In today’s episode, Anna looks at the biggest mistake entrepreneurs make when it comes to visibility for their business.
It’s easy to feel like you *should* be visible, because that’s what everyone tells you – you *should* be on all the social media channels, sharing content left right and centre, all day every day. And if that’s the case, it’s no wonder that you’re finding yourself procrastinating and reluctant to stick to a schedule or even getting started at all! Connecting with your own bigger purpose, getting clear on your business objectives and then devising a marketing strategy that’s going to get you in front of the right people, at the right time, in a way that will feel comfortable and authentic to you – now, that’s where the magic happens.
*Resources mentioned during the episode*
The One Step Outside Facebook group– Join us over in the Facebook group to meet like-minded people who are working on reimagining success in their life and business and to get access to direct support and free training sessions from Anna. www.facebook.com/groups/onestepoutside
Watch One Step Outside Webinar – Learn to be proactive in designing the next phase of your career- and lay the foundations for meaningful success. Watch it here: https://onestepoutside.com/taking-control-of-your-career-in-uncertain-times/
Hello. Hello, there. And welcome back. Now, last week we were talking about reviewing the first half of the year when it comes to your results. How you’re feeling, whether you’re frustrated, disappointed, or excited and inspired, recognising the challenges that you’ve faced personally, and that we’ve all faced pretty much globally. And regrouping and refocusing for the second half. Now, of course, I’ve done the same exercise. And my priority for this year has been visibility. And this is actually something that comes up all the time in my group and with my clients.
It’s something that we feel we have to do. We need to be more visible. A lot of us don’t want to do it. So, especially when you’re starting out, you’ll say to me, “It feels a bit icky. I hate social media. I’m shy. I’ve got imposter syndrome.”
Whatever it is that’s holding you back. And it becomes a burden, a hassle, and really hard work. And the worst of it all is that we do all that hard work reluctantly. And then we still struggle to get the results. We still struggle to see that visibility, that mythical visibility that we’re so desperate to get. And I think it’s because a lot of us are coming at it from the wrong perspective. And then even once we get into it and take action, we’re actually focusing on the wrong things.
Now, of course, I’m in a different stage of my business to where you are. Maybe you’re just starting out. Maybe you’re further along than I am. And it will be different for everybody. But there are a couple of things I’d love for you to go through and ask yourself when it comes to visibility. And the first one as ever is, why are you doing it? Are you just doing it because you feel like you should? I have to be visible because everyone says I need to be visible. I have to post on social media. I was just listening to someone yesterday saying, “I need to post five times a day or four times a day.” And I thought, really? I’ve been doing my one post a day. And that sounds like a lot to do four or five times a day, especially if you’re just starting out. Or I’ve got to be more visible. I need more people on my website. I need more clients, of course is the ultimate goal.
So are you doing this because you feel like you should be visible? Or are you clearly focusing on visibility because you have a compelling mission. You have a strategy and you know that getting that visibility, securing the visibility is the way which you’re going to achieve that. So when you’re first starting out, I always say, you need to start building an audience before you feel ready. It takes way longer than you realise. And it’s unlikely that your content will sort of go viral right away and so on. So it’s going to take time to attract people to your message, to get clarity on your own message, and to feel confident and comfortable with that. And ultimately to engage people, to help them know, like, and trust you, as we often say, before they’re going to buy from you. Now, for me, it’s more that I’m at a different stage, further along, I suppose, in the business. In the sense that I have a lot of the elements. I have the podcast, I have the group, my Facebook group, I have my book, I’m very active on LinkedIn, and Instagram and so on.
But now I want to grow. I want to scale. And to do that. And we’ll talk about that in a moment. I need to be visible, but I need to be visible in a specific way. So if like me, you are really clear on, yes, I need to be visible. This is my goal for this year. That’s going to help me achieve X, Y, Z. Then that’s great. But if you’re just doing it because you feel like you should, I’d really suggest you take it step back, have a think, and ask yourself, “Okay. Am I just doing this because I feel like I need to, or is there another way to do it?” Of course, visibility can mean lots of different things. But if you really do hate social media, you never spend any time on there, then probably even though it’s hard to say because I feel like we all sort of do need to be on there in some form or another.
There are businesses that manage completely offline. Now, perhaps not during Corona. But in general, you can manage it by networking in person, by messaging people, and connecting and having more interpersonal relationships. And to be honest, that’s important on social media as well. But there are other ways you can do it. So you don’t have to do lots of videos, and launch a podcast, and put yourself out there, and share your innermost secrets in order to be visible. Really important to ask yourself, do I need to be doing it? Should I be doing it? And not just should, but do I want to be doing it? Is there something that’s compelling for me? That’s going to get me to that meaningful definition of success, which is what we’re always working towards.
Second is if you know that you do want to be visible, you’ve worked that out, it is the right strategy for you.
