Robert Herjavec Shares Why You Don’t Have to be a Shark to Create Success

As an avid watcher of Shark Tank, I jumped at the opportunity to attend an AOL Build taping with “Nice Shark” Robert Herjavec. For those of you who don’t know Robert, he is a successful entrepreneur, cyber security expert, and investor, having come to this country as an immigrant with nothing, and is now worth over $200 million dollars. He was talking about his new book, You Don’t Have to Be a Shark: Creating Your Own Success.

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After seven years of being on Shark Tank, Robert observed that “…people are afraid of sales”. Many people think “sales” is a four letter word or has a sleazy connotation. This inspired Robert to write a book that teaches non-business people how to sell. Herjavec believes you must learn how to sell yourself to create your own success.

Here are some key takeaways from the interview relating to self-promoting your personal brand:

1) If you don’t learn how to sell something… especially yourself…you are not going to be successful in business, at your job, or in relationships.

2) You don’t have to be pushy or arrogant, but you must have confidence in what you are selling.

3) Nobody wants to do business with people who don’t even believe in themselves.

4) Be great at something that you are passionate about.

Watch below the full AOL Build interview of Robert Herjavec on You Don’t have to be a Shark: Creating Your Own Success.

What impressed me about Robert is that there is something relatable about him and his story. To go from someone with nothing to make it big in business is the American dream, even though he’s Canadian. He has done this with passion. Robert shared a story about one of his first computer jobs he got out of college which he had no training for, but he showed he had the passion. He told the boss that he was willing to work free for the first six months until he learned the skills necessary to succeed, and then they could decide to pay Robert if he gave them good value. Robert bet on himself because he believed in himself. On Shark Tank, he regularly invests in people who believe in themselves. It is this passion, this authenticity, that can make you stand out from the crowd in business, or in any endeavor in life.

About Andria Younger

Andria Younger is a personal brand strategist and marketing consultant in New York City and ranked in LinkedIn’s Top 25 for personal branding. Follow Andria on Twitter or check out Andria’s personal branding blog at

Self-Promotion: Building Your Personal Brand Without Bragging

Have you ever had a meeting or conversation with someone and thought, “It’s always about them.” or, “They never asked me one question about how I was doing.”



Sounds familiar? We’ve all had negative experiences in our personal and professional lives with self-centered people who brag about themselves. Someone name dropping, or telling you how great they are, and never engaging others in the conversation is not self-promotion…. it’s BRAGGING. I know for myself, the art of self-promotion often doesn’t come naturally. Negative experiences I’ve had with people who “brag” can make me feel uncomfortable to promote myself.

There is a big difference between bragging and self-promotion. Self-promotion has more to do with active listening, asking questions, and talking less. It’s about coming from a place of, “How can I help?” vs. “What’s in it for me?” Especially for entrepreneurs, consultants, founders, and paid experts, the ability to actively listen well is actually a silent branding tactic that will help you “play big” and position you as a “go to” authority in your industry. The ability to self-promote and sell your expertise to people is critical to success.


Helen Dayen – Executive Business Coach

Recently, I met Helen Dayen, founder of The Dayen Group, at the launch of the NYC Working Mom’s Networking Meetup Group, which I co-founded. Helen is an executive business coach in New York City. She specializes in coaching successful professionals in industries such as financial services, tech, and consulting that are seeking greater success. During our conversation, she mentioned she had just given a presentation on self-promotion. I shared with her how some of my clients struggle with the same issue in trying to monetize their expertise. Helen gave me some expert advice and tips on self-promotion.

Like so many entrepreneurs, Helen’s journey and motivation to become an entrepreneur was triggered by life changing events. After 10 years as a sales professional on Wall Street, she realized a greater passion for transforming people’s careers and helping develop leaders more than selling bonds and thus made a choice to leave. The big catalyst for her to become an entrepreneur came when her mother was diagnosed with cancer. Helen’s mom told her, “Life is too short, and if you’re not happy, you should do something else.” At the same time, a close friend transitioning from the sell side in hedge funds was struggling with the transition. In wanting to help her friend, Helen started doing research on “how hedge fund managers deal with stress”. Through her research, Helen discovered the whole world of executive business coaching, which combined her passions for business, career development, and human psychology.

For a year, Helen continued to work in finance and did executive coaching on the side to see if she liked it. It turned out she was very good at it. Just like most professionals and entrepreneurs, she had to work on developing and honing her self-promotion skills to market her executive coaching business services. What she discovered about promotion, unlike when she was selling on Wall Street where self-promotion felt like “work”, marketing her services didn’t feel hard because she was authentic and passionate about being an executive coach.

