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How to Self-Promote without Sounding Arrogant: Show Notes & Transcript

Post | Aug 09, 2022

How to Self-Promote without Sounding Arrogant

Welcome back to Marketing Smarts! From brand-building and marketing veterans Anne Candido and April Martini (that’s us) comes a podcast committed to cutting through all the confusing marketing BS so you can actually understand how to take action and change your business today. We deep-dive into topics most would gloss-over, infusing real-world examples from our combined 35+ years of corporate and agency experience. We tell it how it is so whether you are just starting out or have been in business awhile, you have the Marketing Smarts to immediately impact your business.

This is Episode #104 and we’re talking how to self-promote without sounding arrogant. Listen to the episode on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, and your other favorite podcast spots – follow and leave a 5-star review if you’re exercising your Marketing Smarts!

  • Episode Summary & Player
  • Show Notes
  • Marketing Smarts Summary
  • Transcript

Marketing Smarts Episode #104: How to Self-Promote without Sounding Arrogant

Let’s face it – you deserve a pat on the back. Many pats. But giving yourself credit and praise is often awkward and uncomfortable. How do you self-promote without putting people off? We’re here to help you shout your wins from the rooftops! In this episode, you’ll learn how to flatter others as you promote yourself, emphasize the effort behind the accomplishments, and volunteer to teach others an area you excel at. Hear how to nail that performance review, be proud of your accomplishments, and take the credit you deserve. This episode covers everything from flattery to teaching others. Here’s a small sample of what you will hear in this episode:

  • How do you self-promote without sounding arrogant?
  • What should you do if someone else takes credit for your work?
  • How do you give yourself credit?
  • Who deserves the credit in a sales team?
  • How do I not sound boastful?
  • Does self-promotion impact your personal brand?
  • How do you shift your mindset?
  • What can we learn about marketing from Delta?

And as always, if you need help in building your Marketing Smarts, don’t hesitate to reach out to us at:

Check out the episode, show notes, and transcript below:

Show Notes

What is Marketing Smarts?

From brand-building and marketing veterans Anne Candido and April Martini comes a podcast committed to cutting through all the confusing marketing BS so you can actually understand how to take action and change your business today. They deep-dive into topics most would gloss-over, infusing real-world examples from their combined 35+ years of corporate and agency experience. They tell it how it is so whether you are just starting out or have been in business awhile, you have the Marketing Smarts to immediately impact your business.

How do I exercise my Marketing Smarts?

Thanks for listening to Marketing Smarts. Get in touch here to become a savvier marketer. 


Please note: this transcript is not 100% accurate.

Anne Candido 0:02
This is Marketing Smarts – a podcast committed to helping you become a savvy or marketing leader, no matter your level. In each episode, we will dive into a relevant topic or challenge that marketing leaders are currently facing. We will also give you practical tools and applications that will help you put what you learn into practice today. And if you missed anything, don’t worry, we put worksheets on our website that summarize the key points now. Let’s get to it. Welcome to Marketing Smarts. I am Anne Candido, and I am April Martini. And today we’re going to talk about how to self-promote without sounding arrogant. Yes, this is a big point of anxiety for many of us as we try to make sure our accomplishments are known for the sake of our career progression. But we don’t want to sound arrogant, boastful, full of ourselves in the process, because we believe that can turn people off. And admittedly it can, yes, it can. Yes. And this is a fine line to walk, which is why many of us choose not to do it. And instead, we decide to kind of let the work speak for itself, quote, unquote, which is basically leaving your reputation to chance.

April Martini 1:08
Yeah, the challenge here is that in a team environment, especially one that’s managed through vigilant leadership, it can be difficult for those that matter to appreciate your specific contribution, and then any nuances that surround it. I mean, sure, you have a role to play within a function. And if that role is played, well, that’s definitely something you can put on your performance review. But as we’ve talked so many times before, promotions and career advancements in general rely a lot on the softer skills or aptitude as we’ve come to call it throughout the course of the show. This is really so much harder to articulate on a performance review, right, which

Anne Candido 1:41
leads to the point of today’s topic, which we could have called many names, I think the favorite one is how to promote without sounding like a douche. As I read this, I was like, I could not believe she’s going there. Really, I’m just, I’m just being real, calling it as I see it, right. But it does require a mindset shift. So we’re going to actually articulate a bit of a mindset shift on each one of these points. All right, so getting to it. The first one is contextualize your contribution on how you help and can help. Yep, great. So if someone’s saying something like, I heard your project is going really well. Take this opportunity to actually plug how you have helped a team succeed. When you put in the context of helping, it feels a little bit more selfless and it doesn’t sound arrogant. So let me say it’s an example. So if someone says, I heard your project is going really well, you may respond with something like, Oh, yes, I’ve been doing work to uncover insights, which is helping us really better understand our customer. And these insights are helping our sales team do some fantastic work and fine tuning our sales pitches. So what they listener just heard is interesting. Maybe I could use some similar work on my project to uncover insights, since I think could be something that we could all use. He or she didn’t just hear, Oh, geez, Anne, so full of herself, always bragging about how she’s so good, right. So think about that context, and be honest with yourself with regards to how that sounded. And I think most of us would say, you know, yeah, I think if somebody said that, to me, I would actually appreciate that. And the reason why is because in this is the clincher is you would say then after all that, I would be more than happy to set up some time with you to take you through it in more detail. Now that’s doing two things for you. One is establishing yourself as an expert resource. And you’re helping build capability within your organization, your business. So here’s the mindset shift, you guys, if you aren’t being overt, and how you can help, you’re actually really doing a big disservice to your organization, your business. So it doesn’t do any good to keep that all inside. And to keep all of your expertise inside. Part of building your career and building your reputation is about sharing that information, that expertise that you have.

