Shameless self-promotion or: Entering an age of “I don’t care about your start-up”

self-promotion

We have entered an age in which it is clear to almost everyone that we do not, in fact, live in a world where people are heard/seen according to merits. Those visual artists, novelists, and playwrights whom we consider most successful owe their success as much to luck and the whole ‘being at the right time at the right place’ thing as to hard work. Sadly though, it seems that people have taken it up to themselves to honour this transition by screaming louder, posting more, and promoting their project even more intensely on all available platforms.

People are constantly encouraged, pressured even, to create a ‘personal brand’. Finding that certain something making a person special and then making use of that edge. Honestly, makes sense! In an age of cross-platform promotion and creating a Facebook page for just about anything (including your own public page as a journalist independently of how legitimate your writing endeavours are) creating a coherent online persona seems to be vital. Especially Facebook stands out as a natural breeding ground for people who do not fear dumping their newest project on their list of friends and followers. What I would call “shameless self-promotion” seems to be the norm in order for new events, start-ups or acts to gain traction.

Self-promotion is, per definition, promoting yourself and your myspace album called ‘me, myself & I’. It’s seems to me that it is less what that specific person and their group of friends produced and want to share with the Maastricht student community and more of a ‘hey look at what a cool guy I am’ show.

I’m not trying to say, people should keep their art locked up in their basements with fear of someone subjecting them to public attention. This is not a case for introversion! It’s merely a few suggestions on how to not look like a self-absorbed asshat. First of all, cool it with creating false pressure. It is never the ‘last chance’ to do anything. Thinking about it, this would be a very stressful way to live. Second of all, it is not very hard track personal relationships on Facebook. What I am saying is, if you get your five best friends to post how much they are looking forward to your event before and how incredible it was after, it creates traffic, yes. However, is this the kind of attention that will give you a sustained place in the spotlight? In an effort to discredit the idea of expertise, stop selling yourself as such. Going abroad for a semester does not make a foreign relations expert as much as playing your friend’s birthday makes a DJ.

As a last thought, in my experience it’s the least interesting people who present themselves like they’re the second coming. So stop it, all of you! I demand mindful content on my social media.

This is a lament as much as an open invitation to harass me with your newest project. In the spirit of shameless self-promotion, contact me on Twitter for feedback – unless it’s negative, then address it to the Kichaka Team.

Written by Isabel Schmuck

© Klementine Klein Photography, 2015.