Then visible for what? We don’t just want to be visible for the sake of being visible. I’ve had a couple of cases, both for myself actually, and for someone I work with, in terms of having some hate messages, and trolls and that sort of negative visibility. And unfortunately, that’s the reality that when we put our neck out, when we stand for something, when we do become more visible, it’s likely. And in fact, it’s almost a good thing if people come out of the woodwork and start saying negative things, because it means that we’re being heard. Now, it’s a horrible, horrible, really uncomfortable feeling when that happens. There’s definitely a difference between constructive feedback for people who are saying, “Hey, I heard this. And have you considered that?” And so on. And the people that I’m talking about now who are perhaps just being awful, and they have way too much time on their hands, and they’re just coming at you for I don’t know for what reason.
So the point is that when you do start showing up, you will begin to get people coming out and perhaps criticising. And so to be honest, I’ve had that very, very rarely over the years. You sometimes get sort of a slightly negative comment on a Facebook ad. You sometimes get some strange emails and comments. Maybe you get something on social. Most of all, it’s spam, easy to ignore. And you shouldn’t worry about it too much because you probably have 20 positive comments for every one negative one. But again, when you’re becoming more visible, you do need to stand for something. And the more clear your position, the more likely it is that other people will disagree. And that’s a good thing. If you’re having a constructive debate, productive debate, about okay, this is how I feel.
Everybody else in business is doing it this way, but actually my perspective is this. Or all other personal trainers say that it’s about this, but I believe it’s about that. Everyone else in wellness coaching is focusing on this. I believe that we should be looking at it a different way. In finance and accounting, everyone else is just focusing on the year end and so on. But I really believe we need to be proactively managing our money and so on. And so you really need to know what do you want to stand for in terms of having an opinion, having a point of view, and really knowing what your personal brand is really. What is your story? What’s your mission? What are the values you stand for? And so on. Now, I did do a series of episodes on this way back when, when I started the podcast.
So episode 10, I did on how to find your story. So really how to identify what your personal brand story is. And of course, we talked about connecting the dots and finding your ikigai a couple of weeks ago, and that’s relevant too. But it’s not just visibility for visibility’s sake. Don’t just post lots of random quotes, share other people’s stuff and just copy what other people are doing. What’s your stand point? What’s your point of view? What are you bringing here? And you don’t have to be completely unique, but I’m sure you have a slightly different take on things. You’re launching this business for a reason. You’re running this business because you have a certain experience, whether it’s personal or years of working with clients. You now have an opinion. So start to share that, start to put out resources, add value and contribute to the discussion.
And as someone said to me recently, “You don’t have to be the one thought leader, the one guru expert. Just be a contributor to discussion.” And by all means, share and comment on what other people are saying, but really ask yourself, “Well, okay, how do I feel about this? What’s my perspective here?” And third, and finally, and this is where we come to the biggest mistake that people make here. And I tend to see people focusing on a pretty logo, and tweaking copy on your website, obsessing over what your niche is. What’s the name of the business going to be? Should it be this and that? Should I have a .com domain, or a .net, and so on? But the thing is, as interesting, and fun, and perhaps important as those things are, if that’s all you do. And it actually doesn’t matter because nobody’s ever going to see your pretty logo and website.
So if I’m only sitting at home tweaking my logo. Well, I almost don’t want to say the term that we used to use in corporate, but it was internal masturbation, I believe was the term. The official technical term for just sort of looking inwards, and focusing internally, and just playing around with all these vanity metrics really. And obsessing about these things that, yes, can be important. But can also evolve with time and so on. And again, if we only do that, no one’s ever going to see it, because we’re just on our own website, our own platforms, we don’t have any followers yet. We don’t have any website visitors. And so there are two parts to visibility. And the first is visibility in front of new people. And the second is visibility in front of existing people. So let’s break those down.
So the first one is the new people. And this is letting people know that you even exist. And this is, for me, what I’m looking to focus on the rest of this year now and beyond really. So I have a plan. I’m nurturing people in my Facebook group. I’ve got my content going out. I’ve got my podcasts, I’ve got my socials and so on. Now, I want to grow. I want more people in the Facebook group. I want to help more people. I want more people subscribing to me on YouTube to watch the training content there. I want to engage with more people on Instagram and so on. So this is not about your own websites, and your blog and your own podcast. It’s about guesting on other people’s podcasts. So you may even have found me because I have been a guest on someone else’s podcast. And it could be someone who’s just starting out.
They have a small audience. But maybe one person hears my interview and says, “I like this idea of reimagining success.” I’d like to follow Anna. I’ll head over and listen to her podcast. And then they might join my Facebook group and who knows, we might start working together.
And so that’s bringing new people via being a guest on other people’s podcasts. It’s about perhaps doing guest blog posts on other people’s blogs. Collaborating on other people’s social platforms. That’s a really big thing that I haven’t tapped into yet. Social collaborations, maybe doing an Instagram takeover, or a giveaway, or some people do virtual summits and things. That’s getting new eyeballs, as we say, onto you and your content. Of course, running ads is another thing. If you have money, you can pay to get in front of new audiences with Facebook ads, ads on Quora, ads on Amazon to get my book out there in front of other people, LinkedIn and so on.
