As you step into stages three and four of the four stages of visibility, you’ll find yourself developing a voice inside your industry.
You’ll step forward, from time to time, to participate in shaping the industry.
To do this, you have to first know that your voice matters. And that your perspective brings something to the industry that isn’t being said.
You don’t have to wait to be the most well-known person in your industry to do this (in fact, it’s the very act of speaking up that makes you well known, so waiting until you’re known before you express an opinion is a guaranteed way to keep you invisible).
You also don’t need to have all the answers. You simply need to decide that your voice is important enough to help shape the direction in which your industry is moving.
You’re also not speaking just for the sake of speaking. Goodness knows enough people are doing that.
This isn’t about adding to the white noise. It’s about noticing something that’s happening in your industry that no one is speaking about. Or seeing a conversation happening, not agreeing and not seeing many people express an alternate perspective.
It’s also about timing. Often you can say the exact same thing at two different times. One time, people don’t or can’t hear you. The other time, they’re ready for exactly what you have to say.
So some of the keys for me are:
Then comes the question of how to speak up to your industry. Sometimes this looks like a keynote speech at an industry conference, sometimes it’s an open letter to a peak industry body, sometimes it’s a post on social media using hashtags that people in your industry always use (hashtags being one way that industries engage in debate online).
Here’s a sample of a post I shared recently which came out of my frustration with many yogis acting in a particularly unyogic way in response to a Yoga Journal article.
There are a few things to note about the post.
Mostly, here’s what I hope you take this away from this post; speaking up in your industry isn’t always easy. Especially when the tide is working against your perspective. But speaking up in those moments is also really beneficial. Sometimes because it helps you clarify your own thoughts. Sometimes because it opens you up to a new perspective you wouldn’t otherwise have heard. And sometimes because it helps you build resilience and generally become a better communicator. Either way, the path of visibility is littered with gifts, if you’re willing to walk it.
*If you’re wondering where to find these stats for your own account, using your phone, go to your IG page, look for the insights button, press on it and you’ll be all set.
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