Finding the Confidence to Get Visible

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If you want to attract clients to your business, you know that means getting visible with them online.

And when we think of all the ways we can get visible, it probably looks something like this:

👉 Sharing things on social media
👉 Having a stunning brand identity and beautiful website
👉 Creating content for a blog, podcast, or YouTube channel
👉 Networking with people in online communities

You may call these activities building brand awareness or online marketing, but it doesn’t really matter what you call them — they’re things we engage in that allow clients to see us, like and trust us, and eventually, buy from us.

*Record scratching sound.* Hold up.

Let’s rewind for a sec and go back to the part where we “allow clients to see us.” Because I think what doesn’t get said often enough is that it takes courage to be seen.

And I don’t mean it takes courage to set up a Facebook page and post things to it. I mean it takes courage to truly be seen for who we are, to tell the world about the amazing gifts we have to offer, and to really–I mean really–put ourselves out there.

Gulp, right?

Want more visibility? Then you can’t play it small. You gotta show up in a way that sets you apart, that’s memorable and gets your audience telling their friends about you. And that? Usually means stepping waaaaaay outside our comfort zones.

Which is objectively terrifying.

But that’s why you’re here and we’re gonna work through it. 😉

The secret to getting more visible: having the confidence to be seen

What I want you to know right up front is that having the confidence to be seen in a much bigger way doesn’t come naturally to most people. I’ve yet to meet an entrepreneur who isn’t holding themselves back in some way and making themselves smaller than they’re capable of.

One of my favorite questions to ask my clients, colleagues, and even myself is…

What are those things you KNOW will get you more visible with the right people but you’re just not doing them?

We all have those things. They’re there in the back of our minds, those fleeting thoughts we quickly suppress that start with, “I should really_____.”

  • Host a workshop
  • Attend a conference or networking event
  • Give a speech
  • Lead a Facebook group
  • Get on Facebook live and share a tip
  • Create and promote a webinar
  • Connect with influencers in my industry to see if there’s a way we can collaborate
  • Reach out to prospects and invite them to get on a call
  • Start a blog, podcast, YouTube channel
  • Write a book

What is YOUR thing?

What’s holding you back from doing it?

What things are you doing instead that aren’t doing a damn thing to help you move forward?

In other words…

What Does Your Comfort Zone Look Like? 

As soon as those thoughts about “what we should be doing” appear, we quickly push them to the back of our minds and focus on something else. Some activity that feels safe. An activity that’s not going to get us visible...

👉 Checking analytics, seeing how many new followers and subscribers you have.
👉 Reading blog posts that promise the secrets to achieving our goals.
👉 Taking yet another course.
👉 Checking out the competition… man, they’re killin’ it.
👉
Getting completely overwhelmed, shutting it all down, and turning on Netflix.
👉 Doing busywork
👉 Fussing and fiddling with things that aren’t ultimately that important
👉 Procrastinating

Let’s be honest: these are all things we all do to avoid doing the scary things. So those things you know you need to do? That’s for later. That’s for when you “feel motivated and ready.”

(Sorry to break it to you, but that’s not a thing.)

Let’s get to the heart of what’s really going on here, shall we?

The Most Common Ways Entrepreneurs Hold Themselves Back

I want to dive into some major ways I see my fellow entrepreneurs hold themselves back (and the ways I hold myself back, too). As you read through them, and where you recognize yourself, I want you to ask yourself… “If I could overcome this limiting belief, how would that change the game for me?

Deal?

Then, I want you to visualize your future business and in turn, your future life

How is it different? What would you be able to do for yourself, your family, your community–even the world–that you can’t do now?

#1 Imposter Syndrome

The symptoms:

  • You feel like everyone else knows more than you do
  • You feel like if you put yourself out there in a bigger way, you’ll be exposed as the fraud that you are 
  • You attribute any success you have to luck–that somehow you’ve fooled people into believing you’re more capable, talented, and/or intelligent than you really are

Fun Fact About Imposter Syndrome: It’s most prevalent among high-achieving people.

How Imposter Syndrome Affects Your Visibility:

  • You may feel uncomfortable with self-promotion
  • You may feel anxiety about sharing your views or work
  • Or you may struggle with imposter syndrome’s cousin, perfectionism

Here Are Some Ways To Cure Imposter Syndrome

#1 Take the focus off of yourself 

Instead, think about the people you can help. You are capable of helping others even if you’re only one step ahead of them, so you don’t have to wait until you’re the leading expert in your industry to get out there and help people.

They need you to show up. They need to hear from you. What they don’t need is for you to be perfect, a leading expert, a guru, or a ninja.

(And by the way, you become an expert through practice and experience.)

#2 Recognize when your ego is playing tricks

It’s helpful to be aware of the stories you tell yourself because our ego means well and tries to protect us, but that doesn’t make the stories we tell ourselves true.

When you catch yourself thinking, “Who am I to put my voice out there? Somebody else is already doing it better!” that’s your ego being a trickster.

