This is my first blog post on my new website. (What a hook! Don't give up on me.)
And it's pretty tempting to follow the content guru's advice on what content to put out initially to appease the SEO gods and launch any unsuspecting visitors down my sales funnel ASAP.
I won't pretend I don't have a funnel, nor will I avoid posting content that will help my website rank. I'm not a foolish maverick.
I'm not really a maverick.
Just a do-gooder and an introverted business owner who wants to forge genuine connections with people and help them succeed in their brand messaging.
So, for my first blog post, I will share a few tips on putting yourself out there if, like me, the thought gives you a chronic twitch in your left eyebrow.
Because this is a momentous moment. I am putting a POST on MY blog. I've written many posts for clients. Writing for others; no big deal. In fact, I love it and relish the creativity and problem-solving involved in helping my clients share their stories and build trust with their audiences.
But for some reason, writing for my own business leaves me blanker than a blank cheque (remember that 90's film?)
And I know why.
Because it's scary to own your own voice, your own business, your own story, and your actual opinions. Especially in today's digital world.
Especially when your business is you. You're a service provider and you're offering up your expertise and skills. And your personality.
The fear of rejection is real.
So, without further ado, four tips for introverted business owners on how to put yourself out there and grow in confidence so you can start poking your head up above the parapet and launching some impactful and authentic content bombs that will get you noticed by your target audience.
Tip 1 - Get out of your own head and think about how you can help others
Now, don't take this the wrong way. But not everyone will read your content.
Hardly anyone will read this blog post, no doubt (hi, Mum!)
We need to ignore the little porky pie lies that get stuck on loop in our minds, like these:
We'll be cancelled.
The whole world will see what we said (and care).
And sharks might actually come through the vents in the swimming pool (just me? Ok.)
And we need to fix our focus elsewhere.
Instead of saying 'I must share content to run a successful business'. I try to reframe it as 'I get to share content that will help others to run a successful business'.
One is rooted in fear and the other is rooted in generosity.
Tip 2 - Give yourself opportunities to be confident
The other day I joined a new networking Zoom meeting. I had no idea who would be on the call but I had a pretty confident guess that they'd have all met before and I'd be the only newbie.
Now, I gave my introverted self a slight opt-out. I had my baby in tow so I said I'll listen in today. But I got on the call and I engaged in the chat.
I don't LOVE the experience of meeting new people.
And though I dislike the fact that we're made to feel we all need to be smooth-talking salespeople to do well in life, talking to others is a requirement for selling them your services.
Thus, you need to practice networking with confidence because it can be learned.
Tip 3 - But take it one step at a time
It's exhausting and tough mentally if going on social media and attending networking events drains you.
I hear you, my friend.
What's a manageable first step you can take?
How can you start to show up on social in a way that feels doable?
Then grow from there as your confidence grows, which it will.
Tip 4 - Be prepared
Not every introvert is the same but if you're like me, you struggle to think of things to say sometimes.
Especially to new people.
And especially when your brain is tired.
I remember my dad giving me advice as a child that has stayed with me. As a painfully shy child, I would be desperately anxious about going to a new situation with new people. I was constantly having to push myself to speak up.
My dad's advice was to think of questions in advance that I could ask the other people I would meet. What school do they go to, do they play sports, who is their favourite Spice Girl, and so on.
If I had the questions in mind beforehand, the complete blank that would strike when I was in an unfamiliar situation wouldn't derail my ability to start a conversation.
Dad also told me about a study he read about popularity and what makes a person popular. This study watched a well-like person engaging at a party and noted that they asked more questions than most. In other words, they showed the most interest.
I had always thought that spinning a tall yarn with comedy and flair was the main way to win friends. But no, it's to be interested and listen.
Whether you're going to a networking event or doing a discovery call with a client. There's no shame in having a script. Think through how you'll offer your business card so you're not stumped at the time and can only think of cheesy lines that you would never say.
But most importantly, plan your questions and show interest, which makes sense for lots of reasons, don't you think?
Well, thanks for stopping by! I'd love it if you could answer the following question to help me know how I can help.
Thanks a bunch, until next time!