Have you ever resisted going live or even perhaps putting a photograph of yourself on social media? Have you ever cringed at the thought of making a reel on Instagram or just literally showing up on video in any way? If so, I hear you - I've been there. I still feel that way quite regularly myself and today it's all about getting visible.
Welcome to Action Taker Tribe. I’m Jo Ingram and today, let’s get visible, because it’s all about challenging the fears that we have about showing up and being visible for our business. Now, why do we need to do it really? When you first move into this online business world, do you think ‘seriously? I've got to do that? Is that part of it? Surely I can avoid it?’ Right? Is there any way round it, a different route that I can take? Perhaps I can just stay really, really quiet, not have to put myself on social media. Perhaps I can just put some Canva stuff, write some nice quotes. Look – all that's great, but let's really think about what we're trying to achieve here. Think about your purpose. If you have a purpose - and I know that you do if you're listening to this - you have a business that you want to grow, you’re heart centered, you care, you want to serve. Well, you'll need to show up, because in order to create transformation and really help other people, you are going to have to show up and be visible. Building a heart-centered online business is very much about creating relationships. It's about creating that connection and that resonance. Perhaps you've heard the phrase about know, like, and trust.
For somebody who doesn't know you at all, to move to a position where they want to work with you, you have to create a connection where they get to know you and to like what you're doing. Ultimately, they'll need to really trust you if they're ever going to part with money and work with you in that way.
Being visible is really important in order for you to attract and repel. Have you heard this phrase? It's the idea that the people that are going to work with you are going to be attracted to you, but equally some people will be repelled. It sounds kind of frightening, but it's actually beneficial. You don't want people hovering around your social media or being in your sphere that aren't really leaning in, gaining from what you have to share, and ultimately becoming buyers for your business. The less we show up visibly, the less easy it is to either attract or repel. People can only decide if we're their person if they can see us, if they can really get to understand what we have to offer - whether they know that they resonate with our message and whether they know, like and trust us. Ultimately the longer you resist being visible, the longer it will take to attract and repel, and the longer it will take for you to build your business. Growing your business is very much about growing your following. It's about creating a following that you can give value to; a circle of people who are your ideal avatar, who are going to be really interested in what you have to say and really benefit when you say it. They'll become the clients that you serve.
In order to grow and, most importantly, create the impact that we dream of doing, we have to grow our exposure and gain awareness; more people have to know about us. If we hide ourselves away and we're not visible, it's going to be really, really difficult to do that. We have to grow in order to be credible. People have to know what we do, like what we do and want to know more about it.
It’s great to understand, ‘sure, I've got to be visible, but how do I need to be visible? What ways should I be visible?’ I'm sure you already know that it's about creating content. Content comes in many shapes and forms and this is important because not all content is equal. Some content is going to be much more effective than others. A good example is if you have an Instagram account and you feel it's not growing, and yet you just put out quotes and the odd photograph, and you're wondering why it's not compelling. That's because certain content is just going to have more bang for its buck. If you're going to focus on it, you might as well start in the areas that are going to make the most difference.
I'm going to share with you now three tips to maximize the effectiveness of your content. This is not just from the experience I've had, but also from feedback that many, many of the experts have to say. Tip number one - quality content.
You really have to give value. It's not enough just to put content out. Now don't get me wrong, consistency is so important, and if you are putting out content every single day, I applaud you as you are totally on the right track. However, you need to also consider what the quality of the content that you're putting out is because quantity does not beat quality.
Let your content shine with your personality and genuinely help. It can be entertaining, it can be practical - the approach isn't as important as the fact that it really, really resonates and adds value for your avatar and clients. I'll give you an example of how this has worked for me. Recently in my Instagram, instead of just putting out one quote, I started to create carousels. That's where you have a number of different pictures that people can scroll through, and what I've done is put mini trainings in there. In all likelihood, this exact podcast episode that I'm recording will also be turned into a mini carousel training too. Now I'm finding that as people scroll through these, they're getting real value, and I know that because they're engaging with me - they're making comments or I'm answering their questions. I know that what I'm putting out in that particular post is of genuine value and it's not something that they scroll past. They actually stopped in the scroll. So, I'd encourage you to look at your own feed or anywhere else that you engage and think, how can I just up the ante even by 10%? What more can I do to make this more valuable and to stop the scroll, to make people go, YES! this is stuff that I really need to know about, and in fact, I'm going to engage with this feed.