You are enough. Today. Right now. So see #1 and do something to get more visible with the people you can help.

#3 Remember that the most successful people you know are feeling the exact same way

It’s easy to think that everyone else has it all figured out, but they don’t.

When someone achieves success in one area, they move on to the next challenge. As soon as they conquer Imposter Syndrome in one area, a new one crops up.

“Who am I to do this thing? Somebody else is already doing it better!” starts all over again.

Conquering Imposter Syndrome is a process. It all starts with being aware when it’s holding you back–that’s probably your signal that it’s the very thing you need to get over in order to get visible.

#2 Comparisonitis

The symptoms:

  • You feel like everyone else is so much further ahead than you there’s no way you’ll ever catch up
  • You have a hard time articulating your own unique strengths and value
  • You feel envious or inadequate when you see what other people are doing

How Comparisonitis Affects Your Visibility:

  • You’re tempted to mimic what others are doing and wind up with a knock-off version of someone else’s brand
  • You don’t attempt things because you won’t be great at them in the beginning
  • You’re unclear about your own direction and value, so your brand message isn’t unique to you  
  • You feel intimidated to express yourself because somebody else has already said or done it better

Fun Fact About Comparisonitis: It’s more common today than at any other time in history thanks to social media

We rarely get to see the:

  • Struggle
  • Insecurity
  • Failure
  • Mistakes
  • Embarrassing moments
  • Obstacles

Here Are Some Ways To Cure Comparisonitis

#1 Give yourself a personal challenge

What could you accomplish if you really put your mind to it?

Imagine your future-self one year from now: you’ve dedicated yourself to learning or mastering a thing and you applied regular, consistent effort toward that achieving goal.

Where could you be?

That’s the vision you want to hold in your mind, and when you want to compare yourself to something, compare yourself to where you were a month ago, six months ago, a year ago.

Recently in my own life, I had to check myself and do this very thing…

It was one year ago that I set a goal to learn the Croatian language within 2 years. Each morning, I pull up a Croatian news site and try to read an article and it takes me an hour. I don’t understand half of it and I just want to cry!

But when I read a story that’s at my current level? I wiz through it with ease. I rarely have to look up words and I comprehend exactly what’s going on.

Could I do THAT a year ago? Heck no, not even close. And when I think about it that way, the frustration disappears and I just keep on doing what I’m doing. Comparing my 1 year spent with the language to readers who’ve had 20+ years with it is not going to help me get where I want to be.

Said another way…

Keep your eyes on your own paper and keep going.

#2 Celebrate your micro wins

We don’t give ourselves credit. When one person signs up for our mailing list it’s like, “Ugh, only one person signed up for my mailing list, Julie has 50,000 people on hers!”

Celebrate that one person who raised their hand and said, “I like what you have to say and I want to hear more from you.”

That’s not a tiny thing, that’s a BIG HUGE THING, so celebrate the hell out of it.

Those micro wins are signals that you’re on the right track and tell you that you need to keep going, double down, amplify.

Big wins don’t just happen. They’re an accumulation of hundreds and thousands of micro-wins along the way.

#3 Practice gratitude

Be grateful for what you have now. For every person who trusted you enough to hire you or buy from you, for every person who followed you on Facebook or visited your website… be grateful for them. It’s too easy to look at our stats and forget that there are real people attached to those numbers.

The more grateful you are for the people who have raised their hands and said “yes,” the more people will be attracted to you and say “Yes! Me too!”

#4 Conduct this “IT’S OKAY TO GROW AS YOU GO” experiment 

One thing we forget is that people don’t start out being super-mega successful. They start at step one. But for some reason, people insist on comparing their step one with someone else’s step 1000!

Gosh, just stop doing that! 😉

Here’s something you can do. Step inside the Wayback Machine over at www.archive.org and search for your business or brand heroes. Go back in time and see where they were in the beginning…

Here’s one of the internet’s leading thought leaders, Marie Forleo. This is how her website looks now — BEAUTIFUL!

But back in the early days when she was just getting started, it looked very different…

What she teaches her students about running a successful online business comes from the experience of building a successful online business. The things she advises people to do with their websites today are the things she was doing all wrong in the beginning.

Even Marie Forleo didn’t have it all figured out on day one.

It’s okay to grow as you go.

I don’t think less of Marie because she didn’t come out the gate with a perfectly polished internet empire. In fact, I respect her more for keeping her brand and domain name the same so we can see the evolution.

#3 Fear of Failure

Ooof, this is a biggie. Ready?

The symptoms:

  • You’re afraid of what other people will think
  • You actively avoid disapproval, criticism, the “thumbs down vote”
  • You avoid situations where you’ll be judged
  • You fear looking stupid or making a fool of yourself

I’m just going to say it. Fear of failure is just another way to say you’re prideful. It’s great to be proud of yourself when you accomplish things, but it’s not very helpful when it comes to tackling something new.

It can stand in your way of doing something because you fear you’re not going to be universally praised for it and that’s only going to hold you back. (You already instinctively know that, right?)

