As a mentor, I meet a lot of women who struggle with fear of visibility and it shows up in a variety of ways. Ultimately that fear stops them from taking action and prevents them from making the impact they want to. Deep down they are craving something more but something stops them in their tracks.
Visibility isn't just about strategies and marketing techniques, it's about what is going on inside, our inner dialogue and our core beliefs. All the things which combined, either support or sabotage our mindset.
If we don't feel confident in our abilities and our expertise, it has a knock on effect on how we show up inside and outside our business.
When we are employed rather than self employed it is invariably easier to play it safe, to hide in a team and blend in/play it safe if we want to. I know because I did this for most of my early career.
My own fear of "being seen" was something which was rooted in lack of professional confidence and manifested itself in always wanting to "stay behind my laptop". I hated speaking up in meetings or doing anything which required me to be in front of a group of people. I simply didn't want the spotlight on me.
Despite this, I carved out some amazing opportunities for myself in my career which included getting to travel worldwide, host press trips in amazing locations and pick up a couple of awards for marketing campaigns along the way. I'm proud of what I achieved "under the radar" but imagine if I had believed in myself more - the possibilities would of been endless!
When I launched as a freelance consultant in 2015, it took me a couple of years to take control of my own brand and visibility. I didn't think I needed to market myself and I used to judge other business owners for being so "out there" with their glossy branded photoshoots and confident messaging.
The irony was that I had spent my career in PR getting results for my clients but when it came to myself I didn't know where to start. It wasn't because I didn't have the skills to pitch myself for opportunities it was because my mindset wasn't supporting me.
I still work on my own visibility daily, but my focus is on the inner work first before any planning or strategy happens.
The big difference for me now is awareness and acceptance. Awareness of who I am and acceptance of who I am. I still have my own struggles but now I actually WANT to build my own visibility as well as my clients to do the same.
If you have visibility blocks which are preventing you from really stepping into your power, you have to take steps to work on these so you can move towards creating a business and life you love.
Your 7 Day Visibility Action Plan
- Write down what visibility means to you - pick 5 words which spring to mind. Examples might be overwhelm, fear, comparison, judgement. Start to dig a little deeper and see what comes up for you. Can you pin point where these feelings originate from?
- Write out your story. Include all the details... start from when you set up your business and work backwards including career details. Write down your passions, what drives you, what difference you want to make in the world. The aim here is for you to get connected to who you are so you can start building a picture of what your personal brand looks like. It's time to embrace your uniqueness!
- Take yourself out of the equation and focus on the people you help through your work. This subtle mindset shift can help you to see fear in a different light because you are focusing more on how you are helping and serving others. If you are less visible you can't help as many people, simple.
- Create a manageable visibility plan. Start small and build upwards. Pick platforms and marketing tools you like - the focus here is on showing up consistently – step by step and day by day.
- Try something new each week to push yourself out of your comfort zone. Try something which is directly going to impact your visibility, something you have shied away from before. Say yes to hosting a workshop, being interviewed on a podcast or simply showing up on social media and sharing content which expresses your thoughts and opinions more.
- Make a note of what happens when you try showing up in a different way. Jot those feelings down. Did you feel joy? a sense of accomplishment or was it terrifying?
- Create a positive affirmation which you can use daily. I have a screen saver on my phone which says "Visualise your Highest Self and Start Showing up as Her." It acts as a gentle reminder and keeps me focused especially on days when I don't feel like taking action.
I'd love to hear how you get on with your 7 Day Visibility Plan.