December 28, 2016 by Scott Howard
I wrote this last month with the intention that it would be published right before the 2016 General Election in the United States. Not that I’m going to go political on you, but the topic does tie into to the political season we are trying to escape from.
The Art of the Humble Brag. It was missing BIG time in most of the campaigning that was going on. Well, the HumbleBrag Meme may be in full force but the the Art of the Humble Brag is truly different.
The meme is defined as: When you, usually consciously, try to get away with bragging about yourself by couching it in a phony show of humility.
Peggy Klaus wrote BRAG! The Art of Tooting Your Own Horn Without Blowing It in 2003. That was before Facebook and most of the other social media platforms that created the proliferation of self centered bragging with false humility that the HumbleBrag meme is about.
This article goes back to the concepts that Peggy shared, but first let’s use the 2016 election as a shining example of what NOT to do with your business.
In the presidential race we had what seemed like a contest between two very unpopular candidates. And in Indiana we have had the trickle down effect caused by Donald Trump selecting out Governor Mike Pence as his V-P running mate. Pence was running for his 2nd term but was replaced by Eric Holcomb and in the meantime, former Indiana Senator and Governor Evan Bayh reentered the race for the upcoming open Senate seat.
No one is campaigned with the style of a Humble Brag it seems. Most of the memorable campaign ads were of the mudslinging style where you attempt to make the voters hate your opponent so much that they either stay home or vote for you.
Please, do not do this style of marketing for your business.
You could get in trouble with the Federal Trade Commission for deceptive advertising but even worse, we really want to know why we should spend our money with you, not why we shouldn’t with someone else.
We want you to make us feel good about doing business with you. You can do that by telling us about why we should trust you. It’s perfectly acceptable to brag a bit, but keep it humble too. For example,
“30 years ago when I started in this business, I didn’t know squat. But over time I worked with 100’s of business owners and together we created success. I never stopped learning and building my base of knowledge and now have 3 decades of real life success stories. Not everyone was a winner. But those struggles became lessons and I’m ready to help you with your marketing if you are ready for my help and guidance.”
That’s what I can say about myself. It’s the truth. Notice it doesn’t rely on overblown promises or price discounts or bad mouthing others. It’s real and it’s human. That’s the Art of the Humble Brag. Want to apply it to your business? Let’s talk.