Promoting Others More Than Yourself


How often do you promote yourself?  How often do you promote others?

Lately, especially on Twitter, but on Facebook as well; self-promotion has not only reached a fever pitch, but I think it’s reached a point that  people are being turned off.

I see “social media consultants” doing it; and as I shake my head, I also wonder why.  Does this person and others not have a strong enough network to promote  their posts, their tweets and important activities?  Or do they think “this is how social media” is done?  Maybe they don’t believe their network is strong enough. My next question is, wouldn’t their time be better spent building a network and then activating it to promote on their behalf?

In their book Trust Agents: Using the Web to Build Influence, Improve Reputation and Earn Trust, Julien Smith and Chris Brogan presented what I believe is a powerful idea: promote others 12 times more than you promote yourself. What a concept…promoting others!

We all know that promoting others ultimately contributes to our own material getting promoted; but personally that is not why I do it!  Promoting others builds trust in what you have to say, but only if you build your network; and you do this by genuinely working to help others!

So, if you are seriously interested in helping others, here are some ideas on how to do it properly.  And remember the most important rule: You promote without expecting anything in return.

1. Spotlight Someone You Believe In: Shine the spotlight on a colleague or business partner through a Facebook post, a genuine Tweet,  your blog or newsletter. If you have many followers or subscribers, it’s as good for the person or brand you’re featuring as landing a cover story. Even if you do not have many followers, it provides them with exposure to your network! The value is that someone in your network could be beneficial to that person!

2. Face-to-face Conversations: Make a connection or like what someone is doing?  Sit down and talk with them.  Interview them for your blog, or just talk with them about how you can help their business or how they became successful!

3. Ask the Expert: If you want to tackle a topic you’re not familiar with or have been asked a question you don’t know how to answer, bring in a friend who can answer that question for you on your blog or e-mail newsletter and invite them to promote their services.

4. Lend a Local (Foursquare) Hand: Become the biggest cheerleader in your community by checking in and writing positive reviews of local restaurants, shops and other businesses you frequent.  Use services such as Foursquare to check in and promote these businesses!

5. Advance and Retweet: If you can’t think of anything nice to say, spread what someone else is saying by retweeting . Do it the old-fashioned “RT” way so that you can add a few words of praise. Just don’t get carried away, retweeting everything you see. That’s annoying.

6. Like It: As with retweeting, the “Like” button on Facebook allows you to approve of others’ messages without a second thought.  Spread the love around!

7. Show Up: Simply stated, there is NO substitute for actually attending someone’s event. Be there for the people you care about. And once you’re there, start tweeting and Facebooking to encourage others to come out. Oh, and bring a friend or two!

How do you promote others? Share it with us all in the comments.


  1. How to Build Alliances Online and Offline in 6 Simple Steps | Social Media Consultants | Roanoke, VA | The Social BUZZ Lab says:

    […] people that you trust, respect and recommend.?? We all have different alliances & networks and promoting others to your alliance is beneficial to […]

  2. Love this! Just got sparked for new ideas reading this, can see new potential in my own "promoting others" department. I do a lot of promo for others very naturally simply because I am a communicator and natural motivator – when I see value in something, its hard for me to NOT share with others. So I love the ideas you share ~ actually brought back some old inspiration I had some time ago (and forgot!) about a person or two I want to interview and write about! So Thank YOU! and… Retweeting NOW, Thnks!

  3. John,This is one post I agree with so much. I personally can not stand the look at me syndrome. I agree we will should promote our own work sometimes. I still believe in the 80-20 rule on social media.. That means you promote yourself only 20% of the time.

  4. Daphne Dwritewell Williams says:

    Dear John,You are so on point, I promote others all the time, and think it is the ONLY way to go. I have a Teen Magazine and TeenPreneur Academy called Motivated Beauty where I teach youth to become who they are and I promote others because I am so comfortable in my own skin and my ability to become who I already am both on and offline. If you are good and bless others with supporting them naturally the universe, karma and the quality of your work will prompt others to do the same like I am doing with this post.John you are so on target with this one post and I would love to promote you on my blog at within this new section I have started called He Say, She Say, and this section is designed to BIG folks just like you up, so simply let me know when you are free to chat.In addition if you have any writing, biz, and FYI events post them all on my fan pages:,, and this one is for TEEN CENTERED Motivation, Business and College Information ONLY: & God Bless ALL your endeavors… BTW I so <3 this post just as much as I love the BLOG.Daphne Dwritewell Williams, The Creative Womb of An InfoPreneur

  5. Thanks Rob, I agree completely and you do a wonderful job at promoting others! Thank you for the comments 🙂

  6. Thanks Sharon, I appreciate your comments!!! We serve the best when we promote others instead of self 🙂 Great idea on interview people for your blog!!

  7. This is the foundation of my online life. I see myself as a conduit. It absolutely thrills me to share something great with my network – I love introducing people to new ideas, tools, resources. With some of us I think it is in our nature to help other people shine. I’ve done it as a teacher, a coach and now as a social media manager.Thanks for reminding of the value of what I do. It can be tempting to roll onto the MEME bandwagon.

  8. Thank you so much Tai, and you are 100% correct; we are conduits for others! Thanks so much for the comments!!!

  9. How to Build Alliances Online and Offline in 6 Simple Steps | Social Media Consultants | Roanoke, VA | The Social BUZZ Lab says:

    […] people that you trust, respect and recommend.  We all have different alliances & networks and promoting others to your alliance is beneficial to […]

  10. Thank you Judy!! As someone who "walks the talk, or runs the talk" that means a lot!!! We are all better when we promote each other, before promoting ourselves 😉

  11. John, you are right on the money with this post! And, some great tips for promoting others! As a firm believer in the Law of Attraction – you get what you give!