The second tip that I've got for you is about long form content. Now, what do I mean by that? That's the difference between listening to a podcast episode like you're doing now and scrolling on Instagram or Facebook and just seeing a post, because long form content engages someone for much longer as you'd expect. There are three primary forms of long form content. There's podcasting, there's a video series, or there's a blog. Now, when you have one of those three, it is most typical to put that out say once a week, although of course you can do it more regularly. The benefit of that is that you then have a theme and inspiration for the week, and you can create a lot of short form content inspired by that one piece of long form content. In fact, you can cut it into many, many different pieces that you can use in lots of different ways across your social media, in your emails, and so on. What I love about this is it makes it so much easier for you to be more visible. Now choosing which type of long form content is going to be a really personal decision, but bear in mind that video and podcasting are extremely compelling, and I'm going to talk more about that next.
To my third tip on maximizing the effectiveness of your content, and that's to use what works. Video and podcasts are extremely effective. Let's start with podcasting. You're listening to me now, right? It's a very personal experience. You listen to somebody’s podcast literally straight into your ears, no other distractions. It's really attention grabbing and that's why podcasting has become so popular, and also why entrepreneurs are excited by becoming podcasters as they can reach their audience in a really resonant way. Podcasting also creates authority and credibility in a way that perhaps other channels don't do. This was really brought home to me last week when I was speaking to a client and dear friend who said to me that, although she speaks to me regularly one-to-one, when she listens to my podcast, feels like I have a new level of authority – almost like I'm somebody semi-famous. Now I'm not being funny when I say that, so I'm going to leave this in. I'm not going to edit it just because I can't bear to think of myself saying those words, even if it actually makes me feel so uncomfortable! Who am I to say that somebody thinks I'm semi-famous because they're listening to my podcast! I just edited that out three times - I tried to say it and I literally couldn't get to the end of the sentence. We've all got these issues and I'm going to talk about that more in a minute! The point is this - I understand what she's saying, not about myself, but because I listen to podcasts, and I literally think that the people that I am listening to are superstars. Let's take Jasmine Star, Amy Porterfield, or Cathy Heller. These guys are superstars in my world. When I listen to them on a podcast, I feel that they are the authority on all matters that they're talking about, and it’s not just them – there are many people's podcasts I listen to who are less well known, but whom I am equally enthralled by when I listen to them. So, let's just appreciate the power of podcasting and potentially you could be using it more to your advantage if you're not already.
Let's talk about video for a minute. Cisco reported in 2020 that 82% of internet traffic is video and they were reporting that engagement and return on investment were up massively. Another survey called State of Video Marketing actually said that 84% of video marketers say it's the most effective lead generation tool they have. Let's just think about that for a moment.
Video builds businesses. Being engaging on video is really important for us to develop as entrepreneurs, create impact and create income. And the opportunities are even more plentiful since the pandemic.
There was a report that said 96% of consumers say that they consume more video since the pandemic – well, we're consumers, we know that's true. So why aren't we using video more as part of our marketing, as part of growing our know, like, and trust? In fact, we now know that Facebook and Instagram reward you in the algorithm when you use video, not just any video, but the types of video that they want you to use - going live and creating reels. Now, if you're sitting there going, ‘oh no, no, she's not said those words has she, not going live and reels’, I hear you, I've been there. In fact, I'm still there! The resistance is massive. We see the reels - have you been scrolling through them? I have become a little bit obsessive about watching reels, and it's a funny thing because I've got 17-year-old daughter and she's obviously obsessed by TikTok! Right through the pandemic I've been watching her scrolling through them, and early on I went up to her and said, ‘what on earth are you watching these for? This is absolute drivel. There's nothing of quality here. Why aren't you just watching a program?’ I just didn't get it. Fast forward to now, a year into the pandemic, and she and I sit together scrolling through these reels with me going, ‘oh, have you seen this one? I've seen that one!’, and I'm finding them absolutely compelling. I love to see the creativity that different people have, but also, I'm obsessed by the fact that people are giving so much value within their reels. I'm getting genuine help and advice in what amounts to 30 seconds on video. Sometimes a little bit of pointing at words that appear, sometimes talking, sometimes dancing. (You're never going to see me do that by the way. At least I hope you don't!) Just the fact that what they're able to do is be really, really relatable, often in a funny way, often in a really endearing heart-centered way that tugs at my heart strings - there's been some stuff on there that I'm amazed by. They're able to use a reel to actually express things like grief and so on. The point remains that you're rewarded in two ways by doing these sorts of things.