April Martini 3:53
Yeah, I mean, I think you know, to the point made before about how this can be difficult. And so people can shy away, I think within this point is that it is more of an art form. It’s a softer skill, and it really takes time to finesse. So the way we look at this is yeah, it may feel awkward at first, you know, as you’re working through this mindset shift, it really can feel kind of opposite, the way you’re used to communicating, right, but once you work through that awkwardness, it really does become just an essential tool, and such a good way to take ego out of the conversation. We all like to feel helpful, right? And I think that that is where a good place to play for that very reason, right? We want to feel needed, we want to feel like we can help. However, I also want to make the contrary point that this is not the idea of like pulling a fast one or riding in authentically, right? That’s the wrong mentality to take with this. This used to be really hard honestly for me to get over because I felt exactly that like I was trying to pull a fast one right and it just felt inauthentic and it felt a little bit icky. But once I learned to really lean into the point of this and really think about Got it through the lens of helping making things betterment, you know, the betterment for me and the team, it became a lot more authentic place to play. And now I’m at a point where I really feel authentic joy in the ability to help.

Anne Candido 5:12
Yeah. And I think he would say to you as a tone of voice expert, it’s all in the tone. Oh, yeah. Right. So I’m saying like, hey, I want to help sound appreciative versus like, Yeah, I know it all I know. I’m good. Yeah, of course I did. Right? It’s, it’s a lot of it in the tone and the tone and the choice of words, but you’re right, it takes some practice. And it may feel awkward at first. And so you have to get the tone to feels the most authentic to you. But it can be learned, and it can actually have a really good impact. So be careful, you know, don’t shy away from it either. Because when you start kind of sounding unsure, like it’s like, Thank you, you know, everything starts sounding like a question. When you say it, you’re losing your impact on a gnat starts sounding inauthentic. So I know we’re putting a lot of like very fine points on things. And you guys are hopefully aren’t going to be like, it just sounds too complicated. I don’t even know where to start. Don’t even to try. The thing is to try it and just kind of see what the reactions are. And then keep on gauging based on that, right? Yeah, it’s like, try and tweak. Yes, exactly. Alright, so the second point of how to self promote without sounding arrogant, is to flatter others as you promote yourself. April, I’m gonna let you take this one.

April Martini 6:25
Yeah, so if you recall the example in the previous point and said, helping our sales team do fantastic work, right. So this is the point of when you lift others up, it doesn’t sound conceited to lift yourself up as part of that team in the process. And ultimately, it elevates the impact of your work. This is where we’re talking about that aptitude that we mentioned in the intro right? That you understand how your work impacts the organization and the business and that you’re in tune enough to know what the organization and business needs to be successful. So it really lets you live in a more strategic place. And this is also a way to promote your team. As you promote yourself. Really specifically, what we mean by this is that many people will sacrifice their contribution for the sake of the team to share credit, and then avoid that arrogance that we talked about before. So again, to Anne’s point, we’re not trying to make this hard for you. But what we are trying to do is make sure that you’re seeing how you really have to play in the nuances here, right? It’s this is really, especially through a manager. So for example, the conversation that happens a lot is I heard you got the money for your new product. Congratulations. And then the response is, oh, thank you. But really, I didn’t do much it was my team. Right. And that’s sort of deflecting. And so what the listener just heard, as a result of you saying it that way is oh, I guess he or she is not a significant contributor. Yep. And that, again, little bit dead in the water there, folks. So instead, try saying something like, oh, yeah, thank you, it took some deep research to really get to the consumer insight that we were after which, you know, if you’re playing it, right, incidental use, hopefully, your role in the project to discover that insight. And then I can’t say enough good things about the team, they were super critical and making sure it was a viable opportunity. So here, the listener just heard this person knows their value, and what they are doing. And they’re a really strong team player, right? You get credit for both without that arrogance. So the watch out here, though, are that again, I’m going to I feel like I’m gonna be the authenticity police throughout this entire episode. Right. And to your point, it’s because of that tone of voice, you know, expertise and how I live through that. But so you have to be authentic. Please don’t overdo it. I think people’s tendency is then to follow up with their accolades. And then with the accolades of others really quickly, which makes you sound like Usually you start talking really fast, you sound uncomfortable and unappreciative of the accolades, and you rush it, and then you rush it, it just becomes a mess, right? Or worse, they use that self deprecating behavior, like, oh, you know, I’ve never been good at this sort of thing, or these people are much smarter than me on this team. There’s no reason for that to happen, right? You can say, Oh, can you explain more? There’s lots of smart people on my team, right? It’s kind of again, like, it’s tricky, because you have to be ready to respond in kind to whatever the other person says, I believe that if you can kind of take a moment, take a breather, think through, don’t get ahead of yourself, right? The mindset shift becomes you can promote yourself and the team but you don’t have to sacrifice yourself in the process of doing that. And I think you know, I’ll speak really personally here. Sometimes it’s okay to just say thank you and take the compliment. Like if you don’t feel like you’re at the point here. If you’re first if you need a first step, I will say it’s to say thank you, and then kind of leave it and I have a very, very hard time doing that because I have a very hard time taking compliments in general I get embarrassed, I get uncomfortable. I don’t need it. I don’t want it like and when I see it coming I can feel myself kind of clenching up. So at the very least, just say thank you. Sometimes the quietness of that is enough for you to feel up initiate it and then to see that you accept. So I’ll just I’ll just say good first step.

Anne Candido 10:04
I think that is totally right. I, it’s amazing to watch to, um, you know, the, what happens when somebody actually receives a compliment, like, part of it. It’s always like a flip flop thing, too. It’s like, some people complain that they don’t get enough compliments and accolades, and then when they get them they’re like, but no, I don’t want to be the center of attention open. No, it doesn’t make me you know, it makes me so uncomfortable. And then you want it, what you want to do is you want to basically nullify it by saying, you know, things like, Oh, it was, it wasn’t that big of a deal, or it’s not a big thing, or you know, anybody can do it. It’s like, don’t do that. Because it does take away the power of the actual accolade that you got, but then it also what it does is makes the other person feel uncomfortable. Yeah. And Nothing’s worse than a self deprecating manager. I am sorry, it is a very bad tree. i There were several folks that I had engaged with in that manner. And that is, like, the biggest route to making people feel uncomfortable. So there’s another uncomfortable element of that. And it’s just because people don’t know what to do with it. It’s like, obviously, you’re a manager, you got there for a reason. I’m so like, yeah, for you to say, Oh, I’m just a, you know, not a very smart person. And, or, you know, it’s just something that you know, I’m, I am very comfortable with or whatever it’s like it, it makes people kind of off their game, right. So it’s okay, if you don’t know it, like April said, then ask somebody to explain it more, you know, but you don’t have to play like, I’m the, you know, the poor, dumb person, you know, in order to make people feel like you’re part of one of them. I’m like, I don’t even understand what the point of that is. Okay, no, so off soapbox a little bit. But yes, you should definitely flatter others as you promote yourself. If you have that discomfort with actually accepting Yes, but don’t shortchange yourself in the process. Totally. Alright, so the third point of how to self promote without sounding arrogant is to emphasize the effort behind the accomplishments. Alright, so not only do you have to accept the accomplishments, right, which we’ve already said, a lot of us have trouble doing, you have to actually really then emphasize that it actually took effort. Like I just said, before, we have a tendency to undermine our accomplishments, like with the phrases, like I said, like, oh, it was nothing. It was super easy. Didn’t take me any time at all. It’s just part of my job, right? I mean, you hear that all the time, right? Just the job, right? Even this is true. Why would you say? I don’t understand like it comes, I know, I know, Coach have a natural tendency to be humble. And it’s kind of like, you know, to kind of deflect a little bit of like, the discomfort we’re feeling as a result of the accolade.

April Martini 12:36
And we all we always talk about Midwest nice here. Oh, yeah, that’s that humbleness and that mindset that I think we just share in this part of the country, we over index on it,

Anne Candido 12:44
we definitely over index on, there’s no doubt about that. But if this is really of humbleness and humility is really a characteristic you have really take a look at how it’s impacting your personal brand, because this might be in this situation. A characteristic that’s not helping you move yourself towards your goals. Yeah. All right. So make sure instead, people actually appreciate the level of effort it took to deliver the because this is so important. And even if it’s, in fact, easy for you, like we mentioned, in the early example, when you said you know, we had to go really deep, or it took a lot of facilitation when we got there, or we had to work through a lot of challenges, or this was a particularly complex strategy. All those ways can be a way of really emphasizing the amount of effort it took, again, even if it was easy for you. Right? Even if it was easy for you to do the caliber or the or the the intelligence you haven’t doing the work doesn’t undermine the effort it actually took

April Martini 13:40
Well, I think, too, you have to learn to own that. If it’s easy for you, it probably means you’re really good at it. But not everybody is that’s a lot of times, but I think the misses it’s like, just because it’s easy for you doesn’t mean it’s easy for everyone to stop acting like it is because well, I could get into the whole reason why people might be offended by that, quite frankly. Well, yeah.

Anne Candido 14:00
Yeah. I mean, absolutely. And I call these like the humble high performers. Yeah. Right. Because these, these people need to be especially careful, because you’re right. I mean, April is a really fantastic point. Because what happens is, you feel like it’s easy, right? And so you’re like, why is everybody making such a big deal about this? Right? Yes. So then instead of coming off as

April Martini 14:19
Oh, yeah, sorry, I totally preempted your point. No, let’s go on with the conversation.

