How to put yourself out there in your content, and why you should!
2012 was a disaster. I started my business in 2009 but in 2011 we had the Brisbane floods and business went quiet. Then in 2012, 17,000 jobs and all training was cut from the public service for almost two years. 80% of my contracts were with government departments. Within a year my revenue had fallen to lower than when I started. I had to make a decision.
Do I go back to my nine-to-five job or find a way forward?
I realised that it was risky to only be in a local market. I needed to spread my risk and shift from a local brand to a national and international brand. However, to do that I needed to get out there. I had to put myself in my content. And this terrified me.
So, I put together a plan. My goal was to do 100 trips within 12 months. I would go somewhere, anywhere. I would meet with people, speak at events, conferences and business groups, even someone’s dog if I had to.
It took all my strength to overcome the fear of what people thought of me. Am I relevant? Am I adding value? Who am I to be a national or international brand? What if I fail?
It turns out that it went even better than I expected. Not only did I meet amazing people all over the country, but I found that those people had the same worries, fears, problems and hopes and dreams as I did. Those 100 trips not only transformed my business but changed my life. The clients I have today, the awards, the seven books and so much more would never have happened if I hadn’t taken that leap of faith and backed myself.
Why It’s Vital to Put Yourself In Your Content
People like faces.
A study of over 1 million Instagram photos shows that photos with human faces are 38% more likely to receive engagement than photos without. It doesn’t matter the age, gender or even how many people are in the photo. As long as there is at least one person in the image, people are happy.
Why is that? Scientists believe that it relates back to our earliest childhood, when we relied on facial expressions to learn how to communicate. Whatever the reason, people want to see photos of other people. It is how we relate to them. And, more importantly, it’s how your target audience will relate to you.
People want vulnerability and authenticity.
People want to know who they are buying from. They want to know who is behind the company and the brands they are dealing with. In fact, 86% of consumers believe authenticity is important when choosing a brand to engage with. How can you be authentic? Simply be you. Bring what you love, what you are passionate about into your content. And bring yourself in as well.
When you bring yourself, your authentic self, into your content, you need to be vulnerable as well. Your tribe wants to see the real you – they want to see when you mess up, when you’ve had a hard day and when you’re just a hot mess. People like seeing that side of you, because they have days and problems that are just the same. It makes you relatable. It makes you likeable.
It’s how you find your tribe.
Putting yourself out there helps you find people with the same problems. And once you find them, you can help them. If I hadn’t pushed myself to take on my 100 trips, I would never have found some amazing people who resonated with my journey and needed problem-solving that I could provide them.
Finding your tribe, your community, is essential for developing your brand. And absolutely the best way to do that is by putting your vulnerable, authentic, wonderful self into your content.
How to Put Yourself Out There
Despite swathes of research, many of us are still reluctant to put ourselves out there. We’re reluctant to put ourselves in the spotlight, and in our content. For all intents and purposes, it’s like being on the playground as school children, walking up to another child and asking them to be your friend. It’s scary. It’s confronting. And whether we know it or not, we’re all worried about rejection.
What can we do to overcome that fear of rejection, and start putting ourselves in the spotlight, where we belong?
Create your own version of my 100 trips. Yes, I know that it seems like a lot. But as Dr. Wayne W. Dyer famously said, ‘It’s never crowded along the extra mile’.
Of course, it doesn’t have to be trips. That won’t work for everyone. Find what works for you, what helps you find the people you need to find. Those that have the same problems, and those that can become part of your community. Think, ‘If I focused, on just one thing, what would make a real difference to my business and my life?’ When you have the answer to that, you’ll have your answer to how to put yourself into your content.
Working hard, going the extra mile, getting deep in the trenches – that is a recipe for overcoming your fear and hang-ups about putting yourself into your content. Yes, there may be some that don’t want to hear you. But they aren’t your tribe. Feel free to move on.
What have you done to really put yourself out there?
Jane Anderson is a strategic communications expert, speaker and the author of seven books including the upcoming Catalyst Content. With over 20 years of experience helping people to communicate confidently, she is obsessed with authentic influence and human connection to drive business growth in a world of disruption and automation. She delivers Content Creation Bootcamps (Virtual and Face to Face), Coaching and Keynotes. To inquire about her working with you or your organisation please contact us here.