Firstly, you get this amazing resonance with people – I’ve just described the passion that I'm feeling by watching these reels. I'm absolutely motivated to learn more about the people doing them, and clearly so are millions of others. Secondly, the fact that Instagram and Facebook actually reward you in the algorithm if you become visible by doing reels or going live, so more people will see them. That's all it means when we talk about the algorithm, it's just being put in front of more people and that, ultimately, is your goal. Remember right at the beginning, we talked about awareness? We talked about being visible so you can grow your impact? That's what we're talking about here. So, when we're looking for effective ways of being visible, really that idea of creating reels and going live are going to be the most direct ways for you to do that. Now, of course, for most of us, they’re the things we least want to do!
They're the ones that make us feel most uncomfortable because we feel so vulnerable and exposed and I'm right there with you, I find it incredibly difficult too. That's why this episode would not be complete without a quick discussion about overcoming the fear of visibility. I wonder if you thought I'd get there - I wonder if you were listening and thinking, ‘you know, that's all well and good Jo, but I don't feel it. I feel quite anxious actually.’ I'm feeling it too. I'm going to be really honest and say if you go onto my Instagram and my Facebook, you are not going to see me go live - yet. You're not going to find lots of lives on there because I've just found it so uncomfortable. My resistance has been so high. Now I tell myself if you’ve grown to love reels, you can grow to love lives, and I’m moving in that direction. I really hope over the next week or two, you're going to see me go live. If you do, give me a wave! Encourage me. Tell me that you've heard me telling you that it makes me feel quite uncomfortable!
Now let's look at why we feel uncomfortable. Well, there's a few reasons at least that I know of. One is, of course, imposter syndrome. One of my very first episodes on this podcast was about imposter syndrome. The interesting thing is since then quite a few people have said to me, ‘oh, I heard that episode and it really resonated with me’, and it's funny that that's the one that crops up time and time again. It doesn’t matter what stage of our business we're in, we continue to feel like an imposter as we level up. Perhaps it's just time to embrace it. Perhaps we will always feel that way, but the trick is to do it anyway. You know, the worry that people are going to judge us, is that really true? Are people judging us or are we judging ourselves? I know for a fact, for me, it's the latter. There's a story I mentioned in an earlier episode, but I'll tell you again, in case you haven't heard it. It was from when I was transitioning into being a business coach and I had left my job - when I say left, I mean I was made redundant, but certainly I moved out of a career which had lasted 20 years in the advertising industry in London.
I had already launched my new business and was working with clients, but my LinkedIn hadn't changed. If you'd gone to my profile, you would have seen that I was still a director at an advertising agency. Why hadn't I changed that? Of course, in retrospect, I know exactly why - I was scared of being judged, scared of being visible, stating what I was now doing. I felt like an imposter, all the things that I've just spoken of. The day I went in and changed that on LinkedIn just lightened my heart immensely and I was able to move on - it was such a block. Sometimes there's something we think is a problem, but actually the fear of visibility is behind it. Another good example is a client that I worked with, who told me that she just couldn't get her Facebook group right. She couldn't come up with the name and wasn't really sure of what to do in the group. Consequently, weeks were passing, and she wasn't taking action - and you know, me, I'm the action taker coach, I love taking action, and it was my mission to help her get over this barrier. It transpired as I worked with her that it wasn't a problem with her imagination around the name of the Facebook group. In fact, we solved that - within 10 minutes, we'd come up with a great idea that she loved. The real reason was that she was really scared of being visible, because she knew once she'd solved those problems - named her group, decided how she was going to communicate what she wanted to say - she'd actually have to show up; she'd have to become visible. It was interesting because of course once that was identified, she was able to overcome it. She was able to be brave, to know that nothing bad would happen, that she could do it.
My question to you today is, is there something that you're resisting that actually the fear of visibility is behind? If it is, what can you do about it? Now's the time for us to stop playing small and stop having this fear of failure or even, if you're like me, a fear of success.