Of course, Facebook being main one. Speaking at conferences. Being published in media articles, either as an expert contributor or actually writing an article if you’re that way inclined. So this is the really important part. And again, for me, that’s the part now that I’m wanting to add into the mix. Growing and scaling requires you to get in front of new people. But second, you also don’t want to forget about the existing people, because these are people who’ve come to… They trust you. They’ve given you some of their valuable time. And you want to make sure that you’re actually nurturing those people who already do know that you exist. So this is when you’re showing up and managing your Facebook group, answering questions, you’re sharing useful content and engaging content on your social platforms and so on. And this is speaking to people who are already following you, and that’s really important too.
It’s sending out your weekly newsletter email content to people. It is doing your weekly, in my case, podcast episodes and so on. And that’s really important too. So there are those two parts to visibility. And of course we need both, but it’s interesting to ask yourself, what’s your priority right now? If you just ask me, probably it’s just about getting new people, just that awareness phase of attracting people, building that audience. And then once you have them, you want to nurture them, and engage them, and learn about them, and add value, and support them and show up and serve them. But really the first part is getting those new people. Letting them know that you exist. And the second part then is nurturing and following up with existing people. And you actually need to be getting in front of new people each and every week, if you want to grow. You can’t just be talking to the same people all the time.
But then again, of course, when you do get the retention, make sure you keep it, because we’re all very busy. We’ve all got lots of email newsletter, and social staff and all sorts things going on. So if somebody is giving you the gift of their time and attention, then use it wisely. And importantly, again, when you’re first starting out, don’t get upset because you only have five people watching your Facebook Live. Or you’ve only got 50 people in your Facebook group, or only got a couple of hundred. Only, each of those people, each of those numbers on the metrics is a human being, who is giving you their time and attention. Who’s trusted you enough to join your group to whatever it is, buy your book, watch your live, follow you on social media and so on.
So don’t obsess about the numbers either. Make sure that you’re showing up and serving each of those individuals as if they were the most important person in the world. Because they are.
And we actually don’t need to. And this is maybe where we wrap up. We don’t need to be that massive thought leader, guru, who has millions and millions of views and followers and so on. To be honest, it was probably easier to become that person 10, 15 years ago, where there were hardly any blogs and thought leaders and so on. There are so many people now, I’m sure you see them all on Facebook and Instagram. It’s so much easier now for us all, which is a good thing, to publish bestselling books on Amazon, and to launch a podcast, and to have a Facebook group, and to run some ads, and have Instagram and so on.
We all become public figures. And we’re so very present and that’s incredible, but it also means there’s a lot more noise, there’s a lot more competition. And I think it’s unlikely, less likely, certainly that we will become one of those top sort of Oprah, Brendon Burchard’s type of level, Tony Robbins people. And that’s okay. But it’s just something to bear in mind that don’t think that you have to have thousands and thousands of millions of followers in order to be successful. You can absolutely run a business, if you have the right business model, pricing, and strategy and so on. And where you’re doing really well, you’re meeting your financial needs and beyond, and enjoying your work, which of course is really important. And even with a much smaller following. So again, ask yourself, why are you obsessing about visibility? Is it something that’s really part of your strategy?
Do you have that clear mission? Is this the way in which you’re going to achieve it? What do you understand for, and again, you might want to go back to episode 10 on how to craft your personal brand story. And then third, remember there are those two parts to the visibility. You need to get the new people on board, and then you need to nurture the existing people. But try not to get too obsessed about those sort of internal logo, design, niche-y, name things. The benefit of online is that you can actually evolve those things. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve tweaked my website, changed the theme, evolved the bio that I have in my Instagram or whatever.
So you can always evolve and change if needed. Not to say that we should be constantly chopping and changing, but it’s definitely possible to refine and evolve as we learn and grow. So hopefully that was a message that you needed to hear. Maybe you know somebody else who needs to hear it. In which case, I’d love for you to share it with them. And ask them to subscribe as well and have a listen. And I wish you best of luck with pushing your visibility. If that is an important part of your strategy. Thanks so much for listening. I’ll see you next week. Bye for now.
Are you ready to build and scale your business to achieve everything you dreamed of when you started, without sacrificing your personal life and your sanity to do so? The truth is that escaping a 9 to 5 is not just about saying, “I quit,” to your boss, or putting up a website and ordering a set of business cards. A sustainable escape requires you to design and build a viable business that consistently brings in income and that fits in around the other priorities in your life. Join us in The Outsiders Business Accelerator to get ongoing coaching, training, and mentoring, to help you create a long-term brand and business that works for you. Read more and apply at onestepoutside.com/accelerate.
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Get private mentoring for your business– Partnering with a business coach can help you see those blind spots and get both external accountability and expert guidance to take your business to where you want it to be. www.onestepoutside.com/freeconsultation
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