If you’ve been avoiding Instagram Stories, creating Reels, or posting selfies, I recorded this episode for YOU.
10 years ago you could get away with building a brand and not including yourself as part of it. But if you’re running businesses online, asking strangers on the internet to pay you, then you need to hit a level of trust that only comes from allowing your audience to get to know you.
You need to show up and share your personality to attract not only enough clients or customers but the RIGHT clients or customers. If you’ve ever had a bad client match you know what a bummer it can be!
Luckily this is one of the easiest things to fix and you don’t haaaave to do video, but I really think you should ;)
So today on the podcast we’re talking about getting over your fear of showing up and feeling confident as the face of your business.
Need more motivation + accountability? Join The Essentials for twice monthly coaching, all the trainings, and a rad community of business owners just like you! We’ll kick that fear to the curb in no time!
This issue is one of the top ways solopreneurs keep their business from growing and one of the easiest things to fix. You can literally listen to this episode and then start showing up more. It’s not about dressing a certain way or having professional photos. It’s about being the face of your brand and allowing your personality, preferences, experiences to shine through and help make what you teach or share even more valuable.
We worry about other people doing similar things or being in a saturated niche, but showing up with your vibe, style, and personality is what keeps things like an oversaturated niche from being a problem. It doesn’t matter who you are, where you’re from, how you grew up – there is someone out there for everyone. You want to learn meditation from a yogi in India? You can. From a model in Manhattan? You can. From a Mom in Milwaukee? You can. Which means YOU can find your place in your niche too!
Think about music – how many different genres and how many different artists are in every genre? Do you think any of them went…well there are already a lot of singers out there, already a lot of guitar players, it’s not even worth trying. No! Those artists got popular because they weren’t afraid of sharing their thoughts and showing up. (or they were afraid and did it anyway) If Madonna and Taylor Swift and Enya can all get famous for doing the same thing, then there’s an audience out there for you too.
So here’s the question: Are you more willing to stay where you are in your business than to be uncomfortable for an hour?
Because that’s what it takes.
A handful of stories or IGTV or Reels. Posting a selfie. Adding in music from your favorite band. Showing the cutest part of your apartment. After you show up just a few times you’ll start to feel more comfortable AND more importantly, you’ll start to see a response, and more engagement from your audience.
The consequence of not showing up is that your business doesn’t grow. Maybe if you’re lucky it stays where it is, but staying in a stalled position is really tough on your mindset because we’re programmed to keep going. If you get stuck, even if you are comfortable there, it’s still feels like you’re falling behind. Especially in the online business and marketing industry where we’re all sharing everything we’re doing.
If you stay where things are comfortable, where people don’t really notice you, and where you’re not standing out, then you’re going to stay stuck.
When I started my business social media wasn’t a thing yet – we were all just blogging. But when YouTube and Periscope got popular I knew I had to figure out video. It wasn’t something I wanted to do, it was something I forced myself to do. I showed up multiple times being awkward, talking really fast, not knowing how to look at the camera, and losing my train of thought. But even when I felt silly or awkward or I didn’t speak as eloquently as I would’ve liked, people still kept showing up and kept purchasing from me. I would literally get off those lives and think…I definitely sounded like a moron. But then I would watch it back and it really wasn’t that bad.
Now I show up almost every day on Instagram without makeup, or a bra, or doing my hair. And my audience appreciates it because they’re also solopreneurs and business owners and they’re at home on their computer, braless, and without makeup too!
My audience is full of people who follow me BECAUSE of the way I show up, not in spite of it.
They’re in for watching me with messy hair, my dogs wrestling in the background, and one of the reasons is that it gives them permission to show up that way too.
There’s also a level of trust that is earned by just showing up exactly how you are. It’s trust from your audience, but also trusting your audience and knowing that they’ll still like you and listen to you if you aren’t perfect. And they will! Especially after the last year and the lack of human interaction people are really craving some realness in their social media.
But this isn’t just about doing stories or recording videos, it’s about showing up fully as your weird, silly, funny, awkward, gorgeous self and how this will unlock engagement and connection with your audience.
Speaking with my rad client Tosh (@toshpatterson) last week she was telling me how she was a guest on someone’s Instagram live and was promoting open enrollment for her coaching program. After that live, a woman who was watching immediately asked to enroll in her almost $1000 program. She’d never heard of Tosh before that, but when Tosh showed up as her amazing radiant self it was exactly what that woman needed to hear to feel comfortable buying.