What might it bring? Does it mean I need to work harder? Does it mean I need to give more? What does it mean, fear of success, fear of failure? Let's stop playing small and know that we can step into our purpose, step into our power and we can be visible. Being visible is just a way of communicating.
One other thing that I really want to talk about today, is fear of visibility as a woman. I'm a middle-aged woman, and our appearance and how we come across on camera is something that seems to hold us back. I don't like putting makeup on. In fact, since I stopped being in the corporate world, I have loved the fact that I barely put makeup on. It's not because I don't like how I look when I wear it, I’m just lazy. I can't be bothered, and I like my skin not to be covered in makeup. Yet that causes some problems for me because when I think about going live, I think, ‘oh, I'm not wearing any makeup and I haven't done my hair. Can I? Oh, no, not today. I'll do it another day.’ In fact, I saw some great advice from somebody that specialises in visibility on Instagram, and she described how she has one day a week where she'll get up, put her makeup on, do her hair nicely, wear something nice, and do everything for her visibility. She'll make her reels, she'll go live, she'll record some stuff. And you know what? That is a really smart idea because I'm actually using my appearance as an excuse not to go live. I think, ‘oh, you know, should I go live today? No, I can't. I'm not wearing any makeup, I haven't got time to put it on, I can't be bothered. It's towards the end of the day, I’d only have to take it off, right?’ Ridiculous. I hear myself say these things and I just think, wow, you know it's time to level up. I need to go live. I need to decide how to do that. And that's my next point. We need to overcome those blocks and barriers in advance so that we're not finding we're shying away from visibility simply because we haven't solved that small thing that will stop the resistance.
Let me ask you this. What's the worst that can happen? If you show your face on camera, if you go live, even if you stuttered, even if it wasn't clear, even if you weren't wearing makeup, even if you felt like an imposter, what's the worst that can happen? If you fear being judged as I have and do, then just know that no one is watching you and waiting for you to fall - people who are watching you mostly just love what you do and want you to succeed. And the few people – and I bet if you think about it, picture that person in your mind that you're like, ‘oh no, if they saw me, I'd be so embarrassed’ - You know what? That particular person isn't worth your time or energy, and probably isn't paying that much attention to you. Certainly, when I thought about people from my old job and my old career, I felt mortified. I thought, ‘gosh, what if they're listening to my podcast? Or if they see me do one of these finger pointing reels!’ Then I realised, you know what, even if they judged me, the other side of the coin is so important - and that's the next question, which is, what's the benefit of putting yourself out there? Now I heard Jasmine Star tell a wonderful story about how she had been picked on in middle school by all these mean girls, and she had shied away from visibility for years now as a result.
Jasmine Star is one of the leading voices when it comes to Instagram and she literally couldn't be more visible now, and she's so confident. She talks about her journey, how she had to accept that those mean girls didn't pay her bills and to stop being scared of what they might think. Bear in mind that these girls probably aren't even watching her now, but in her own mind, the fear of what they might think literally held her back until she decided that her business, her purpose were more important. And that's how I feel now – and I hope that you will feel that way too, because it is our time to just step into what we can achieve and not be held back by these mindset problems that aren't even real.
That’s why we just have to get comfortable with being uncomfortable. We are pushing out of our comfort zone, not just as business owners, but as humans - we are stepping into the best possible us that we can be. Yes, it's going to be uncomfortable at times. Being visible is one of those areas that for so many of us is up there as total discomfort, but just take a little step in that direction.
Choose one of the ways that you can increase your visibility and know that you're doing it for your business. Not because you're vain, you love the sound of your own voice or you love to watch yourself on camera. All of these things that make you think, ‘oh my God, how can I possibly do this?’ Just know that you need to, because the people out there need you to be visible so you can help them and so you can serve.
I feel all fired up now, so I'm going to go and think about how I can increase my visibility. I hope that you do too. Feel free to tag me in any spaces where you are stepping up your visibility, as I would love to see it. Just to remind you as well that if you haven't already subscribed, please do, and please leave me a comment - I'd love to know what you think about my podcast. Please also share it with anybody else who would find this interesting - who's growing their business, who perhaps has moved into coaching or course creating in the last year. I'm here to help. Have an awesome action filled week. Speak soon.