Something I do from time to time is offer to promote other people on my blogs. Two weeks ago I promoted a local artist friend of mine on two different blogs, reaching out to a very large audience. I'm not sure how much it helped him overall, but people liked looking at his art and made positive comments, and he enjoyed it.

I network with a lot of people, and something I know pretty well is that many people say they're looking for opportunities to spread their message offline and online. Every once in awhile I'm impressed with them enough to ask them if I can do an interview with them for one of my blogs. The interviews I post here for the most part have a set format, which is pretty easy to maintain. The interviews for my other sites aren't set, but I have a process where I ask anywhere from 5 to 10 questions then let the person answer them however they wish.

Here's the thing. I also know SEO and social media, and I know that my sites are fairly highly ranked. One is even in the top 100,000 on Alexa. No matter who says what, it's always better having a higher ranked website than others, no matter what the ranking service is (except Google's page rank, but that's a topic for another day.) At least 99.95% of the time when I'm making this offer to someone, my sites are easily ranked higher than theirs. This means that any promotion I give them, which is a link back to their site as well as visitors here learning about them, is going to benefit them more than it's going to benefit me.

Why am I talking about this? Over the last couple of weeks I've met a lot of people both online and offline. I have offered many people an opportunity to participate in the interviewing process. To me, giving an interview in your own words, written by you, is one of the easiest things in the world to do. You're already online so you shouldn't fear anyone getting to know you, and you can only get positivity from it.

Yet only my artist friend has taken me up on the offer. Free promotion, and only one taker? Something has to be wrong there.

The same goes for my consultant's group. I'm on the board, and we always offer the members a chance to be the spotlight presenter for the meeting, which gives them 5 minutes to talk about themselves then 5 minutes to answer questions. In the last 3 years only myself and 2 other people have taken up the opportunity; free advertising, but people are missing it.

Let's broaden this experience to the "real world", if you will. Over the course of years working for others, I used to see many people miss their opportunities to shine and thus get promoted where they work. They saw some jobs as beneath them, or the concept of sharing with others something abhorrent. They felt that no one was looking anyway so why put forth more effort than they have to.

The truth is twofold. Indeed, most of the time leadership isn't looking at you at all, unless you mess up. The other side of that coin is that if you happen to be super, someone that's always there ready to help get things done, someone willing to take that next selfless step, you will be noticed. I remember sitting in meetings talking about employees in general when a name would come up and even people for whom that person didn't work would say "Oh yeah, so-and-so is really good". When you have a director from another department able to recognize how good you are, that's saying something.

I tend to think many people are taking the easy way out, then complaining about something that they actually have some control over. When I was a guy working every day, I gave more than I had to. I got promoted often, quickly, and at one point in my life was the highest paid director where I was working. People knew they could count on me; it was an image I cultivated. I wanted to be that guy.

Are you that person? Or are you someone who, if you think about it, is missing out on opportunities that could be getting you promoted?