Time to come out and play…
It’s all well and good having a cracking business model – being better, faster, having a fantastic story, creating awesome stuff and generally being a creative God or Goddess. But if you’re not putting yourself and your work out there in front of people, what use is it?
And no – before your eyes glaze over – I’m not talking about SEO or Google ads. I’m not even talking about the number of followers you may or may not have on ye olde Twitter.
I’m talking about you being you; about taking that light of yours and bringing it out from behind that bushel.
Whether you’re an artist, a songwriter, a maker or a baker…
…you need to be seen, and your story needs to be heard. You have to be visible.
A common fear is that to become visible we have to be the funniest, most positive, perfect, polished, serious… [insert whatever word you want here]. But in reality, what your clients – and potential clients want – it to see and connect with you; whoever that is.
It’s you who puts themselves into what you produce. It’s your vision, creation and inspiration that your clients buy into; and it’s therefore you – and what you do – that potential clients are attracted to.
If you’re not visible – these potential clients can’t find you, can’t fall in love with you, and certainly can’t commission you.
“But it’s scary!”
Yes, I hear you – the idea of making yourself visible is bloomin’ scary. But I’ll let you in on a little secret: We all have that fear of visibility; and it makes us feel vulnerable. The key is to use that vulnerability to navigate our way past that fear; to succeed in sharing our message and our talents despite being afraid. As Brené Brown says, “Vulnerability is about having the courage to show up and be seen.”
4 MSPA tips for becoming more visible:
Get comfortable with being uncomfortable. It gets easier, I promise. In fact, the more consistently uncomfortable you are, the more comfortable you become. How’s that for a mind-twister?! Maybe look for a visibility challenge group online – or start a local one yourself. Just take one step at a time. You don’t have to jump out of your comfort zone all at once – you wouldn’t run a marathon without first following a training programme, would you? So set yourself weekly targets and build on your achievements.
If you’re scared of the world knowing your every move and you worry that everything you do is up for public scrutiny and criticism – try and remember one thing. Hmm, how can I say this in the nicest possible way?… Unless your name is Justin Bieber, Zoella or Stephen Fry, I’m pretty sure the world isn’t half as concerned with what you’re doing as you are. There’s a freedom in that; take advantage of it!
Does your online presence accurately reflect who you are and the magic you’re creating? Are you putting your wonderful work out there for all to see and find? Take a leaf out of Austin Kleon’s book: “The secret: Do good work, then put it where people can see it”. Remember: the world wants and needs what you have. Think of the people who are losing out by you and your work not being found. Get your work up on your website. Be clear about who you are, what you do and the story behind it. A powerful way of doing this can be through video. Find a specialist filmmaker – we recommend the fabulous R&A Collaborations – and get your story out there.
Talk about what you’re doing. Voice your achievements and successes. I know this doesn’t come easy to a lot of us. We worry that we’ll come across as being arrogant. But stick to being you and you’ll be fine. Plus keep in mind that self-promotion isn’t actually about you. It’s about the impact of your work—and that’s not something you want to hide. Use social media to share your news; or blog/vlog once a week about your projects. You could even start a regular newsletter to share your latest offerings. And if you’ve got the gift of gab, maybe consider signing up for some speaking gigs and position yourself as an industry expert.
“The only way to find your voice is to use it. It’s hardwired, built into you. Talk about the things you love. Your voice will follow” Austin Kleon
You get the idea…
Just remember, you don’t have to do all the things I’ve listed above. Make a note of the ones that sparked an idea or an urge, and then have a go.
Now over to you! Are there any other tools, tricks or tips that I’ve not mentioned that help you be more visible? We’d love to hear them…
And any problems or questions – you know where I am. Just #AskAngela!
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