How to Promote Yourself without Being a Jerk

Shameless self-promoters are jerks, we hate them, but because they promote themselves so much we are often fascinated by them. Always taking Instagram pics of themselves in front of the swankiest hotels, the most exclusive clubs and driving the most expensive vehicles, you know the kind of people I am talking about! They even give out business cards no matter how inappropriate the occasion (yes that includes funerals…a**hole) and love to list their accomplishments, awards and achievements. The thing is they actually such a good job of promoting themselves that they get ahead in life, even though it makes them insufferable douches. But, if you would like to learn how to promote yourself without being a jerk I’m here to help.

See Also: How to Get a Promotion

1. Don’t Fish For Compliments

A trick many insufferable self-promoters use is compliment fishing. They will feign self-deprecation in the hopes that their minions or followers (both Instagram and otherwise) will tell them not to be silly and that they are amazing. You will often see shameless self-promoters sharing an update like: “Oh I’m so ugly” looking like they just walked out of a Vogue photo-shoot or “I’m so bad at making money” while taking a selfie from their 2016 Lambo. Don’t be a fisher. Instead, show gratitude for what you have…after all, people are always going to hate you if you are that rich and good-looking.


2. Storyteller

Everyone likes a good story, so instead of just listing all the things you have done, maybe try integrating them into a story while also avoiding starting your story with: “You know how good I am at sales, let me tell you a story” because that is super douchey. Instead of prepositioning your story, just try to ease it into the conversation. For example, if the group is talking about sales, then say: “You know I have a funny story about that…” or “You know this funny thing happened to me once which resulted in me selling a huge amount of” etc. The added benefit of creating a story is studies have shown that people who hear the story actually live it with you, making it more memorable than just rattling off accomplishments.

3. Substance

If you’re going to self-promote, make it worth the other person’s time, avoid vague statements such as “expert” and “many years of experience”. Say exactly what makes you an expert…if you claim to be a cheese expert, say you spent 3 years traveling the globe while consuming three metric tons of cheese which ultimately resulted in three by-pass surgeries. If you say “many years of experience” in the professional show dog field, say almost "15 years of experience" instead (even though you’re thirty and have exactly 2 friends as a result of it). This is especially true if you are trying to promote within a business circle, business people love their numbers, so use that to your advantage.

4. Humility

It goes without saying that the most effective way to de-douche-fy yourself when self-promoting is to be humble. The best method is not to self-promote at all, but let other people do it for you. If people are sufficiently impressed with your skills, abilities and animal magnetism…yeah, animal magnetism then they will talk about you, and there will be no need for you to big yourself up at all.

Do you have any other tips for self-promoters that don’t want to come off as jerks? Let us know in the comment section below.