Afraid To Post On Social Media?
The fear of showing up online may seem like something quite rare, but up to 80% of the female entrepreneurs I speak to have had blocks in this area.
LET’S REFRAME THE FEAR
We worry because when we create our businesses, we are doing so from a place that we have often never shared with the world before. Stemmed in passion and purpose, it can be difficult to open up something so sacred to judgement and ridicule. Beyond that, there is the feeling of worry that your friends and family won’t get it but will definitely see your online activity making you look a certain way that they will never have seen before. This is linked to your identity and the feelings you have around other people’s perceptions of you.
Let me be the first to say that all of the above is totally normal and you are in good company in the entrepreneurial space. No one walked into this yelling, “Wow, I cannot wait for my Aunty Sheila to see me dance around giving time management tips on Tiktok!” For a lot of us, we have also been privileged to see so many large corporate brands be born without a face. Hiding behind branding is what a lot of us thought we would be able to do until we got inside a room with visibility experts who quickly burst our bubble!
The beautiful, if somewhat uncomfortable truth is that we do need to be visible to be able to conquer our campaigns, but before we can stick our flag on that hill, we must first conquer the fear. To be able to do that, we need to first identify what that fear is for us. Some of the fears we have are shared worry that we will look silly, concern that our non-business friends and family won’t understand, shame in showing that you are actively pursuing sales and want to make money. Whatever it is for you, be really clear about what the block is, and then name it.
“Don’t let those people online put you down, stunt or stop you either!”
Here are some of the most common blocks:
– You see yourself flourishing into a better and different version of yourself but are scared the people you care about will not understand, perhaps consider you selfish or stuck up.
– You have never been in the spotlight before and it makes you nervous because you never wanted fame when you began your business.
– You are worried about putting yourself out there and being subjected to people’s opinions and judgements (aka trolls and potential nasty comments).
– You feel worried about the shame you will feel if you take the leap and then the business doesn’t work out.
To be able to heal these gaps, you must first consider a change in perspective. Almost all of the reasons we experience fear in this area come from a place of ego. We are trying to preserve a reputation because we only want to be seen in a certain way. Your mindset is your biggest and most effective tool to be able to help you to navigate past these blocks.
“Sometimes you have to see things for what they truly are and allow them to have little to no power over you.“
Let’s reframe those fears again.
– By being courageous and allowing myself to be seen as the person I am growing into, I might inspire someone else I know and love to feel comfortable doing the same.-
– I need to be visible for my clients to find me so that I can fulfill my purpose and passion to support them.
– I believe in myself and my business with such a strong and unwaivable conviction that no judgments or opinions could affect my mission.
– I am proud to take steps forward fearlessly to represent the wider purpose I am trying to achieve.
– By being visible, I am setting down my ego and thinking of the people I want to help.
Another of the biggest fears of showing up on social media are those keyboard warriors, those opinionated types, the ones we call trolls. They don’t live under bridges anymore, they linger in the comment section on Facebook, just waiting for you to share an opinion or a promotional post, or anything that would give them the opportunity to judge and leave their mark on your day. I know this is one of the most common things people worry about, so let me dispel the myth slightly and address the real life situation!
Trolls will appear, often only when you are doing something right. In fact, most of the time, if you find yourself on the sharp end of a keyboard sword, I would consider whatever you did to get that digital tongue lashing and roaring success. Trolls troll when triggered. Granted, triggering a troll is about as easy as choking on thin air, falling up a step or laughing inappropriately during times of great sorrow, but it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t give yourself a pat on the back if you encounter one. I believe you almost certainly should!
Trolls like to leave a mark – they also boost your content online and act as a silent war cry to all your die-hard fans. There is nothing quite like a troll giving you a hard time to activate those who think you are the bee’s knees into showering you with digital love.
You see, social is just that: it is our social framework, just plugged into a computer. The village idiot, the critic and the gossip hounds are all present and yet you wouldn’t think twice in real life going about your business, knowing that the people around you have very little input into your life choices. Don’t let those people online put you down, stunt or stop you either!
Sometimes you have to see things for what they truly are and allow them to have little to no power over you, a bit like the girl in Labyrinth getting past David Bowie. You create your power, your kingdom and your digital environment. Want to go live without Dave the butcher commenting on it? You have choices! