If you're a millennial like myself you’ve most likely stumbled upon the expression “shameless self promotion”. If you’re unfamiliar with it, what it means is putting yourself out there with the idea of marketing something you sell, provide or do without feeling any shame about doing it. I believe the infamous hashtag #sorrynotsorry sometimes goes along with it and most of you have probably seen a cute selfie on instagram by someone you know along with the hashtag. I guess the #sorrynotsorry is a way to acknowledge that something you’re posting might trigger some feelings or opinions in some people but you decide to do it nevertheless. More than the #shamelessselfpromotion, the #sorrynotsorry is often used when someone is simply just giving themselves permission to post that cute pic (nothing wrong with that) and perhaps not as used when marketing a product or a service.
So like I mentioned the whole concept with shameless self promotion is basically not feeling any shame in blasting (presenting would be a nicer word) your services or products on the world wide web. In all honesty though, unless you’ve got the confidence of Kim Kardashian or Queen B (um, Beyonce hellooo) (not even sure she’s got that good of a self esteem actually…) the odds are you might feel some sort of shame or insecurity in posting pics of what it is that you’re trying to sell. I mean, at least I do. And I wanted to write about it openly and honestly. Social media and especially Instagram are great tools to gain traction for whatever it is that you’re selling or promoting. Good content on your feed translates to many likes that will lead to more followers that leads to a wider audience and that again will eventually result in more business. So yes, in a nutshell social media and self promotion are key parts of a smart marketing strategy. Unfortunately or luckily though (however you wanna look at it) if you’re a yoga teacher or someone whose product happens to be a service you sell yourself, it most likely will mean that the content you’re sharing will involve pictures, opinions or words of yours.
The raw truth is that we live in a world were pretty pics of pretty girls gain followers. I mean who doesn’t want to look at a girl striking a one armed handstand in a thong…. hmm, some might not actually want to. BUT many do. For some it might be inspiring, for others it might be entertaining and for others they simply enjoy the beautiful images. But the truth is these accounts have a lot of followers. The important thing is to understand that an image is just that, a glimpse of a moment, and a pose is just that, a pose. It all comes down to your perspective and the pair of goggles you’re using to look at your world though. Learning cool ass ninja tricks like arm balances or being skinny, fit or good looking does not equal happiness. Being fit and attractive are ideal attributes many strive to attain. Knowing how to rock cool ass yoga poses might be empowering for some. BUT again plz remember, it does not necessarily mean that the person is living a balanced happy life. Sometimes it does, sometimes it doesn’t. We have really no way of knowing, unless we do. So remember that next time you’re scrolling through your feed. But that being said, pretty pictures work in marketing.
Posting pics on social media is a hard dance between creating content that empowers, motivates, gains traction and is beautiful and real all at the same time. As someone trying to promote something you’re obviously hoping to get likes and to gain followers in order to grow your business. But if you’re a yoga teacher like myself, how the heck do I do that in a graceful and successful way. If I scroll down my own feed for example and review the pics that have the most likes, I can see a pretty clear pattern (well now it’s harder after the new algorithm change). Not surprising, the pics with the most likes are close ups of my face or me in a swimsuit. So does that mean I think I’m the shit and hot as balls, well, nope, I can assure you NOT AT ALL.
To put yourself out for the world to see is hard and takes a lot of courage in the first place. Sadly we yoga teachers get constantly judged and criticized for the content we post on our feeds. And this does not only happen with yoga teachers, I see this with many women in many different fields of business. Why the fuck are we not allowed to be smart & sexy at the same time? Seriously though, who are you to say what is appropriate content and what’s not. I mean if you have a social media account clearly you want to share something with the world as well, so why is your content more appropriate than mine!? I remember it like yesterday when a person commented on one of my pics when I posted an image of a landscape “nice, not a picture of yourself”. This made me sad cuz putting yourself out there is already hard enough to begin with. Well watcha gonna do, haters gonna hate, right!?
So my point is too often we might be too quick to judge and think “omg look at Bethany just posting pics of herself”. Well, lemme tell ya something Mike, perhaps Bethany needs a little extra validation and has a low self esteem…perhaps Bethany is dealing with a breakup and needs to feel good about herself OR WHAT IF MIKE, Bethany is actually trying to sell or promote something and is using the best possible marketing strategies she knows. So please before jumping to the conclusion and thinking that Bethany thinks that she’s the shit and throwing the first rock, I suggest you step back and check yourself. Sure, most of us might agree that if Bethany is simply looking for validation through social media, it might not be the best way to cope with her low self-esteem issues. But then on the other hand, who the hell are you to judge. I mean are you perfect? What I’m trying to say is, that we are all different and today the gram happens to be a big part of our lives, in the good and the bad, and we all use it in different ways, some for marketing, some for posting pics of their sushi platter, some of them surfing, others for selfies and some for posting pics of their their kids. And this is all completely fine. So please, Mike, try to be more understanding and kind in a world that’s already harsh and hard enough as it is.