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You might have heard it everywhere by now. That to have a successful business all you need to do is just be yourself. And this advice sounds so easy, right? Except it’s not.
Because although we try to be ourselves we still deal with:
- the pressure to appear successful and ‘put together’
- the fear of being too different that you stand out (like a sore thumb)
- the fear of judgement, like what would people think if you posted what was really on your mind?
- and if you are a naturally private person, the idea of sharing parts of your personal life feels uncomfortable
It’s not that we don’t want to be ourselves. We actually have underlying fears that are stopping us from being ourselves online as entrepreneurs. But here’s why being yourself is so important: it helps you create a brand that draws your ideal clients to you because you are so relatable.
So you might be thinking, but I’m totally being myself, so I don’t know what you mean. I also used to think that until I worked with my coach who helped me to see that I was holding back. And how do you know that you might be holding back? Here are 5 signs:
1. You don’t share parts of your story because you think it’s boring or that no one will care
“Nobody would care about my story or what I really think so I should just focus on my ideal client and keep it professional”
But think about the people you admire and follow online. And how much you care not just about their content but also about what they think about various things and what is going on in their personal lives. And one of the reasons why you might admire them is how transparent and relatable they are.
If you care about someone else you’ve never met to that level, then I promise you that other people would care about your story and your life. Because they will be able to relate to you because we can all relate to someone else.
But to be relatable you have to be willing to be transparent.
2. You focus on what other ‘experts’ are doing to figure out how you should show up online because you don’t want to be ‘too different’
There is nothing wrong with learning from other people in your industry. Especially if you are doing something for the first time, like launching, or creating your first website.
But when you focus on what other people in your industry are doing so that you know how you should act as an entrepreneur to be perceived as successful, then that can hold you back. So on a subconscious level, you might end up mimicking your competitors which makes it harder to stand out.
Just because most people in your industry have never done something that you’re thinking about doing that is new, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do it. You don’t need the approval of your peers (or other people) to do the things that have been on your heart to do.
3. You keep feeling like there is an ‘elephant in the room’ that nobody is talking about, but you are hesitating to bring it up
Maybe you have seen things or heard things that other people in your industry do or say that you deeply disagree with or find harmful. And you might feel as if you are the only one noticing it, so therefore you don’t say anything, because you don’t want to ‘rock the boat’ unnecessarily.
But to create an impactful brand means you have to be willing to start the tough conversations instead of waiting for someone else to say something.
Think about it this way. There are people just like you, who are seeing and hearing the same things, feeling the same way, but thinking they are also the only ones who are having issues with what’s going on in their industry or on social media.
And then you come along, and you say what’s been in their minds for a while, which makes them feel like they weren’t crazy or too sensitive, and now they not only feel validated but now they feel brave enough to start having tough conversations with their own audiences and followers.
This is the power of a bold brave brand that is willing to bring up the elephant in the room.
P.S. You don’t have to wait until you’re not scared. Do it scared. The fear might never go away and that’s not the goal anyway. The goal is to learn how to do things that feel important and impactful even when you’re scared out of your mind.
4. You don’t feel free to be yourself
If you have to be honest with yourself do you really feel like you’re free to be yourself or do you feel like you’re restricted like you’re holding a part of yourself back for the sake of getting a client? Out of the fear of not offending someone? Perhaps out of the fear that people won’t like you?
Here’s something to remember” You have no control over how people will react to you being yourself.
The only control you have is simply showing up and being yourself. The reality is that that might repel some people, but that’s not a bad thing because that means you are most likely repelling people who don’t share your values and who would not be your ideal client anyway.
So don’t be afraid to repel (by being yourself) because repelling will lead to you having an audience full of your ideal clients.
5. When you compare your content to other people in your industry, it’s more similar than it is different
Now there aren’t a lot of things new under the sun, which means that what you and your competitors or peers talk about will not be that different. But how you share that information will be different based on who you are and who your ideal clients are.
Something you might have heard before is the idea that ‘you are the brand’ and all you need to do is show up and be yourself. Now there’s a lot of truth to this, specifically if you have a personal brand.
But if you’ve been on social media for a while, how many times have you felt tired of social media because the posts started to feel similar?
Sometimes when we don’t intentionally spend time building our brand, we can unintentionally blend in instead of standing out. And whether you are a solo entrepreneur or have a team the thing that will always set you apart is your brand.
And even if you think about the most popular successful entrepreneurs you’ll notice they have a very strong personal or business brand.
This is why being intentional about your brand is being intentional about standing out. And this will come across in your content.
So what can I do to be more of myself online as an entrepreneur?
As a brand strategist and designer, I help people build bold and brave brands, because I know from experience how scary it can be to just be yourself or even figure out how to express who you are through your website and brand. So if that’s when you need I’d love to help. You can click here to check out my services to learn more.
Alternatively, if you’d like to work with a coach instead of a designer, I highly recommend my coach who is really great at this, and you can check out her Instagram handle here (P.S. She didn’t ask me to do this so trust me when I say I’m recommending her cause she’s good at what she does)
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