everyone, every day, that you're fantastic - what do you tell them the day you do something fantastic? Spreading good news is fine - why wouldn't we want everyone to know about our new contracts, the award we just won, the new member of the team? But just as important, and often just as effective, is using publicity - in print, on the radio, on social media - to help others.

Remember when you read that really helpful blog about changes to employment law. Or when someone published that helpful checklist for when it's tax assessment time. Or maybe you still keep hold of the Top Ten Ways To Use Social Media you found on LinkedIn one day. By keeping it simple, helpful and informative, it can reach more people and have a greater impact than simply singing your own praises.

You can publish pretty much anything you want as long as its legal and inoffensive. By the same token, your audience can read anything they want - and skip over anything they think they've heard a million times before.

So take heed of what happened to the boy who cried wolf and only yell from the hillsides about how wonderful you are if you truly have done something wonderful - otherwise, get on with looking after your sheep and make sure everyone comes out of the situation knowing they can believe you when you say you're brilliant.

Aesop's fable for The Shepherd Boy is that "No one believes a Liar even if he's telling the truth". Click on the video link above to hear the story in full as well as The Office Genie moral for businesses.

Until next time ...


More about Judith Halliday ...

My writing career began under the bright lights of Gateshead in 1986 - who wouldn't love a job that offered the chance to listen to Gateshead Borough Council's Public Waste Committee debate the introduction of wheelie bins for three hours? It was the start of a working life that taught me what makes a good story and how to tell it and, although I don't have a news editor lurking ready to throw things at me any more, or so much of an interest in wheelie bins, my love of writing and a fascination with talking to people and telling their stories is as strong as ever.

Today I work for Business Times in Northampton and the Northants Evening Telegraph as well as providing copywriting services and press releases for a number of local companies.

When I'm not doing that, I indulge in the things I love most, which include, in no particular order: my teenage children, Sunderland football club, my husband, chocolate, QI, Chinese noodles, my closest friends, Test Match Special, red wine, reading in bed, The Sound of Music and growing vegetables.


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