Balancing Act: Write a book, blog to promote yourself

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When Marly Quincoces wanted to grab the attention of potential clients for her South Florida event planning company, StarMar Events, she made a YouTube video in front of a white board giving tips on how to land a sponsor. Ms. Quincoces quickly learned that even while she was sleeping or directing caterers, she could lure in customers with her online presence. "I'm definitely going to do more," she says.

Today, efficient self-promotion is a critical component of success in any career. "You need to be top of mind," said Michelle Villalobos, a Miami personal branding expert and founder of the Women's Success Summit. "If you're not shamelessly self-promoting, there are plenty of others who are."

By now, most of us realize we need to create and market our personal brand to be a rock star in our fields, whether we work for an employer or ourselves. Our success depends not just on our individual capabilities but also on our network's ability to magnify them.

With the venues for self-promotion exploding, the challenge becomes fitting it effectively into our work/life balance. In addressing a few hundred business owners at the recent Women's Success Summit in Miami, experts shared their secrets for how to build a network that does your bragging for you. It's time-consuming to promote yourself using every platform available. Experts advise choosing one and using it well.

• Make a video. They don't have to take long, and it can be done at night using a smartphone camera, after the kids are asleep.

• Publish a book. Dawnna St. Louis, a South Florida motivational speaker on women's empowerment, says to build a business, you need to build your credibility. Publishing a book will help. "It puts you in position of being an authority long after do the work of writing it," she said.

• Work the media. Eli Davidson, a business coach and author of "Funky to Fabulous," said it is possible to leverage the media to promote yourself. To start, find a "diamond" niche. She recently coached a client who was a nutritionist and suggested he refocus to become an expert on nutrition for newly diagnosed diabetics.

• Start a blog. If you want your network to keep you top of mind, a blog can do that. If it has the right keywords, it can send new customers your way when they search for topics.

• Become searchable. Take the time to find out how people are searching for the products or services you offer, said Todd Paton of Paton Internet Marketing in Miami.

When shamelessly self-promoting, Ms. Villalobos said, don't be too intimidated to plug your brand with the people who know you. "They are the low-hanging fruit." But don't stop there, she said. "Once you have a strong brand, it will speak for you."


Cindy Krischer Goodman:


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