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Self-promotion vs. Idea promotion: What's the difference?

social media burnout cycle blog title

In social media, the balancing act between self-promotion and idea promotion can feel like navigating a tightrope.

Mental health professionals or therapists are constantly faced with the dilemma:

  • How do I effectively showcase my expertise and services without coming across as pushy or salesy?

It's something many of us struggle with, especially in an industry where trust and authenticity are crucial.

As a digital marketing strategist, I've had the privilege of working closely with mental health professionals and therapists who are passionate about making a positive impact on people's lives.

However, I've also witnessed the hesitancy and reluctance that comes with self-promotion — and that's understandable.

Here's the thing: there's a subtle yet significant difference between self-promotion and idea promotion.

Let's talk about the difference between the two, and what you can do to have the right balance!

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As the name suggests, it revolves around promoting yourself and highlighting personal achievements, credentials, and services.

It's about putting yourself front and center, showcasing your expertise, and persuading others to engage with your services.

Self-promotion often takes the form of explicit statements about one's qualifications, experience, and services, with the primary goal of attracting your ideal clients/audience.

While this can be added to your social media strategy, be mindful of your words/messaging when doing so.

There's nothing wrong with promoting yourself at all but if not executed with grace and humility, it can sometimes come across as egotistic which deters your ideal audience to know you more.


On the other hand, idea promotion involves sharing valuable insights, knowledge, and expertise with the primary intention of educating and helping others.

Instead of focusing on yourself, idea promotion shifts the spotlight to the concepts, strategies, and principles that support one's professional practice.

It's about offering meaningful content or opening a discussion that enriches the lives of your audience.

It's about positioning yourself as a credible resource and thought leader who genuinely cares about the well-being of others! 🙌

Now, you might be wondering:

  • How do I promote my ideas without it feeling like shameless self-promotion?

The key lies in shifting your mindset from "selling" to "serving."

Think of yourself not as a salesperson, but as a trusted resource and ally in their journey towards mental wellness.

Here are some practical strategies to help you strike the right balance between self-promotion and idea promotion on social media:

1️⃣ Educate, Don't Advertise:

  • Instead of bombarding your audience with promotional content, focus on creating educational posts that offer valuable insights and tips related to your expertise/niche.

  • Share articles, blog posts, or infographics that address common concerns, and provide expert advice or evidence-based/science-backed details without giving away too much considering some nuances.

2️⃣ Share The Transformation:

  • Help your ideal audience visualize what 'point B' feels like; not just what it looks like.

    • If where they are right now is 'point A', and where they want to be is 'point B' - how will your services/programs/courses help them reach that destination?

  • For online programs/courses, share case studies or testimonials that illustrate the outcomes/results of your offerings.

    • Please make sure you get the written consent of your client if you prefer to use their first name.

    • Otherwise, protect their privacy if they prefer to provide you feedback BUT want to maintain their anonymity,

3️⃣ Engage Authentically:

  • Social media is inherently social, so don't shy away from engaging with your audience in meaningful conversations.

  • Respond to comments, answer questions, and participate in relevant discussions within your niche (except of course for those who are looking for individualized advice).

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In short, self-promotion and idea promotion represent two distinct approaches to engaging with your audience on social media.

By reframing your approach, you can take advantage of the power of social media to educate, inspire, and connect with your audience authentically.

Focus on promoting ideas that empower and uplift as this will enhance your online presence and also contribute to the well-being of your community.

So, the next time you're hesitant to share your expertise on social media, remember that you're promoting valuable ideas that have the potential to transform lives! 🌟


Looking for more support? HERE'S HOW I CAN HELP YOU 👇

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Cheering you on,

MJ 💕


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