Anne Candido 14:23
I think that’s totally fine. Um, so I mean, instead of like, you know, people feeling like, oh, this person is really like, smart and admirable and inspirational. You’re just like, Oh, what a concede. Yeah. Like, gosh, I feel so much for stuff like, oh, yeah, well, it’s not easy for the rest of us. Yeah. And so it’s totally an unintended consequence and totally unintended impact, but you do have a tendency to come off as looking Loof, aloof and condescending. It really toned, really tone deaf to think like, Oh, why? I mean, yeah, it was fine. It was easy, you know, don’t do that. Don’t do that to yourself, and don’t do that to other people. And also, let me just say that some of them, there’s some watch outs to this. Okay, so one of the watch outs here is not to throw people under the bus to make yourself look good. Oh, absolutely great. So that is not a way to emphasize your accomplishments, you should never be throwing people under the bus in business for any reason. Correct? Correct. But a lot of people, you know, in an attempt to try to, and this is where I think the arrogance comes when they tried to really prop themselves up will be like, Oh, those people over there were just, they just didn’t do their work. And I had to come in and I had to fix them all and work out exactly. That, you know, you want to avoid that is where you kind of start bordering like an arrogant, but then also, on the other side of the coin, don’t sandbag it, as well. So that’s another way that people might go too far on over on the, the sizing the effort, which is like, oh, yeah, I mean, it was like, you know, it’s gonna take me 100 hours to get that dialed in, you know, what’s really gonna take you like, 30 minutes, or, you know, you’re like, oh, you know, we, you know, we expect like 10 likes on the social posts, when you know, you’re probably going to least get like 200. So don’t see him back in order to like, minimize the expectations, that usually gets called out too

April Martini 16:11
well, and I think that that also makes you look tone deaf in a different way. Like, if people are like you, You seriously don’t think that I know what’s going on here. Right? Give me a little more credit.

Anne Candido 16:20
Exactly, exactly. So it is a it is a again, something to play with, right. But just keep in mind that even if it’s easy, you don’t need to overly explicitly convey that. And that’s just in the words, you say it’s in your facial expressions, it’s in your behaviors, it’s in your tone, it’s in all those other things. So if you’re getting those reactions for people take a look at all of that. Yep. So the mindset shift here is to make sure to give yourself credit for being good at what you do by respecting the effort. So said that in many different ways. And so that is the one that you need to take away from this point. Yeah, so

April Martini 17:00
I’ll just put the fine point here that there’s absolutely no arrogance in doing it this way. If you work hard, and you get great results, you deserve the recognition. And again, this was something that was hard for me, it was hard really recently, actually, because I found myself sort of in this uncomfortable place, again, when Anna and I started doing this podcast, right, where people would compliment it. And I was still kind of settling into like, I’m gonna say it like this, but it’s the quote unquote, fame of it, right, or like the sensationalism of it because I couldn’t get used to the reaction where I’d be like, Yeah, and we also do a podcast, you do a podcast, and it like, suddenly elevated me to like this celebrity level, or this like awestruck place. And I didn’t know what to do with it. And so I caught myself, though, to the point of this episode, like don’t default to that bad behavior. And so what I realized is that I needed to create a narrative for myself to the point of this episode to be able to respond in kind to that. And the thing that always works really well for me is to just tell the truth, when I find myself in a place where I literally don’t know what tone to take, or what approach or how to respond. And I keep running up against the same thing. I’m like, Just tell the truth. So my narratives become, it’s definitely a labor of love. And it takes a lot of hard work, but I love it. And it gives me an outlet I was missing when I left my last agency, and the infrastructure, just having to as part of my job support and manage a team. And I just love the idea that we have a platform to share our collective knowledge and our unique expertise. And the point that I make to myself in my head all the time, is, if it was easy, everyone would do it. And the main reason that podcasts fail, is it the commitment to the work isn’t there. So again, I have to own my work. And the subsequent impact I am having as a result of it to the point of all of this not oversimplifying, taking the compliment the entire thing. It just, it just really hit home with this point for me.

Anne Candido 18:51
Yeah, I think that’s right on because probably the tendency would have been like, oh, it’s really just a small podcast, right? Yeah, we’re only getting like a few listeners right now. And you know, it’s still kind of growing. It’s still in its infancy. And I was

April Martini 19:04
saying early on, like, all that was true, right. Like, we didn’t know. And again, I know the facts, it takes a while to take hold it. You know, it’s not like we’re in this dire situation. It was like, Nope, we’re doing exactly what she should be doing. We’re chugging along, all those things. I just had to catch up myself in that moment.

Anne Candido 19:19
Right, right. Because there had been no benefit in saying no, right? Because, yes, all that, like you said could be true. But then what’s the impression that the person takes away as a result of that? Yeah, right. And so there’s just there’s no reason that doesn’t mean, again, you are you’re lying, and you’re sandbagging and you know, and immolating, but you’re just making sure that the excitement for what you’re doing is conveyed. So that also they will go talk about it like, Oh, that’s great. And then they’re more inclined to go talk about to other people too, right? Yep. Yeah. All right. So the fourth point of how to self promote without sounding arrogant is to volunteer to lead training or give a presentation was something you accelerate. April that you take this one

