If there’s a phrase you hear a lot, it’s ‘you need to show up more to be in business.’ You need to show up more so people trust you. You need to show up more so people will know who you are and buy from you.
But what does ‘show up more’ actually mean, and how do you do it?
Before we start to show you ways to show up more, I want to talk about why it’s really important. Showing up more means putting your face, your thoughts, and your ideas out in front of your target audience, to help them connect and bond with you. If you have a big brand, you will often have brand ambassadors within your business that can do that. You may choose people who are going to proclaim truths that align with your values.
For most of us, as small business owners, that job rests on us. We have to show our faces, show our thoughts and be a little bit vulnerable to help people connect and trust us.
There are a lot of ways that we can do this – but before we start, there are a few guidelines and rules around how. When we are being vulnerable and showing up, it’s easy for us to start showing aspects that aren’t helpful, or in line with your brand. These guidelines will help you navigate how to show up.
If you are in a bad place, and you’re feeling a bit low, it’s a good idea to not post that day. When you are sad, or angry, it’s going to seep through. Definitely don’t post when you are desperate for sales, and stressed out. That stuff just isn’t great for your brand. Melt-downs are for off your brand pages. Stay positive, and if you can’t, it’s a good idea to step away and take a break.
Think before you post
Always have a really good think before you post. For example, yesterday, I posted something on LinkedIn that was quite controversial. I thought about it for a long time before I posted it and considered what were the ramifications for me as a business owner, and what are the ramifications for our business. What are the ramifications if a whole lot of people hate it? Or if it backfires and people no longer want to align with that person. You really need to think about what are you going to ‘protect’ in your brand, whatever you do.
There is a difference between authenticity and honesty. Authentic self is showing up and being honest about what we’re doing, when we are not living through the desperate times right now. Honesty is being open and truthful, regardless of where we are on the rollercoaster. Authenticity is about teaching the lesson learnt, post the worst part of the curve. We stay authentic to our brand, without dramatising the problem and attracting the wrong types of people to us. If we only talk about the drama, we attract drama loving clients and customers, who tend to be unhealthy people to build a business with.
Remember it’s about them, not you
We also need to remember it’s about them not you. It’s great to talk about ourselves but you need to think about how this will impact or benefit the people you’re talking to. It’s not to rah rah and show off about what you’re doing, it’s all about remembering that this stuff is to benefit the person that you’re sending the information to.
Give within your own limits
You can give within your own limits. Don’t feel like you got to share absolutely everything and respect the boundaries of the people around you. I’ve got teens, and I talk about them a bit but I’m really careful about what I say about them on social media. Especially in areas where I know their friends might follow me or share with me as well. I don’t talk about everything in my life. I wait until I’ve processed things and I know my own limits. I’ve got things that I share about that I’m really happy to share about and other things that I might have that are private. And that’s completely okay. That’s not being dishonest. That’s being authentic. There’s no deceit or incongruence between the two. I want to have a private life that I’m not detailing on social media every day. And that’s OK.
Make sure it’s your own story
Don’t steal other people’s stories, don’t plagiarize other people’s ideas. Make sure it’s something that you can own or is something that has happened to you. Don’t take other people’s stuff and pretend it’s yours. That’s not okay.
Don’t post to feel validated, accepted or approved.
Before you post make sure that you’re not doing it to feel validated or accepted or approved. If we keep on having post that we’re doing for that. And people don’t notice it, it’s gonna really mess with our heads. Make sure that your head is in a place of service before you think about doing your post.
With all that in mind, here are twenty ways that we can show up more as a business owner in 2020
- Tell a story about your past
You can tell a story from anywhere in your past from childhood and then bring something that your reader or watcher would want to know about that might relate to them. Get them to talk, refer back and share communal memories that might fit in with yours.
2. Share a hobby
It can be something really mundane that you do that people might not know about or it could be a hobby that you know other people are going to share. Or it could be a really weird hobby that you don’t think many people will share but will interest people.
3.Describe your favourite life moment
Think about things that you really cared about and why that was important and what emotions you were feeling and share that.
4. Tell a story about your family
Now we live in the age of Mom bloggers and family bloggers who talk a lot about their family. I’ve got teens so I want to talk a little bit here about making sure we keep our boundaries really respectful around our family and telling stories that are not going to negatively impact the people that you’re talking about.
