Afraid of putting yourself out there on social media?
One of the biggest roadblocks I’ve had to overcome as a sensitive solopreneur and a private person in business is feeling scared to put myself out there on social media and get my work discovered by a wider audience.
Being afraid to put yourself out there as a digital entrepreneur might look like playing it safe with your content in an effort to please everyone or protect yourself from criticism and rejection.
Maybe you’ve noticed that you hold yourself back and keep your ideas, opinions and most authentic self from the world because you fear that others won’t think you’re knowledgeable enough. Good enough. Just simply not enough.
Or perhaps the fear of putting yourself out there on social media keeps you from engaging with your followers and other business owners because as an introvert or highly sensitive person, the thought of dealing with “real people” can easily overwhelm you or surface all your social anxiety.
If there’s one thing I know it’s that when you come out of hiding (and it’s most definitely required for getting your work discovered by your audience) is you will be rewarded.
I’m not saying that addressing the fear and blocks that prevent you from putting yourself out there online is easy. But with gentle, consistent action, I know it’s possible to take off the mask, allow yourself to be vulnerable in your content and to be seen by the world—exactly as you are.
That’s my one wish for you.
1. Accept yourself for who you are
Overcoming the fear of putting yourself out there on social media is a journey toward self-acceptance. It’s about seeing yourself first and seeing yourself authentically regardless of where you’re at. It takes time to stop censoring yourself out of fear, feeling like an imposter, or worrying that the world will reject you. It starts with accepting you for who you are, and more importantly, where you are right now, acknowledging that it may not be where you want to be…yet!
You are constantly evolving. What you create and publish on social media tomorrow will inevitably be better than what you create and publish today because you’ve had practice. There’s always a period of discomfort when trying something new so the first place to start is by simply accepting yourself—imperfections and all.
2. Start small
Don’t start with the biggest, scariest thing like teaching to a large audience or talking on live video. Build your “visibility” muscle by gradually working your way up to the bigger things.
I started out by sharing my voice and writing on my blog (which no one was reading). Even then, it took me six months to publish my first post because I was worried about what others would think.
Step by step I kept stretching myself and began sharing my thoughts on social media until I felt comfortable with opening up more authentically in my content. I wanted my work to be discovered and reach a wider audience and knew that video would be a great way to connect with my people but the thought of going on camera terrified me.
With gentle but consistent action I began creating short private marketing and design tutorials for my clients (people who were already supportive of my work). Once I felt comfortable on video in front of a safe audience, I could start building the courage to post pre-recorded videos publicly on YouTube and Instagram before graduating to live videos via Facebook and IGTV.
The more you put yourself out there online in your business, the more you’ll expand and grow which creates a greater capacity within yourself to step into new areas that have never seemed possible before.
3. Do it imperfectly
As a recovering perfectionist and over-achiever, admittedly, I’m still learning.
The point is, if you wait until everything you write is perfect, then you’re waiting too long.
Every successful, thriving coach and solopreneur I know has said that you’ve got to put yourself out there knowing that it’s not going to be perfect yet.
It’s hard to accept that the content you put out will be subpar for now, but know that the only way to get better is to put your imperfect work out into the world first and refine as you go. Otherwise, it’ll never see the light of day.
Anyone who appears confident on camera or has perfected a process to offer their work to clients, ask them about the first launch or the first time they did it. They’ll all say it was cringe-worthy and might be too embarrassed to show you.
You’ll never get comfortable sharing your thoughts and ideas with your audience publicly or become a better writer by watching others do it. You’ve got to start before you feel ready and accept your imperfect work as good enough. Because it is.
4. Accept that fear is part of the process
No one wants to put themselves out there on a public stage to be criticized, judged or rejected by others. When you’re stretching outside of your comfort zone, fear is a fundamental part of the process. It’s a sign and an indicator that lets you know…”hey, I’m growing!”
Embrace the fear and recognize that it means you’re challenging yourself in new ways and that’s a feeling worth celebrating!
5. Focus on your higher service
In other words, focus on why it’s important for you to put yourself out there in your business and get seen by your audience.
When I was just starting out with video (which wasn’t that long ago), I worried a lot about things like my hair and facial expressions. Do I sound stupid or can people tell I’m nervous?
I was stuck in my head and focusing on “me” rather than sharing my message from a place of service. When I shift the focus from me to my higher good and why putting myself out there on social media matters, then I have more freedom to show up as my imperfect self knowing that I’m sharing content with the highest intentions and from a higher place of service.
George Kao, the OG of authentic marketing says that your content and marketing are your ministries. If you want to see why you can check that out here.
6. Disengage from attachment
I think this is the hardest one to do because as humans we wish we could control the outcome or how others perceive us.
Wouldn’t it be nice if you summoned the courage to put yourself out there in your business and everyone reacted favourably and told you how amazing you are?
Unfortunately, it’s not how it works. When you put yourself out there, there’s a certain level of risk that comes with that.
Sure, you could fail…
- people could leave you nasty comments on your post
- you might freeze in front of a live audience
- you could have your husband walk into your live video frame in his undies (true story!), or
- you could stumble your way through an entire presentation.
None of that matters because whatever happens is exactly what’s needed at this time on your journey so use it as fuel to propel you forward and improve.
There’s ALWAYS next time.