April Martini 19:59
Yeah, and I’ll start by saying that if the training doesn’t exist, develop it. Right, right can be something as simple as a lunch and learn. I mean, I know corporate and agency, we talk about the different sides. This is something that both sides use and use effectively, right? I mean, I used to use this all the time at the agency, to help people get over this hump, quite frankly, right, where they were trying to self identify and decide their authentic tone and how to stand up for themselves and take compliments and all of that. And so we would put together help them put together Lunch and Learn so that they could get exposure, show their experience all of those things, but through to the point of this, a more educational point of view and approach for you know, sidenote, you provide lunch, people will come free lunch. Yeah, absolutely. Sure. It’s good food. Side note. Also, side note to my side note, but or, you know, if you’re a virtual, one of the tactics can be asked the boss to come, and we’ll see the boss on the list, regardless of whether they actually make it that day. If it’s important enough for the boss to be there, then it must be important enough for them to be there. Just a couple tips there. And then when you’re giving the the Lunch and Learn as part of the teaching process, provide useful tools and processes as takeaways that people can utilize similar to what we do on the show, right? Okay, we’re gonna give you the principles, and then we’re going to show you how to put them into the to action, it’s the same thing here. And then also, on top of it, take ownership for them, you don’t want to be so overt and saying, you know, these are April’s rules for brand character or anything like that, right. But you can put your name and the date in the footer, which helps it travel. This is a corporate tip that I learned from an and actually some of our other coaching clients of like, you know, making sure your name is in there. Because if it’s going to travel, you want your name on it, you know, put make it a PDF, don’t make it editable, all these small tips, right, right, get the credit where credit’s due. But this really is a very tactical way of executing point number one, which is all about service, right? So it makes you look like an expert in the eyes of your colleagues in the eyes of management in the eyes of ownership, all of those different things. And then the other thing is case studies. So case studies are another great way of self promoting, because by default, you get the credit because you’re giving the presentation, right? Your name will become associated with it in conversations, did you see that case study that APR or in presented on X, Y and Z, there were some interesting things in there that we might be able to apply, we should go talk to that person, right, all of that kind of starts to take on a life of its own. And some of the other tools, just to kind of round this out are examples of things you can do are audits, landscape analyses, trend reporting, things that show thought leadership proactivity. And again, your strategic sense of the business, and what your role is in it and kind of getting that savviness from other people. So the mindset shift here is to be a teacher.

Anne Candido 22:47
Yeah, and I think this is a really great one to kind of flip it. Because if you’re worried about sounding arrogant, when you can think about yourself as being the teacher, it takes on a whole different connotation, it also allows you to really be more empathetic to the world around you. And so when you can get to that level, and again, this is not teacher in the standpoint of arrogance, because a lot of we hear it on that side, too, which is like, Oh, let me tell you a thing or two about how to do this, or let me tell you a thing or two about how this used to work or how this always worked, or, you know, we did this, like you know, 20 years ago, and it didn’t work. So this is not the teacher we’re talking about the kind of teacher we’re talking about is explaining, okay, just so you guys know, like, where I’m coming from and why I’m such an advocate for this or what your role, you know, person here today in the work that you’re doing, I why I need it the way when I need it and how I need it, like how that impacts what I’m trying to do, it’s all a matter of like really just driving a level of awareness, in that you can actually then help teach an organization how to function and you don’t have to be the manager or the leader to go do that. So I think this is a really important one, that if you can do that it’s it. Knowledge is helps to really break down a ton of barriers. It drives awareness. Like I said, it also drives a sense of appreciation. It drives a sense of war of collaborative pneus and togetherness. So take advantage of this one. I think it’s a really good one. Yep, totally agree. All right, so just to recap how to self promote without sounding arrogant, contextualize your contribution and how you help and can help. So when you put your contributions in the context of how you helped it feels and sounds more selfless. Second is father others as you promote yourself when you lift others up. It doesn’t sound conceited to lift yourself up in the process, and an Elvis impact of your work. Third is emphasize the effort behind the accomplishments. Be careful about being too humble, it undermines your contributions. And finally, volunteer to lead train or give presentation around some new excel at trainers by default are generally held up as experts or the go to people in the organization or business for that topic. Alright, our next segment is in Detroit. trenches. And this is where we give real world examples to industries with certain situations. But with broad application, so anybody should be able to take these and put into action on today. Alright, so our first in the trenches question, I always struggle when it comes to performance review time, especially when trying to define my specific contribution versus the team’s. What do you suggest a big one? This is the big one, we get this a lot. And we actually get always to when we’re talking about resumes. Yeah, we totally do. Right. So this is all about really fine tuning your highlight reel, and it is a highlight reel, and really being able to specifically talk about how your contribution has had a meaningful impact to the business. Alright, so again, people start getting really nervous here, because, you know, they’re if they’re humble, or there’s some level of humility, because they don’t want to take quote, unquote, credit for what the team has done, and make it seem like they’re the only one who did it, or have it be perceived that, you know, they’re overstepping, and all of those sorts of things, right? There is a way of being able to dimensionalize your contribution in the context of the team so that you can actually showcase both, like we’ve been talking about. So here’s some specific ways that you can do that. So first is you can he’ll use that help structure to find point what your specific contribution is. So that’s what we talked about in point number one. So it will look something like I developed and executed the marketing strategy that enabled the brand to grow and hassle penetration by 5%. Right? Notice the I did developed and executed which is your role. Alright, so that’s how you’re going to you contextualize what your action was and what you specifically contributed to that overall growth. But you’re not being arrogant and trying to say that you did it all by yourself. Right, and nobody takes it that way. Yeah. Okay. Second, is as a point exemplifies always tie your contribution to a business KPI like you heard me just do. It’s fine if you also want to tie it to a more specific role based KPI. But only if it’s evidently clear to everyone that has significantly built the business. So for example, I come from the world of communications, where we talked a lot about impressions. Impressions mean nothing unless they have some impact on the business. Same with advertising recall, same with social media engagement. Same with video views, all these things are great role specific KPIs, but you have to do the work to tie it back to the business. And that’s how you get the credit for the business growth, the business impact, which is what everybody’s generally looking for, for career advancement, career progression.

