By Karlene Cameron
Years ago, my coach said to me, “Karlene, you're hiding!” Back then, I did not know what she meant. I figured it was because I was cooped up in my home office all the time in the back corner of my house.
But that's not what she meant.
I was hiding from my gifts and talents. My talents were there staring me in the face and I was doing nothing with them. I was just dancing around them. I was not putting myself out there. Now, I am able to put myself out there after a lot of work on my part.
But I discovered that many people coming from the corporate world, find it difficult to put themselves out there once they start their own business. After all, they never had to do this before. I also discovered that hiding wears many different masks; for example, you may be hiding behind taking courses upon courses and yet another course, that you don't really need. Or you may be throwing money at yet another app that you think will save your life. I have clients who do this. You somehow think that this thing will make you not have to put yourself out there and that clients will magically appear.
So I'm going to share 5 tips with you on how to put yourself out there, despite your fear, and stop hiding.
1. The first step is awareness.
Look at your fear. What is really holding you back? Are you feeling overwhelmed? Are you thinking that you're not good enough? Are you aiming for perfection? Are you looking for a day on your calendar called Oneday? Some of you may be saying, “Karlene, no, I am not aiming for perfection”, or “No, I am not feeling overwhelmed …” In a later post, I will go into more detail of what fear, lack of confidence, etc. really look like, since I've been there and used to be in denial myself. The best way to handle fear is by taking action as action removes fear. Get the support that you need by reaching out to a mentor or coach.
2. Focus on your people, not on you.
Every time you write a blog post, sales copy, or hold a teleclass, make it all about who you are serving and who will benefit the most from what you do. Hang out with them and listen to how they describe their concerns, and learn how to speak their language. This is what I do, and I find that it gives me more confidence.
3. Find the best way for you to create content.
You do not have to blog, or do video, or hold teleclasses, or write newsletters. But you do need to produce content. If you prefer talking over writing, then creating a podcast series may make more sense for you. If writing is more your thing, then look for guest posting opportunities, or submit articles to a hub page. Then use social media as the vehicle to deliver your message.
4. Repurpose your work.
Take that blog post and turn it into a 5-minute podcast. Take that one podcast episode and turn it into a tip sheet. Turn those tips into tweets. Create a slide presentation of those tips. Turn that slide presentation into a video and post it on YouTube. Update your Facebook status with these tips. And always drive people back to your website.
5. Start where you are.
Start where you have credibility. Start with what you already know. You know enough. Try not to discount your knowledge and feel that what you have to offer has been “done already”, or that it has no value, or that “everyone” already knows this. I used to grapple with this all the time — until I got a client who did not know how to copy and paste. You have your work cut out for you. You are an expert, which by the way in our world is defined as someone who is one step ahead of the client. It's like being in 3rd grade and thinking that 4th graders are such a big deal. It is only one step up.
And think of the alternative: If you don't put yourself out there, you won't get any clients, which means going back to that job.
Karlene Cameron is a social media specialist and founder of Juicy Business Coaching. She runs teleclasses for women who want to have a fresh start, create an amazing service business, and do what they want on their own terms.