I Stink at Self-Promotion

So... this situation keeps happening to me and I'm not sure how to handle it.  It might be at church, school, or on the sports field... but inevitably I'll be involved in someone else's group/class/team and they will be recruiting volunteers. They'll walk up to me and hand me a PAPER sign up sheet and ask me to sign up. 

I am always speechless.  I don't mean to sound pompous... but you have to understand that I've been developing and thinking about SignUpGenius.com almost non-stop for several years now. So for me... my brain can no longer imagine someone who would actually still deal with all the hassles of paper. It seems so outdated. It's like going into someone's house and seeing a rotary phone. Really?  You haven't heard that they have BUTTONS now?!

Of course, not everyone knows about SignUpGenius. And I get that... and we've been spreading the word on the web and are indebted to our many passionate users who have been telling their friends. But that said.. it's completely different when you tell somebody about something you personally helped create.  For some reason, people are naturally skeptical of their friends.  It's like they think I'm trying to sell them something or that I couldn't possibly be involved in developing a major website. 

I'm sure that says something about my own level of confidence and how I present myself.  I can always hear my mother whispering to me to stand up taller and talk clearly.  Or maybe it's has to do with that concept of a "prophet being rejected in his own town."  Like when a company hires for a position from outside the company despite having qualified people on staff. You just don't think the guy that you see everyday could be the answer.

But regardless... I usually blow my pitch.  I offer to setup the form myself... I assure them it is free... I drop numbers of how many people are using our site. I still usually get polite smiles and promises to "check it out."  I've never been much of a salesman.

That's why it was so funny... The other day, a staff person at the church where I'm a member was trying to figure out how they could coordinate outreach volunteers. So they found another prominent church in our city and went over there to get some consultation.  They sat down in the meeting and one of the first things this other church leader says is "Look... we could never coordinate all we do without this great site that manages it all for us.  It's called SignUpGenius.com."  

Yeah... I think I'll leave the promotion to our fiercely loyal users and our company marketing guru, Helena.  They do a lot better than I can. And I'll keep focused on our development team. And if someone hands me a paper sign up sheet in the future... I'll just have them call one of our users to explain SignUpGenius.  

They can even make that call on their rotary phone. 

Posted by Dan Rutledge

Report Abuse


Posted by Dan Rutledge on Fri Sep 24, 2010 8:04 AM EST
Thanks so much for spreading the word, Carol! One thing that has been fun for me about this site is getting to know some of our fantastic users. We have organized, generous go-getters like yourself that lead and coordinate all kinds of change-their-community activities. It's always inspiring. Planners of the world unite!

Posted by Carol Clayton on Thu Sep 23, 2010 1:05 PM EST
I just posted on Facebook-I know so many parents and activist/volunteers of all stripes-this is such a, well, genius tool. We'll do the promotion for you! Now if only someone would promote my photography business for me....

Posted by Carol Stephenson on Mon Sep 20, 2010 12:16 PM EST
I am thrilled with Sign-Up genius and I am sure it will spread like wildfire. I suggest for your next enhancement... Carpool Genius!

Posted by Dan Rutledge on Thu Sep 16, 2010 9:24 PM EST
Thanks for the kind words! We'll keep working to improve the site so that it is more and more useful for you.

Posted by Cub Scout PACK 747 on Thu Sep 16, 2010 7:35 PM EST
I LOVE sign-up genius! I am coordinating volunteers, snacks etc. for a Cub Scout Pack - this is a WONDERFUL tool! Thanks!

Posted by Valerie Beckert on Thu Sep 16, 2010 6:14 PM EST
Just was alerted to your website by my sister...Thx G! Our school families are going to LOVE it! Thanks and keep up the good work!

Posted by Dan Rutledge on Tue Sep 14, 2010 12:32 PM EST
Thanks Sue! Really appreciate you spreading the word... in a much better way than I would, I'm sure! :)

Posted by Sue Ewig on Tue Sep 14, 2010 12:14 PM EST
Hilarious! Thanks for the laugh and thanks for all you do. I love SignUpGenius and have already told several people about the AMAZING support you provide on this FREE site!

Post Your Comment

NOTE: You do not need an account to post. For the ability to delete, create an account.

First Name:*   
Last Name:*   
Email me when new comments are made to this page