Now, it’s a creative claim contribution that you made happen, even if you had support. Okay, so I get to go back to my comms work, where I had an agency, my agency did a lot of the quote unquote, work, but I led managed and directed that work. So that work wouldn’t have happened without me. So I actually get that credit for that contribution. And that looks something like I’ve led led the team which exceeded its goals in delivering fill in the blank, okay, I don’t need to actually say, I led an agency to go do this work. Right? Well know that I had an agency and the agency had a role to play in the work, I can just say that I led that team, which actually was able to deliver a goal that exceeded expectations. Because like I said, there’s going to be a highlight reel, right, but don’t undermine what your contribution is, as well, like so a lot of people say they’re so far down in the weeds that what they’re doing, they don’t think it has a direct impact on the actual business. And I say this is where you are very, very wrong. So we had a guest on who gave us the story of or alleged story rate of John F. Kennedy, when he went to NASA, and he went and talked to one of the janitors there, and he goes, Oh, you know, what do you do here, and the janitor looked at him really strangely, and said, Well, President, Mr. President, I’m here to put a man on the moon. So I love that I love that too. Because it really like symbolizes and in and helps, you know, to to really, tangibly put into your mindset that everybody has a role to play, and it takes everybody in order to make the business go. So don’t think that what you’re doing is so small or insignificant, that it doesn’t have an impact on guarantee, if you’re there, you’re gonna get a paycheck, it has an impact. But also, be careful about not like listing everything you do as like tasks that you’re completing. Really take that second step and really tie it to something that, you know, has delivered significant impact for the business.

April Martini 29:39
Yeah, and I mean, I’ve always loved the idea of the highlight reel. And the thing that I will build on here is you have to be able to connect the dots and tell the story, right? This is what’s going to show your strategic ability and your savvy and show that you can think bigger to Anne’s points than just this is the thing that are the things that I do here, right If it shows what role you play in elevating the work in solving the Ask, and it really makes your case airth, airtight and allows you to be thoughtful about what you want to communicate. And the way that I really specifically think about this through my storytelling lens is, if you only want them to take away three things, what are those three things, right, and three is a bit of an arbitrary number, but you know, three, five, whatever it is in your head, but what that does is allows you to frame up that story in a way that you can choose what you’re going to communicate and what points you want to reinforce through your narrative.

Anne Candido 30:38
Yeah, I think that’s a really good point. And that’s kind of what we talk a lot about personal brand, in your what you want to be known for. Right? Yep. So make sure that also comes through when you’re doing your performance overviews, however, that shows up is thinking about what we qualify as I want to be known as a person that right yeah, so fill in that blank. Yep. And those helps you to really refine these things in order to build that perception that you want to have with people. Yes, absolutely. All right, our second into stretches question. I just wasn’t raised to be boastful. How do I get over it?

April Martini 31:17
April? Well, to my point about us over indexing in the Midwest around being humble and nice, right? Or Midwest, nice. This one really speaks to it. So this is really where the appearance part of your personal brand comes into play. Right? boastful is a perception. And the way to get over it is to make sure your physical and verbal appearance does not give that perception and talked about me being the tone police, right. It’s all about your tone, about your style, about your presence, and then what you choose to emphasize. So for example, if someone is relaying a social post, they just saw and really liked and you know, something you worked on, you can choose to say, yeah, that was all my idea. I did all of that. Like I’m channeling my little meow right now. Which, yeah, that comes across as boastful, okay. Or you can take a different approach and say, Oh, thank you, I’m so excited you like it, I’ve been working really hard to try and capture our boys, I so appreciate the feedback. And also, please let me know if you have any additional feedback. I feel like for Anna and me, I’m always reinforcing the point of, we’re an open book, we’re super direct, right? Give us the feedback. And that is also another one of my, you know, coping mechanisms, if you will, on how to take compliments as an aside. But here you establish it was your work and your idea without having to directly state that and you made the other person feel useful in providing their feedback and continuing the conversation with you to provide more. And you also established bigger picture that you’re the person they should come to on social. And I think, you know, we really the secondary thing here, we’re talking about social cues that you put out there in the way you communicate throughout this episode, right. So I think another layer of this is by taking that approach, and leaving that door open and being pleasant and amicable, really, I guess, in the interaction, you become someone that other people want to come back to and react with or interact with more, right? Also, you have to get over that claiming credit for your accomplishment is boastful. If it’s justified, it’s not boastful. It’s just in how you then again, take that credit that dictates how it’s going to be received.

Anne Candido 33:25
Yeah, I mean, I think you guys are hearing a very common theme through here that it’s, it’s all in the way that you say it, and it’s what you say, right? So what you say and how you say it. And that really determines the way that people receive it. And April, just kind of gave you an example of how it the words could sound very boastful in doing it. And then how you can phrase it a different way. So ism, sounds boastful, but still be of service to others, right? So it’s a very, really fantastic way of being able to then have that communication with people. And if you can really practice it and really learn to master that it’s going to be extremely useful in your career progression. And in your career reputation overall.