  12. Great comments Paul, thank you! Very true, the more someone promotes themselves, the more likely I am to unfollow them. We are here to help each other, you live it every day brother!!!

  13. A great post John.. I think that nowadays the perspective of doing something with NO expectation in return tend to be lost (sadly)…

  14. Gina Parris says:

    Great ideas John!I once heard an old proverb that said, "He who tooteth not his own horn, the same shall not be tooted!"Perhaps the zealous self-promoters took it as truth. I love the ideas of really connecting with other people and telling our community about them. The like button on FB is certainly easy, and its really a blessing for a lot of us when people also share our posts on their facebook profiles too. That’s something I will do for more of my friends & influencers as well.On twitter I like to write a note when I retweet someone but I have not figured out how to do that from my phone yet.Thanks for always writing posts that make me think of how to give more.

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  16. Danielle Miller says:

    Dear John,(ha! I always wanted to write a ‘Dear John’ note) This post is so timely and so YOU! You are always so generous in your promotion of others and giving great value to everyone you encounter.Your tips are so easy and yet so important and you lead by example :). Thank you for sharing these tips. I have a few that I can’t wait to try out!Danielle

  17. Thank you Steph for your comments! I think you are right and that is sad! Maybe WE can change that 🙂

  18. Thank you Gina, I appreciate your comments!! I think you are right, taking a moment to thank someone, to promote someone is key and we can connect with more people by taking the time to do those simple things. Thank you for promoting me!!

  19. LOL on the Dear John note; you make me laugh!! Thank you for your comments and for the compliments! We can all help one another; that’s what it’s all about to me!!

  20. Hey John,What a great post – & YES, I am turned off on a regular basis by the self-serving. That’s probably why my Twitter follwer count is way higher than the folks I’m following – I’ve unfollowed so many folks who only talk about themselves, rather than share their excitement about who or what else is inspiring them. And it’s no different offline as it is online. In my business, when I’m helping clients get them what they want, they are compelled, and it’s only natural that they help in return! Your incoming success is definitely proportionate to how much you give!

  21. Great post. I always promote others more than myself but I try not to keep score but I don’t feel I get that same appreciation. It’s to the point where social media has become a group of network users. However, I will take into account your post and how to improve or re-invent my promoting of others.

  22. Thank you Desiree for your comments! Sometimes I feel the same way you do, but continuing to promote others is my plan. I think it will help all involved and maybe we can turn the tide!! Thanks again!

  23. Thank you Rochelle for your comments! Whatever the ratio, it truly needs to be more about others than self. Not only a lesson for social media, but for life too 🙂 Thanks so much for your comments my friend!

  24. Thank you for saying that! I’m gonna follow Pauls advice and un-follow a few ‘self-promoters’. It really does get old hearing someone self-promote. It must be draining for them as well, as they must think that "if it’s gonna be, it’s up to me" Hopefully, they’ll catch on to the idea that you’re so good at expressing. Keep up the good work, John. You are truly the master of this! – J

  25. Kimberly Christian says:

    I have to agree with many of the comments above, as I tend to ignore/delete those that are self-indulged. I don’t mind for people to give me insite in to who/what/where they are, because that is Social Media…though there IS more to life than just us! This post seems to be part of our conversation from earlier in the week. I’m so glad you said it and I didn’t have to! Plus you said it MUCH better than I ever could! 😉 LOL! YOU rock! I’m so happy to have you as my #1 referral source AND I didn’t even have to train you! LOVE IT (and you)! Thanx for always promoting those button pushers too!!

  26. Thank you J! Life is too short to hang around the self-promoters. If that is too harsh for some, they can unfollow me 🙂 I appreciate your comments my friend and your promotion!

  27. Ha Ha Kimberly!! You said it just fine, and it prompted me to finish this post! So, thank YOU!! You ROCK as well my friend and I learn from you constantly about a lot of things!! Love you and I will keep pushing those buttons!!

  28. Rochelle Veturis says:

    Another refreshing and timely post from my pal John Lusher. I hate giving people this ratio, but for some reason, they seem to respond to it –for every 10 tweets/posts, two get to be self promotional and the other 8 should be pure content. You should see their faces, deflated. Kind of sad that they cannot be talking about themselves for all 10 tweets. It’s a riot. And here, you’re suggesting, promoting others 12 times as much as you promote yourself. Ah, I love it. Keep pushing us all John. I agree with the others, that you are terrific at this –and at leading by example. You’re a breath of fresh air and I appreciate the reminder that not only does this approach give you the warm fuzzies, but its effective. Honest. Grounded. And you can’t beat that.

  29. Mahei,Thank you so much for your comments!! I feed on the positive energy of you and Bridget and value the friendships, such as yours, that help the positive energies flow!! Much love back to you and Bridget!!John

  30. Love it Brooke! Very appropriate how it all relates 🙂 Thank you for commenting and for your insight!

  31. Brooke McGlothlin says:

    I believe there is a biblical principle that follows this line of thinking. "Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves." ~Philippians 2:3Good word John 🙂 I’m listening.

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  33. Hey John!you epitomize everything positive in this post and one who sets a template for many to follow my friend.As you show, when we help others succeed, we succeed.Much love from Bridget and myself,Mahei@Iconic88

  34. Thanks Daphne, I appreciate your comments. Promoting others is the only way to go!!

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