‘I sabotage myself by not being visible online, not promoting myself, not emailing people, not blogging, not doing anything that exposes me to criticism or the possibility of getting it wrong.’
I see some variation of this statement almost every week in spaces filled with female entrepreneurs operating online. The person posting always sounds distressed and like the whole thing is really personal to her. Like she’s the only one who is acting this way.
The thing is, she’s not alone and if you recognise yourself in this behaviour, you’re not alone either. We all have these fears. They arise from conditioning which says, ‘First and foremost, be sure to please other people, don’t offend anyone, don’t rock the boat, don’t be too radical or different.’
After years of being conditioned this way for decades, we then step into the entrepreneurial space and wonder why it all feels so challenging. We’re stepping forward with manacles on our ankles and with our hands tied behind our backs.
Well, my friend, it’s time to unleash those binds.
Last week I spoke about a visibility myth that can make or break your business. The myth is this; if you build it they will come. The thinking being that you don’t have to bother with marketing or promoting your business, people will just find you once you’ve created something amazing. That myth keeps us from taking action in our businesses and the inaction that follows puts massive breaks on our business growth.
In the article you’ll find 6 actions you can take to start prioritising promotion in your business. And because this topic is so important, today we’ve another 6 steps for you. Here they are:
- Start with a micro-commitment to your own visibility.
At the School of Visibility HQ, I’m currently playing with a concept that a lovely member of our community told me about; achieving your goals in 15 minutes increments. Sounds like it wouldn’t be enough time doesn’t it? But here’s the thing; the brain loves it. It knows it can do anything for 15 minutes so there’s far less resistance to actually sitting down to do the work than there would be if you said to yourself; ‘Today you must do an hour of promotional work’.
In this 15 minute a day mini experiment, the results I’m seeing are that, at a minimum, 15 minutes of work gets done on a project that would otherwise be put on the back burner. Sometimes, much more time gets allocated because after 15 minutes you actually want to keep going.
So, what do you think? Could you do start by doing 15 minutes of promotional work, 3 times a week?
- Set a rule for yourself around visibility related activities.
For example, the rule might be that you cannot work on your fun or creative tasks until you’ve done some promotional work.
Of course you can always combine this with the micro-commitment mentioned in point 1. So, you might decide that as a minimum every day you must sit down and spend 15 minutes doings visibility work after which time you can do any of the myriad other wonderfully fun business related tasks.
- Develop a visibility habit.
A few years ago Charles Duhigg wrote a great book called ‘The Power of Habit: Why we do what we do in life and business’. In the book he spoke about keystone habits; habits that lead to the development of multiple good habits. If you want to get healthier for example, the keystone habit you might work on is getting 8 hours of sleep each night. By getting 8 hours of sleep you ensure you’re not tired the next day. That means you’re less likely to drink lots of coffee or eat sugary foods. It also means you’re more likely to have the energy to exercise at some point each day.
I think of visibility as a keystone habit for business. If you develop the keystone habit of being visible in business, then a whole lot of other good habits and consequences follow. Here’s how it works; the more visible you become, the more you find yourself speaking about your business. The more you speak about your business, the more connections you build. The more connections you build, the more opportunities start to flow to you. The more opportunities that start flowing, the more people know about you, and the more people know about you, the more likely they are to buy your products and services.
So start with the habit of visibility and you’d be surprised at the other benefits that accrue to you and your business.
- Clear out your inner blocks to self-promotion and marketing.
I’ve always espoused the benefits of working first on your inner world and then taking action in the world. When you clear out your inner blocks to self-promotion and marketing, you’d be shocked at how much easier that habit building becomes that I spoke about in point 3.
And if you’re not sure where to start with this, our class ‘7 visibility blocks stopping you from growing your business’ is a great first step.
- Step out of your own shoes and think about the people who are in need of your products or services.
Here’s another habit for you; get into the habit of regularly asking yourself, ‘Am I making it easy or difficult for people to find me? How could I make it easier?’
- Gather a community around you to promote your work for you.
If you’d prefer to focus on community building than you would on promotion, then this is another way to grow your business. Start first with building your community and then give them opportunities to promote for you. This is the approach I teach in The Age of Visibility which you can find out more about right here.
That’s 6 more steps you can take today to keep growing your business. Choose the option that suits you best and then come on over to The School of Visibility facebook page and let us know what you’ve decided.