April Martini 34:12
Yeah, and I’ll just say one more final thing on this one is, if you’re self aware, the chance of you coming across as boastful is slim. Yeah. So I mean, that and this is something I used to coach people all the time, that if they just had self awareness with anything, right, because when you’re younger, you have a fear that you’re gonna make a mistake, and oh, my gosh, the impact that that might have, right. And so one of the things I would always say is, you’re a highly, highly self aware person, so the size of your mistakes and the impact of the business are going to be slim. There’ll be a blip on the radar, so don’t be so afraid of messing up and I feel like it’s similar here. You know what it looks like if you’re self aware when someone Brax right, when they’re just being boastful. You know what that looks like? So just avoid the language outlined above and the tips here and ultimately, you’ll be good to go.

Anne Candido 34:58
Yeah, I totally agree with that. All right are third in the trenches question is someone else’s taking all the credit for my work? How do I prevent that? And this is really the consequence that you face when you decide not to self promote? Absolutely right. And so first of all, don’t underestimate people’s ambition if it’s good work, and nobody is claiming it. It’s really fair game. And that’s the way people see it. Right? Well, if someone so is doing that, and they’re not gonna claim it, well, then yeah, five by when my it’s open for the taking over for the taking. Right? So the biggest way preventing is by regularly and consistently reporting on your efforts, right? And I know this just made like a bunch of you guys just cringe right?

April Martini 35:40
To the point of the episode, you’re like, oh, I

Anne Candido 35:42
have to sing my own praises. Oh, yeah. Right. And I’m going to do it on a regular basis. Are you kidding me have the advanced course, right. But you can do this in a very non cringe worthy way. Okay. So this can be through update emails, it can be through a newsletter, it can through be status meetings, and be one on ones with your boss. But the point is to take the opportunity to share what you’re up to. So this helps establish yourself, as well as establish yourself as a practitioner of the work. Don’t gloss over the updates, guys, like a lot of times our egos will get in the way. And when someone asks us, how’s it going, Oh, to say it was fine, right? When really, it isn’t right. Or really, we have something we really want to share or something great, that just happened. But again, we’re not, you know, we’re not, I’m not gonna go into that, right. Like, either, I don’t want to appear again, boastful, or to, I don’t want to look bad, or I don’t want them my boss to feel like I can’t handle it and all these other things. Just keep in mind, like your ability to manage through critical challenges and conflicts is a really good way to demonstrate you’re ready for advancement. And so don’t pretend like everything is fine. If it’s not, this will definitely come back to bite you. Because somewhere, somehow it’s gonna all fall apart, and then your boss is gonna go like, why didn’t you just tell me? Why didn’t you just let me know. So there’s nothing to me is more impressive than a person who can work through a challenge and come out triumphant. On the other end, I find it totally inspiring. It’s one of the big things I always look to, to see if somebody was ready for career advancement or career progression. So don’t under estimate the power of being able to demonstrate that you’ve gone through challenges. Again, don’t sandbag it again. And say it was like the most difficult thing that you went through when it’s not, but definitely give the actual recount, again, to the point of emphasizing the work that went into in order to demonstrate that. Now, if somebody is taking the credit, and they’re blatantly obviously doing it, you can always approach them, right. And I know this is really uncomfortable for a lot of people and just ask them like, hey, you know what’s going on here, and you try to be diplomatic and not defensive. And then try to take the ownership back for actually sharing out the results and the impact, and the give that person a role in it if they actually deserve a role, right? Yeah. So but take control of that, and take the control of that back. And make sure that you are managing the reporting out of the work that you feel like you’re responsible for. Yeah, I

April Martini 38:03
mean, I’m always you know, back to the point of putting your name on it or presenting it yourself. I’m always a fan of why don’t you let me present it since I’m so in the weeds, and you can emphasize the bigger picture points, right to the point, if they deserve a role in it, it makes the other person then feel like they do have a role. And then also kind of pat them on the back that they may be more elevated, quote, unquote, but you still get to show off your stuff. Right. But I think the other side of that, to Anne’s point is if they don’t deserve the role, it can be super hard to confront this. And I mean, but I think the way that I always think about that is, if you don’t confront it, it’s only gonna get worse, and it’s only gonna get bigger. And so you’re gonna have that pit in your stomach, which we all know what that feels like, right? Where you’re like, oh, man, that person’s gonna be around again this time? And what am I going to do to handle it? And all of those kinds of things. I mean, that’s what we’re talking about here. And so I know, it’s easy for me to say I’m direct, I don’t have a lot of problems with confrontation, maybe the opposite, especially early in my career. However, I just want everyone to hear that point that you really do have to learn to stand up for yourself. And there will always be people that you don’t gel with that do things they shouldn’t they’re, you know, maybe slightly underhanded or even if not, if you’re not going to take the credit and they’re going to but no matter what you have to decide whether or not standing up for yourself is actually the harder thing because in my mind, it’s more swallowing it down and continuing to do so.

