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Guide on how to promote yourself
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Regardless of what talent you are pursuing whether it be a performing art, a sporting activity or an academic talent you will usually need to have a strong following or fan base to help you achieve your dream.

In the modern era it is getting easier and easier to do this with increasing opportunities and technological advancements. So in this section we are going to take you through ways you can promote yourself.

Now for years the tried and tested way to promote yourself has been to have your very own website. This is still very important in today's world as having your own website gives you the platform to let people know who you are and what you are about. It also gives you the chance to keep people updated with your latest news and provides a way for people to contact you.

The main way people find out about companies, events and individuals is through search engines on the internet. It is important that you make sure that your website is well designed and ranks highly in searches on engines like Google. Once someone has found your site you then to keep them coming back and you do this by regularly updating and adding content to the site.

Remember when building and designing your website is that this website will be a reflection on you with many people seeing your website before they actually see you in person. This means that it is important to have a professional looking website as having a poorly designed website will reflect badly on you and your talent even though the website has no reflection on your talent.

Shop around for a cheap deal on a domain name and then find someone who is good at designing websites or learn how to do it yourself. Getting a web designer can be costly so this is when you need to ask favours from friends or ask your friends if they know any good web designers.

As well as having your own website you can now setup pages on many other websites. Setting yourself up on social networking sites like MySpace, Facebook and Bebo are a great way of promoting yourself as you can literally build yourself an online fan group.

When you are on these social networking websites you need to go and add friends to your page from the pool of millions of users that use these sites. You also need to keep your page regularly updated with profile information, photos, music, statuses and much more.

When someone accepts you as a friend be sure to look after them and go on their page to say thanks. This is a great way of networking as now all the friends of your new friend will be able to see your post on their wall and find out about you. Sites like MySpace even have special sections and profile pages for bands and singers which you can create that can help you even more.

There are a few web phenomenon that is sweeping the world at the moment. The first is blogging which is a great way to share news and information with the world. There are hundreds of blogging websites and hundreds of blogging communities you can join. The more you promote your blog by getting it listed in blog directories and blog networks them ore popular your blog will become. Many internet users now use blogs and blogging to find out information and to be entertained.

The second phenomenon is online video sharing. Websites like YouTube get millions of viewers each day by allowing its users to upload their own videos. Not only is posting videos online a great way to show the world what your talent is it's a great way to promote yourself and gain fans as it may become a popular video in the video watching community which accounts for a high percentage of internet users.

The third phenomenon is podcasting. Podcasting is when you record some audio edit it and then post it online for people to listen to. You can then using the power of RSS feeds link them all to one feed and people can then subscribe to your Podcasts. Podcasts are a great way of promoting yourself by either entertaining people or informing people through your audio recording.

On the internet you can also piggyback of the success of others. If you are a band and your music is like an established band you can join their online forums and communities and let their fans know about your band. If you are going to do this be sure to join I their community a many forums will ban or block you if you only go on to promote yourself.

The internet is by no means the only way to promote yourself. One of the best means of promotion is getting your face in newspapers and magazines. Whenever you do something or have some news be sure to send it to all your local newspapers along with a photo. If you build a good rapport with the newspapers and local media including Radio and TV it can be great free publicity.

You need to get yourself down to every event which you feel may be a chance to gain some more fans whether it be a village fete or a county show they all help. If your talent is a performing art then you need to get yourself as many shows as possible.

If you need someone to employ you, sign you or notice you then you need to be proactive to promote yourself to them. This means that you need regularly email, write to and ring as many people as possible on a regular basis that you think could employ you, sign you or notice you.

Always be on the look out for competitions and TV programmes you can enter. Talent shows like the X-factor or reality shows like Big Brother can be great way of getting publicity. So keep on emailing and ringing TV production companies to see if they have any shows you can apply to be on. As well as the big TV shows always be on the look out for the local competitions as these can be great ways of establishing yourself and winning some prizes along the way.

Remember when promoting yourself, using a social networking site or running your own website with a way for people to contact you to stay safe. Never give out any very personal information like exact addresses, phone numbers etc. Always inform your parents on everything you do online and in public and parents please also keep a check on what your children are doing online, who they are contacting or where they are going. Stay safe.

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