Fun Fact About Criticism: The only things that aren’t criticised or judged are things that ARE. NOT. SEEN.

How Fear of Failure Affects Your Visibility:

  • You’ll play it safe (which is actually not safe at all)
  • You’ll say NO to the very things you should be saying YES to
  • You’ll feel stuck or ashamed because you know what you need to do, you’re just not doing it

Here Are Some Ways To Cure Fear of Failure

#1 Get yourself a vision that makes you tingly all over

I mean really go for it and be specific. “I’d like to make more money” isn’t gonna cut it. Envision your future business and life transformed in a way that gets you psyched.

When I struggled in my business a few years back when I first moved abroad, the only goal I really had was to get work and pay my bills. I think a lot of us get stuck there from time to time and we forget to DREAM.

It was when I really got clear about how I wanted my future life to be that things started turning around for me, and I started applying relentless and consistent effort toward achieving those goals.

I wanted to make more money, yes, and to get out of the “feast or famine” lifestyle… but I also imagined things like:

  • Retiring my husband so he can focus exclusively on making art
  • Purchasing a seaside home and art gallery on the coast of Croatia
  • Having the ability to take extended vacations and travel
  • Feeling rewarded in my work because I’m doing the things I’m meant to be doing and helping great people

These are all things that are far more important to me than any one person’s opinion on the internet.

My dream is to do this every day — visit Saša’s art studio where he’s doing what he’s meant to be doing.

Notice the trick? Motivation. Get yourself some great motivation and fear just simply can’t stop you.

#2 Accept that you’re just not going to be for everyone 

And you shouldn’t try to be! Trying to appeal to everyone means you’ll say the same recycled things everyone else is saying and that’s not going to help you build a brand that gets noticed or get you visible with the right people.

But you’re for someone, and they need you to show up.

#3 Practice the art of being vulnerable 

I can tell you that being vulnerable–putting yourself out there and being unafraid to reveal that you just don’t have it all figured out — is one of the most liberating things you can do.

Not only that, it’s effective marketing. People don’t respond to stiff, perfect, corporate robots… they respond to humans being humans. We’re all in this and it ain’t always easy or perfect.

When you have a chance to let your expertise shine? Do that. But don’t be afraid to share stories about areas you struggle with.

An expert isn’t someone who knows everything. An expert is willing to say, “You know, I’m not sure, I don’t have any experience in that area so I can’t speak to it. But I can look into it and give it some thought.”

Ironically, by being transparent and real and imperfect, people are more likely to trust you.

#4 Conduct these “EVERYONE WITH ANY AMOUNT OF VISIBILITY IS GOING TO GET CRITICIZED” experiments

The Amazon Experiment

Go to Amazon.com and pick any book, your favorite book, a classic or a bestseller… Look for the one- or two-star reviews. Here’s one:

Imagine if the author had been afraid of reviews like this and decided not to publish the book at all.

What a pity that would be, because this is the book…

The YouTube Experiment

Go to YouTube and search for your favorite inspirational speaker…

I guarantee that you’re going to see “thumbs down” votes. Imagine if they stopped giving speeches because they were afraid of those?

Brené Brown is a personal hero of mine and she’s had a big impact on the way I view the world. I’d be so upset if she let her haters stop her because I need her!

The people who need you are the ones who count, not the critics.

The bottom line is that if you’re not getting criticized on the internet, it’s because you’re INVISIBLE.

I used to let this fear hold me back BIG time and over the years I’ve had to push myself past this mental roadblock.

I’d love to tell you that nothing bad will ever happen and nobody will ever say anything critical or unkind. THEY WILL.

But when it happens, know that you’re in control – it’s called hide, ban, and delete.

It will sting at first but then it won’t.

If you keep your eye on the prize (the future life you want) and stay focused on all the people you’re helping, you’ll eventually get to the point where you can shake and laugh it off. I pinky promise.

So, what are you going to do to get more visible?

I hope this has helped you figure out where you’re holding yourself back, and if you recognized yourself in any of these areas that you’ve realized: YOU ARE NOT ALONE. Now go out there and do those things you know you need to do, I’ll be cheering you on.

Please leave me a comment below if you have a story to share, I’d love to hear it!

by
2 replies
  1. Kathy
    Kathy says:

    Love this! The message I’ve heard before many times, but it never gets old, because I never outgrow the fear. It’s why I have been putting off doing lives in my FB group!

    Thanks for the push I needed today.

    Reply
    • Taughnee Stone
      Taughnee Stone says:

      Hey Kathy! 🙂 I hear you, it’s a never-ending process — as soon as I get over one thing, another thing takes its place. 😂 I just took a look at your website – IT’S SO GREAT what you’re doing! You’re going to help a lot of people who really need it (especially right now), so get on those lives, lady! 🙌 As a friend of mine used to say, “What’s the worst that could happen, will somebody poke my eyes out? No? I’ll still have my eyes? Then I’d better do it.” haha

      Reply

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