It's a fine line between tooting your own horn and being "that guy/girl" and it's a line that, as an entrepreneur, you will have walk (and you'll probably cross it a few times too). However, without self-promotion you'll probably end up with little promotion so shamelessness can be a virtue, especially when it comes to running your own business. Here are some tips on how to promote yourself without crossing that fine line.
We often think of the artist or the musician as that person who is always trying to be discovered, but it is just as often that businesses are in that same boat - and the difference between being loud or quiet can mean the difference between whether you stay in business or not.
1) Keep your information up to date: Another easy thing that gets overlooked, but specifically in America people love to say how busy they are, and, too that end, they like to see other people busy. Keep your social media and resume up to date with any projects you're working on that people might be interested in. The more it seems like you are doing the better you look.
2) Talk: Social media has made it easier to talk than ever! Utilize social media to let people know when you are doing something. People will recognize the work you do, and, while they might not comment, they have an understanding of the work you do. These understated reminders that you're doing stuff is great for keeping a buzz going. For many it's as easy as starting a blog. Sometimes blogging can feel like talking into a vacuum, but write about what you are doing, ask for help, talk about successes, etc. It's all about getting your voice heard in the sea of voices. If you are a business owner it is probably because you have an expertise that valued by other people, make sure you're talking about that experience. Be sure when you are talking to speak with authority and be sure to write it in a language that your target audience can understand.
3) Ask for Publicity: This is public relations 101 - the media rarely comes to you. Go out and ask people to talk about you because everyone else is! Create press releases when you finish something or have a break through. Don't expect CNN to pick up your story but another blogger with credibility on your area of expertise might pick it up which might get you huge sales. Take a t-shirt maker, if you make bike related t-shirts and one of the nations largest bike blogs picks it up a story on your shirts, your product is now in front of a huge audience that might buy your shirt. Sometimes all it takes is an ask.