Anne Candido 39:38
Yeah. And I think that I think your points are well taken. And I think the thing is, we have a tendency to go into victim mode here. Yeah, don’t go into victim Oh, I mean, realize that you have a choice in you’re making the choice not to stand up for yourself. Yes. And to really showcase your work and take ownership for the work. And really, I mean, though, like you said, going and facing the person and can be very daunting, then you need to go on offense. So you need to do one thing or the other. And if you’re going to let the or if you don’t, then you kind of are subject to the repercussions and subject to the consequences, somebody else is going to take the credit for the work, right, totally. And sometimes I’m like, there is no more to that, like, I know, we’re talking about this in a vacuum. And there’s circumstances and it could be somebody that’s way above you. And that’s really hard to, you know, to do that. But you can still take these things and put them into practice in a way that showcases that you are the person who is the expert here, right. All right. And our third and final segment is marketing smart moments. This is someone we have seen recently, either using or not using their marketing smarts that we wanted to bring to your attention to kind of bring a little bit of relevancy to the marketing context, may or may not have anything to do with this episode. And so this one doesn’t really have a lot to do with you just want to brag about you’ve been traveling all the time. Well, maybe I’m gonna brag about Yeah, so I’m gonna self promote myself that I’m platinum medallion. And really, all that means is I’m really good at using my credit card. Yeah. And so I know how to like take the you know, the miles and transform in the MQM and like, Yeah, I know how to do that. So. So yeah, but if you need heavy if anyone wasn’t help and how to do that, you know, you can reach out to like the points guy. Yeah, we’ll see. But I know what you’re doing. Okay. I’m just trying to kind of bring a tongue in cheek or Yeah. Yeah. So yeah. Okay. So yeah, so I wanted to highlight delta. And this was actually on a recent trip. And I know we kind of sometimes we get the airlines are really hard time. But this was something I was actually really impressed by. And for all the traveling I’ve done I’ve never seen happened before. And we were on a longer flight from Scottsdale back to Cincinnati. So it’s like a three and a half hour flight. And we were kind of getting to the like, after the two hours into it. So people were kind of fishing their movies, the grind. Yeah. And there was like it was the second trip of the drink cart already gone through and stuff like that. And and so here’s a put in time are usually the fly attempts are like, I’m just going to sit down and, you know, at the end of the flight, right until I have to come back and get everybody’s trash. But instead to find tents in this flight, we’re doing some different things like one was actually carrying somebody’s baby up and down the aisle. Presumably to give whoever the parents were a break and be just walking the baby up and down the aisle, you know, and I was like, Cool. That’s kind of cute. And then another one was kind of going through and she had a little handheld and she had everybody who has had frequent flyer status on her little handheld and who was a frequent flyer member, and she was going up and down each aisle, and thanking everybody for being a frequent flyer. It’s crazy. I’ve never seen that. I’ve never seen that happen either.

April Martini 42:51
I actually have seen the flight attendant holding the baby, which is super cute. It is super cute. The baby was losing its mind. And so were the parents. Yeah, I get that. But yeah, I’ve never seen the other one.

Anne Candido 43:00
Yeah. And so the funny thing was, was that Ainsley, my 18 year old had just gotten her frequent flyer. Yeah, so she had just gotten it. That was part of it. All right. So she got it. Thank you. It’s like, Oh, Miss Westbrook. Thank you so much for joining Delta frequent flyer program, I hope to see you in more flights. And you know, and she thanked me for being medallion status. And like, is there anything we can get you? You know, before we land? Yeah, exactly. Um, I just thought that was a really great way of again, being of service in a way to form those emotional connections that I thought was going above and beyond, right, like I said, most of the time, at that point, the flight attendants would just be like sitting. And I thought that that was a really very, very human, it’s very human and very high touch. And it’s very of again, of service. And we talk a lot about being of service in this episode. So it’s kind of being of service in a slightly different way. And I was coming off the heels of a call I had just made to Delta like about making week and a half ago, two weeks ago, when I was trying to re use current e credits, and I couldn’t get it done on my app. And when I call the guy and he’s like, oh, yeah, we should be able to make that work for you. I was I can’t, I couldn’t do it on my, on my phone. And he’s like, on my app, and he goes, Well, that’s just job security for me. And I get to talk to you now. And I was like, Oh, I was like, I have a different tone. So I mean, it just, it just goes to, again, you know, some of the big points that we talked about today, which is how much tone matters in especially when you’re engaging with people and just kind of taking that little extra effort to make those human connections that may stick with people and be like, You know what, after that experience, I’m like, I’m more inclined just to kind of fly Delta, because I feel like I’m being taken care of more than I would on other Iron lines. So even if I had to spend a little bit more, might be willing to do that because the experience is better. Well, I

April Martini 44:53
think there’s a certain level of levity in that experience, right, because you’re right. I mean, we and I mean, Kenny When I tell you how many times in my career that I would use the airlines as the, you know, doom and gloom, right experience, you don’t want to be like those guys, you know, that sort of thing. But, and so I think we all have that perception in our head. But I love this example because I think it adds, well levity in the world we’re in right now. And I won’t go any further than that. But also in a space where just the slightest bit of grace can have such a huge impact because the reputation hasn’t historically been there.

Anne Candido 45:29
Right. So I mean, they’re stepping it up a little bit. It’s great, especially since right now, the ticket prices are very high, very high. So I just thought whoever decided that they’re going to take it up a notch. It was a very, very fine move. Yeah. Very tasteful. Yeah. So just to recap how to self promote without sounding arrogant. contextualize your contribution, how you help and can help when you put your contributions in the context of how you help if feels and sounds more selfless and less arrogant. Next, flatter others. As you promote yourself when you lift others up, it doesn’t sound conceited. lift yourself up in the process, and it elevates the impact of your work. Third, emphasize the effort behind the accomplishments. Be careful about being too humble, it can undermine your contributions. And finally, volunteer to lead trading or give a presentation about something you excel at. Traders by default are generally held up as experts are the go to people in your organization or business for that topic. That will say go and exercise your marketing smarts.

April Martini 46:28
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