5. Tell a story about one of your pets
It’s one of my favourites. Always like talking about my dogs.
6. Share a fear
What makes you afraid. What are things that freak you out? And if you can find things that are common fears with the people that you’re talking to that’s gonna really help.
7. Tell us something you love doing in the weekend
Sharing parts of our private life really helps people bond and relate to us. So share exciting things, not just the really big things but some of the mundane things to you that you love doing or some of your routines.
8. Give us a sneak peek at one of your goals
What sort of goals are you doing that are going to push yourself forward. Show other people — if you’re asking people to challenge themselves, show them how you’re challenging yourself. I quite often do this with video because I’m encouraging people to use video so I’m pushing the boundaries of what I feel comfortable with because if I can do that then they can make their baby step.
9. Music you love to work to
Now for the record I have a very bad taste in music. I probably don’t want to share too much of what I listen to but music that you love to work can help people respond and relate to and it’s a nice easy way to show up. Perhaps just a picture of you with your iPhone playlist or your Spotify to show people what you’re listening to.
10. A movie or book that moved you
Again, this is a way to show people what you’re emotionally reacting to and see if they react to similar things. That’s a really good way to do that. Plus it’s a good way to share cool creative things that have happened.
11. A fun fact that no many people know
I quite enjoy this one because you can put a photo of yourself or a video. You can see if other people didn’t know that or actually did know it and get some engagement around their reaction to it.
12. A photo of yourself you don’t like much (and why)
(I really liked this one by the way.) A photo of yourself that you don’t like much and why. Now, if you don’t like it, it obviously is something that you find as either unflattering or unpleasant or it might have an unpleasant memory about it. And I think it’s really good to not always show just polish photos of ourselves. So putting photos that are ugly, that we think are ugly or a bit funny or distorted or show us not in the best light is a really brave step to say ‘hey, I can accept myself in any place’ and it’s a powerful moment
13. A photo of you that has a special meaning
This is also a very great way to talk about things. It can be a candid shot but just was set in a really special moment in time and talk about it.
14. Talk about a moment you almost gave something up
What stopped you from giving it up. That’s what we want to know.
15. Talk about a personal struggle you’ve overcome
This is such a powerful thing to do. I often use this, I think about things that I have struggled with in the past and then I talk about my process to get where I am today. People respond to it because they can see themselves in it. It’s such a powerful way to show up more for your business.
16. Talk about a habit you’ve successfully kicked, or one you’re proud of starting
I also use this one quite a bit. I often don’t talk about it when I’m in the space where I really need to change something but I often when I start making benchmarks I will often do video or post that talks about it and what lessons I’ve learnt about myself in terms of kicking the habit or starting a new one. It responds again to the human condition of other people feeling that they can be inspired by it or feel like they’ve already achieved it (and will egg you on) It feels good!
17. Talk about something that makes you feel unsafe or unsuccessful
This is a great way of flipping on the head the idea that we have to talk about things that make us look successful. When we talk about our insecurities, it helps people feel like they can connect with us. Not in a time where we’re really really struggling and we’re in a bad way so that we’re not robust enough to deal with the comments that might come from it. You’ve got to make sure that you’re in a robust enough place to listen to those things. But, it is a really good way to talk and share commonality of these are things that I struggle with.
18. Talk about one of your values
When we talk about our values to other people and share them, the people that also have those values are attracted to us and we build a group of people who want to connect with us because they relate to our values. So that’s an ace way of doing things.
19. Talk about your faith
Now, this can be a thing that can be tricky. But it’s important to feel that we can be open about these things. Obviously not in a way we are proselytizing and basically evangelizing to people about our faith systems and things that we believe, not dogmatically. But we can talk gently about how we have moved past things and move through things with our faith, whatever that faith says and talk about some of the tenets of our faith and why they’re important to us.
20. Share an opinion about something that’s current
Think about sharing something about something that’s happening in the news and what your opinion is. Now this is risky, if you don’t want to create waves because — let’s take vaccination/anti vaccination. The minute you talk about it and you’re on a side you launch into whoever’s going to meet you on the other side. But sharing an opinion about something that’s current is a really good way to attract other people to you that share the same opinion. And then they are easy for you to sell to.
That’s how you show up more in 2020.