Is it just me? Self-promotion makes me feel icky

Seems everyone is a brand these days.

Not just reality stars and B grade actors but your friends and neighbours too. And maybe it is a good thing that anyone with an idea can just give it a go’, package it up and pitch it to the world.

For artists particularly, it is great to be able cut out the traditional establishment gatekeepers of jurors, galleries, publishers etc. and communicate directly with your audience.


To be honest, the whole notion of self-promotion and self-marketing is a constant struggle for me.  It makes me feel so…well…icky.

I guess it conjures up images of vacuous, superficial types trying to sell snake-oil from the back of a Ford Pinto or of pompous, egocentric windbags proclaiming how great they are at every turn.  I certainly don’t want to be perceived that way.

As an introvert, I also value my privacy.    I am always amazed that some folks share the most intimate details of their life to complete strangers as part of their brand and I wonder: am I really going to have to do that to connect with people in this online world?

Now I recognize that some exposure of the personal is necessary, particularly for an artist.  Your art is your vision, your perspective, your take.  Some folks may need the context of your personal story to understand and connect with it.   I get that.  But this feels incredibly risky and just a wee bit narcissistic to me.  Who really cares about my boring life? Who am I to be touting my accomplishments or my ‘talent’?  Maybe it is my small island upbringing that leads me to think that blowing your own horn is unseemly and gauche. Maybe I am naive to think: if I just do my best and produce good work, someone will eventually notice.  Yeah I know – this is wishful introvert thinking.

Maybe I just need to hold my nose and dive into the icky end.

Do you struggle with self-promotion?  How did you work through it? I can use all the tips I can get!