Helen and I have both noticed an epidemic of people who are afraid to self-promote. Her clients are smart, hard-working, but don’t let people know what accomplishments they have achieved or even let people know “what” gifts and services they can provide. This leads to missed opportunities for new clients, a promotions, or recognition.

Most people think self-promotion is about walking into someone’s office bragging about how great you are. Helen disagrees 100% with this notion. You have to not just talk, but show. People have to know what you want, but it’s also important to gain trust, establishing a relationship where you can add value to what matter most for the other person. For example, a senior financial executive came to Helen for coaching. Even though this person had a great new position with an asset management company, she did not see it as a success. What the client realized was she wanted more client facing work than focusing on internal company financials. The game plan was to determine a goal the Chief Marketing Officer wanted accomplished, but didn’t have the time to do. Helen’s client started by asking questions to figure out what mattered to the CMO. The result of listening was overtime opportunities where she demonstrated her abilities, while gaining the trust and confidence of her CMO. Recognizing her added value, he asked her to be on direct calls with clients. The result, she now reports directly to the CMO, instead of the Chief Financial Officer, and is a valued member of the marketing team.

Here are some tips from Helen Dayen on how to be more effective at self-promotion:

1) Eliminate Negative Self-Talk. You cannot self-promote if you don’t believe in your own value. Negative self-talk is that voice in your head, self-doubt that you are not good enough. She has found most of that internal dialogue is based on emotion instead of facts. You need to identify what is the trigger that starts the negative self-talk and challenge those negative thoughts.

2) Discover What Matters to Others. When self-promoting and talking about what you do, take out the “I” and replace it with “You”, which is far more powerful! Come from a place of wanting to help. Ask yourself, “What does this other person care about, what worries them? Connect your expertise, connections, or skills as a solution to their problems. It is essential to figure out what matters to people to build trust and show how you can add value.

3) Identify What You Want. Before starting to self-promote, identify what you want to achieve. Make sure you have a clear and achievable vision for self-promotion success.

4) Build A Connection. Try to get to know people on a deeper emotional level by asking questions and validating their feelings. Tailor responses to what matters most to the other person, using their language. Find specific examples of how you helped with a similar problem or situation. Show you understand their struggles and frustrations, and build a relationship based on respect and trust.

5) Don’t Downplay Self-Accomplishments. Knowledge is power. Self-promoting can actually help others. When you hold information back assuming that it would be of no value to others, you are missing out on opportunities. Are you not sharing your accomplishments because you can’t see a direct link to your audience? Learn what motivates the individuals you are interacting with, and think about how you can connect their needs to your strengths.

Next time you are meeting with a prospective client, ask some of these questions, and think about how their responses can connect with your strengths:

  • “What do you not have time for?” Time is a precious resource. We cannot create more time and will only delegate time to people and companies we trust.
  • What has been a stumbling block?
  • What have you accomplished, and what has been a challenge this year or month?

Questions: Are you bragging or self-promoting? What have you found works when self-promoting your expertise?  Share your answers on LinkedIn or Twitter.

About Andria Younger

Andria Younger is a personal brand strategist and marketing consultant in New York City and ranked in LinkedIn’s Top 25 for personal branding. Follow Andria on Twitter or check out Andria’s personal branding blog at

DIY Project – Marketing and Promoting Your Personal Brand

Most entrepreneurs, paid experts, or consultants don’t have a lot of cash to burn on marketing. For those whose goal is to monetize their expertise, an online marketing strategy and self-promotion is a must! As a personal brand strategist and online marketing consultant, there are various free or minimal-cost ways to market and promote your company and/or services.

online-marketing-1246457_1280Here are some free or low cost marketing tactics you can do today to quickly start building reputation, authority, as well as generate leads for your services.


  • Search Engine Optimize your website. It’s worth the investment to hire someone to help you optimize your website for Google searches. You don’t need to spend a fortune. You can find top people on or Don’t forget clients may exist in your own backyard, so SEO your website for local search rankings, as well!
  • SEO blog posts for keywords. Make sure to SEO blog posts for key search words which help build your Google search rankings. WordPress plugins, such as Yoast and All In One SEO Pack Pro) makes it simple to do.
  • Be consistent with content publishing schedule. It doesn’t matter how much you publish, just try to be consistent in your content schedule. Stick to what works best for you – daily, bi-weekly, weekly, or monthly. Just be consistent and SEO content!
  • Crowd source for writers. Have great ideas for content? If you have the ideas, but not the time, don’t fall into the trap of writing everything yourself. Even NY Times Bestsellers have collaborators and editors. Hire affordable and professional writers/editors for content (i.e. blog posts, copy, social media posts, and eBooks) on sites like and
  • Start your own digital newspaper.   Curate content that’s aligns with your customers’ interests and automatically share that content on social media, and own your own website. For example, I have The Personal Brand Buzz.
  • Interest breeds authenticity. All your competitors are looking for customers in the same places. Stand out from your competition. Find out what your clients and prospects like to do for fun or social causes. For example, maybe they like to surf. Write a blog post connecting that interest with what you do.  Write about some of your own personal interests. You never know when something you have an authentic passion for will also build a connection with a prospect.


