I want to tell you something that feels vulnerable to share, but I don’t want you feel bad for me, ok?
Last week I introduced you to Alice Patterson, my brand photographer, and we talked about the frustrations and fears around scaling a business.
We talked a little bit about the mental struggles women have around getting branding photos because we feel like we need to be perfect, thin, flawless, stylish, etc.
We lean on memes, stock photos, or inspirational quotations as our content, especially social media fodder.
Here’s what I learned first-hand: it’s incredibly important for business owners with a personal brand to let our audience to see our faces - REGULARLY.
I raged against this truth for years!
In April 2017, Alice shot my first professional brand photos - with professional makeup & styling, too!
I was nervous as hell, but she did a wonderful job of making me comfortable…
We did a outfit changes, used props, & created different looks for social media & website…
But when I saw the digital files, I could barely tolerate looking at them.
This may sound odd, but it was painful to see myself in them. It took me months to actually look at them straight on for any length of time.
The photos were beautiful. Excellent quality. Nothing cheesy in sight!
The problem was in my head.
I’ve always hated pics of myself & could barely stand to see myself in them - no matter how old, young, thin, fat, happy, crabby I’ve been - I’ve hated every picture of myself since my teens.
I sat on those photos for almost a year, and when I put them out for the first time - I SWEATED. I felt sick pressing “POST”.
I literally thought people would say, “Who do you think you are, having a fancy photo shoot?”
“You’re not a model! You’re so NOT PHOTOGENIC!”
“Are you kidding me? You’re not even a real entrepreneur. Who the hell ARE YOU?”
You might scratch your head because - that doesn’t sound like me, right?
It’s painful to say these things out loud because I’ve done so much work around these thoughts. Giving them airtime feels like betraying myself!
How’d I go from thinking people would FLAME me on social media to literally gaining 40 pounds, moving into my 50s, and putting out MORE photos of myself than ever?
First, we have to talk about what motivated me.
I didn’t believe it at the time, but not allowing my audience to see my face kept a barrier between me and them.
At that time, in 2017, I had a creative assistant designing my visuals. They were cute & relevant to my content themes each week!
I was hiding behind a curtain of memes, inspirational quotes, stock photos, and Canva-created visuals -
The screen is already an energetic barrier: I was adding another layer between me & my audience.
When all I wanted to do was SERVE & HELP - I was actually putting another layer of distance between us.
It stunted my business and affected how I could show up for them!
Is it possible you do this too? That you feel afraid, too?
Do you resist visibility? Putting content out there to market yourself?
HOW IS THIS HOLDING BACK YOUR BUSINESS?
(‘Cuz is sure as shit was holding mine back.)
The truth is: we live in a visual world - social media as a marketing platform is all about SEEING.
People are bombarded with information - visuals help them differentiate who you are among the sea of socials brands coming at them.
Do you hide from your audience by not sharing who you are -
Visually, with your words, or your voice?
Just last week a client said to me, “Why do people care about ME? They don’t need to know ME. They just need my product or service.”
That’s no longer true if you’re a small personal brand.
People are deluged with promises & information.
Differentiate yourself by letting your audience get to know you…
even though it’s scary, a pain in the ass, and challenges your ego to a duel every damn time.
Over the next few weeks, I’ll share specifically how I overcame these issues for myself - and provide tips, stories, and motivation to get you out of your head and into the world!
For today - and this week - think about how you’re playing small because you don’t want to be visible -
With your photos, words, stories, voice - or all of ‘em!
I encourage you this week to do the courageous thing and PUT YOUR SELF out there - in service to your audience…
Pssst - it’s also gonna be in service to your self-confidence. (But let’s not talk about that right now. Focus on your audience - they need your content!.)
PS: We’re constantly talking about strategies to get yourself out there, even when it’s haaaard, inside the Content Creator’s Studio.
On our weekly calls, members get to ask questions & troubleshoot their content issues.
If content is your Kryptonite, come over & join us!
We have accountability check-ins, trainings to make content creation easier & better -
and co-working sessions to help us simply get shit done!
Find out more at jenliddy.com/studio. I’d love to see you there!