How many opportunities like that are you missing out on? How many people are literally waiting for someone who can help them, they’ve got their cash ready, and they haven’t found you yet because you’re holding back??
So if you…
- know you should be posting more on Instagram but you’re often at a loss for what to share
- You see other people posting and worry that your stuff is too similar
- You’re posting to your feed, but video and Stories make you really nervous
Think about this – often what holds us back on Instagram isn’t WHAT to post, but what will HAPPEN when we post.
So you might be worried that:
✗ No one will respond
✗ People will judge how you look or what you say
✗ The trolls will show up
✗ You’ll annoy your audience and they’ll unfollow/unsubscribe
What you forget is that your audience, who already follows you, is waiting for more.
Your business isn’t just about you, it’s about the people who are waiting for you to show up, needing you to show up.
Right now, someone is looking for what YOU do and you might be the ONLY person they follow. If you don’t share your experiences, your expertise, who is going to help them??
What can you do besides hopping on video to infuse more of YOU into your brand?
Think about this – if your friends, family, or partner had to describe you, what would they say? Mine would say that I’m super cute, encouraging, and funny – my sense of humor is either very dry or silly and weird. I am really good at cracking people up with my one liners. They’d probably also tell you that I’m obsessed with dogs, Schitts Creek, and reading.
So make a list like this for yourself (or ask someone to tell you about yourself). And then look at what you share online and decide if your audience knows these things too. Because you can show off your personality without revealing your personal life. Whether that’s showing up and talking on video, taking photos in front of your favorite art, wearing clothes that show off your style, picking music that you actually like instead of what’s popular on IG.
I’ve been doing this for years, so the clients and students I attract now are such a good match for me. I literally get off my coaching calls and think to myself – my students are so cool, that was so fun, I love hanging out with them. I literally feel so high on life and full of excitement after speaking with them.
But you only end up in that situation when you put your personality and your experiences and your thoughts out there. Not everyone is going to like you but a whole bunch of people are going to LOVE you. But if you don’t show up you never give them that chance.
Next, make a list of all your experiences related to your expertise. Because your experiences help you stand out from others in your niche.
Yes there are a ton of business coaches, but what makes me different?? I’ve been blogging, designing, and creating content since 1997 – that’s 24 years! I have an Emmy for web design. And because of that experience I don’t just teach business and marketing theory, I teach the tech stuff too, which helps separate me from the crowd.
So start with the first inkling of being interested in your thing (maybe you were a kid, maybe it was last year) and then list out every moment or experience that got you to where you are now. And then talk about them, often. Yes, throw in some tips and advice, but anyone can share that- if it’s embedded within a story it’s easier to remember. If you have 10 experiences or significant moments that’s 10 pieces of content. And it’s content you can repeat because your story will always be important.
And lastly, fill your website, Instagram, videos with the stuff YOU love. There are no right colors or the right outfit to attract the biggest audience. And trying to create a brand that looks a certain way because it’s popular is a lot more effort than just show up as the best version of you. So are you obsessed with? Cats? Living near the beach? Hiking or biking? Put that stuff into your content. Take photos with your animals. Wear your favorite outfits in your photos. Add your favorite music into your Reels or Stories. Those things can help catch people’s eye before they have a chance to read your caption and learn from you.
And I know you don’t want to hear it, but you can show off your personality and build the trust needed to make sales a whole lot faster via video where people can see your what you’re really like.
I know the last thing you want to do is document your awkwardness for everyone to see, but right now Instagram prioritizes video. Using Stories, video posts, Reels, and IGTV are a really great way to get your content in front of more people and connect more deeply with those that already follow you.
Start with one video (you don’t even have to post it, just practice), start with one Reel (just to see how it works), start with one Story (it disappears in 24 hrs anyway), start with a selfie. And then make a habit of doing a little more each week. Because anything you commit to, anything you practice you’ll get better at and more comfortable with.
If you need more accountability, hand holding, and training on the tech side of Reels and Stories – head over to xosarah.com/essentials to become a member and let me know how I can support you. I’m available on our coaching calls twice a month and in the Facebook almost every day!