  • Leverage personal connections. Identify 10–15 people on your LinkedIn account who can recommend, refer, or hire your services. See if you can determine who they might know that can be a good fit for your services. Be specific on who you are looking to connect to, and most importantly ask them “How can I help build your success?” Reap the benefits by paying the favor forward.
  • Build an email list. People love free stuff! Write a book, white paper, or tip sheets. Create a pop-up or lead page on a website and offer a free download after people enter their email. Use app to capture contact info in emails.
  • Stay in touch. Use and send an email to your list at least once a month with a new blog post, link to a relevant study or article, or tools that your think you people find helpful in their day-to-day work or personal life.
  • Join and attend Meetup groups are a great way to meet and connect with prospective clients as well as fellow peers.  And, if there is not one near you, create your own group.
  • Offer pro bono services. Is there a non-profit or charity organization whose members are ideal clients for you? For example, I do pro bono marketing for my daughter’s PTA fundraiser, which has a number of parents who are consultants and entrepreneurs.
  • Attending an industry or networking event. Connect with the speakers and panelists at the sessions. They tend to be industry influencers and have extensive personal and professional connections.  Make sure to follow-up by connecting on social media, or see if you can meet for coffee.


  • Get free PR. Find opportunities to serve as an expert source for media by signing up for FREE at or One client who did this was successfully featured in press such as Forbes, Entrepreneur, and Business Insider.
  • Who doesn’t like free publicity? Interview a client, a follower, or influencer for your blog or a video and share on social media. Make sure to include their handle in the social media post. Helping them look good will only have positive effects for your reputation.
  • Think like a spy! Use or to find top influencers by topic. Follow to see what they write about. Write comments on their blog as a way to build relationships and strengthen your influence.
  • Express yourself. Read an interesting blog, article, or watched a compelling news segment? Write a comment about what you liked or counter point. Add to the conversation.   A friend made poignant commentary on a CNN blog post and ended up later being featured in a CNN segment story.


  • Speak up! Speaking is a great way to build your reputation as a paid expert, as well as generating word-of-mouth marketing leads for your services.
  • Where to speak? Connect with planners for events, chapters, or local professional organizations to see if there are opportunities for you to serve as a panelist, a presenter for a live event, or webinar guest. Also, check out and where you may find some great opportunities.
  • Do more than speak. Stand out from your competitors by adding extra value as a speaker. Offer to promote their event on your own social media, write a blog post or vlog for their website, or do a free webinar to help them promote their event. Added value for event organizers enhances your repeat opportunities.
  • Don’t let people go away empty handed. Most adults learn visually, so offer a free tip sheet or link to your slide presentation via Share your session with the event #hashtag or twitter account with a link to a free download of additional content material. Organizers and attendees LOVE THIS!
  • Offer a free webinar. A great way to showcase your expertise, promote your brand, build social proof, and generate leads.


  • LinkedIn is a Must! A LinkedIn account is a must to build your authority and reputation as an expert. Publish your blog posts on LinkedIn, join relevant groups for target markets, and offer advice or comments for group questions, or ask questions for fostering further discussions
  • Manage your social media. Social media can be a time sucker. Post 5 times a day on social media. Plan out and schedule your content using tools like or to manage, as well as track analytics.
  • Don’t forget to share your blog post. For each blog post create 5 different tweets about your blog post to go out at various times within a 24 hour span, as well as post to other social media accounts..
  • What’s hot today? Each day look at what is trending on twitter. Join in the conversation by retweeting, adding a comment, or creating at tweet. Find ways to connect the topic discussion back to your brand.
  • Make a video on your smartphone. People love video. Create a 90 second “How To” video using your smart phone and share on social media. Need a video editor? Check out or
  • Build is a great tool to help you build your Twitter audience. You want to try and keep your Twitter follower and following to a 1:1 ratio. Clean house periodically and unfollow those who don’t follow to keep your Twitter feed fresh.

Questions: What marketing tactics have you tried that have generated good results? What is the one thing you struggle with the most when marketing your expertise and personal brand? Share your answers on LinkedIn or Twitter.

About Andria Younger

Andria Younger is a personal brand strategist and marketing consultant in New York City and ranked in LinkedIn’s Top 25 for personal branding. Follow Andria on Twitter or check out Andria’s personal branding blog at