I get it. I’ve been there. The first time I was told all about Visibility, and how important it was I think it gave me such anxiety I struggled to work out how I would ever do it. I always wanted to find a reason to put it off, or not quite follow through on my plans. But now? Now I’m visible every day. Now I put myself out there and I’m not gonna’ lie it has done wonders for my business. It has absolutely helped me take it to the next level. That’s why today I want to talk to you all about my 5 top tips to boost your visibility confidence…
And to be honest, even if you do find it scary, you’re gonna have to feel the fear and do it anyway. Especially if you really wanna make it happen. Hiding behind a perfect feed just isn’t going to cut it, and if I’m really honest it’s not what your audience are after. It’s not going to grab their attention, or build that famous know, like, trust factor. They want to see and hear from the face behind the brand. You, the real you, the 100% unapologetically you, you. So how can we make sure you are absolutely nailing that? Let’s do this…
TIP ONE: BE THE EXPERT
You have to believe you are an expert. You have to make this mindset your attitude. You’ve got this far, you’ve got knowledge and you’ve got skills. And your talent, with your personality is unique, so why would you not shout about it?
I’m not saying be big headed. Be humble, be relatable and authentic, but you know your shit, so back yourself. Don’t be afraid to speak your mind, or challenge the conventions in your industry. If you can back it up with your work, and the results you get for your clients, then people should know about it. People WILL want to know about it.
And because you are maybe saying something new. Or have a different way of saying it at least, you will stand out straight away. People will be intrigued, they’ll start talking about you and suddenly, everyone will wanna’ work with you. So be confident, own your expertise and bring that to the table every single day.
TIP TWO: EMBRACE YOUR FACE
I’m sorry to say, but your face is crucial to being truly visible. As I said in the intro, people want to see the person behind the brand. So that’s you! They want authenticity, they want that connection and feeling like they know you massively helps establish that. But what does this mean? Well, basically it means you can no longer hide behind that perfectly curated Instagram feed, or a purely design and copy Instagram story.
You need to be there, showing up, telling people who you are, and showing them what you look like. Now, for me, this was tough. Ever since I was young and I moved around a lot, being bullied for how I looked, as I went from school to school, my confidence has really suffered. I used to hate having my photo taken. And don’t even get me started on selfies. But now I’m so much more confident with it. Of course I have those doubts, and I have those days when I’m just not feeling it, but if you want to be truly visible, you have to push past it.
I work a lot on my mindset, and I’ve worked on my confidence in the past too because it’s so important to develop and evolve personally as well as from a business point of view. You can get lost working in the business, and on the business, but if you are your business, then you simply have to invest in that personal development.
TIP THREE: WORK WITH PEOPLE YOU TRUST
They say that if you “Surround yourself with good people, good things will happen,” and that is so true in so many walks of life, but especially visibility. Why? Firstly, because good people, like photographers, will make you look fucking great in every shot – winner. And secondly, good people will get you in front of the right people when it comes to PR, or become advocates for you when it comes to networking.
Take the first point, photography. Now as I’ve mentioned, confidence and body confidence have always been an issue for me. Photos were a no go for a long time. And even if they were taken, I wasn’t plastering them everywhere for the world to see. But now they’re part of my social strategy, they’re on my website, and I think they’re a huge reason I am where I am. So what changed? Well, my mindset for one, and I found the perfect photographer for me. Amanda Karen takes all of my pro photos. Why? Because she gets me. We get on and I trust her to shoot me the way that I wanna be shot. They way that makes me feel confident and empowered, and ready to kick some business butt. And trust me, posing is so much easier when you have that trust with the person pressing the button.
It’s also the same with PR too. You need someone who’s going to get you in the right places, but who’s also got your back. Who’s not going to force you to commit to something you don’t want to do, that doesn’t feel right for you and your brand. But also someone who will fight your corner, if heaven forbid something goes wrong. So make sure you have that network around you, that group of people you know will deliver and you can be confident that everyone’s always going to see the best of you.
TIP FOUR: BUILD UP YOUR NETWORK
Following on from my last point, building up that business network is a great way to take the fear out of being visible. So why would speaking to other people help you get more visible I hear you ask? Well, for me, there’s two key reasons…
Number one, the more people you get to know in your industry, the more chance you have of them recommending you to work with people they know, or to help them on projects they’re doing. Those personal recommendations are so powerful – it’s the reason word of mouth is the original form of marketing. Do you see what’s happening here…by building your network, other experts are becoming advocates for you and your brand. Which automatically opens you up to their audience and positions you as an expert in your own right. Sounds pretty good right?
Second point, hearing all those amazingly positive things about yourself, your talents and what you can do is a MASSIVE confidence boost. I mean massive. I still remember when all the people who I looked up to and respected started to recommend me, and talk about me on their channels. It was such a buzz. And it made me realise that I was doing something right. That I needed to keep doing what I was doing, to kick on and do even more. I took that energy, that momentum and I used it to supercharge everything I was doing.
TIP FIVE: PERFECTION ISN’T EVERYTHING
This a biggie, a real biggie. Now, I know I’m a designer, and in most aspects of my life, and work perfection IS everything. But when it comes to visibility, and being truly visible, I think there are exceptions, And the moment I realised that, and started to embrace it, my confidence level skyrocketed. Everything became a bit less scary, a bit less nerve-wracking.
So what do I mean, exceptions? Well, take a Facebook Live for example. You might get a word wrong, you might fuck up a bit, you might even lose your train of thought. I know how tricky it can be to answer questions or say hello when you’re mid flow, or mid rant. So if that happens what do you do? Do you stop? Hello no! Do you start again? How can you? You have these people’s attention. So what do you do? You embrace it, you roll with it and make it part of your content. Use your personality, your charm and show everyone that authentic side of you.
No-one’s tuning in expecting a news broadcast, or a slick chat show. They wanna see you, hear what you have to say, and get to know the person behind this brand they like, or love. So as long as you are on brand, your are nailing that message, and you are doing it consistently, don’t sweat the little mistakes. Your audience will know that you’re not reading a script, it’s not rehearsed and that they’re dealing with a real person not a robot. They want someone who cares about what they care about and who lives that mantra every day. Mistakes help show that human side of you, so embrace them, and make them work for you.
So there you have it, six ways to make being visible way, way, WAAYYYYYYY, less scary than you think it is when people first start telling you about it. You have to think of it as a whole. Beyond Facebook Lives, which on their own, simply aren’t enough. It’s a lot like a brand in that sense, with the fact that for a brand, a logo and a pretty brand won’t do it for you. You need to be doing everything and if you wanna’ get where you wanna’ be, it’s not just needing to do it, it’s essential.
Before I leave you I want to make one final point. If no-one sees you, or hears you, how will they know all the amazing things you can do? It’s like that famous quote about the tree in the forest. “If a tree falls in the forest, and no-one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?” Don’t be that tree. Be bold, be confident and be heard. Show who you are, what you stand for and what you’re all about. You won’t look back, trust me.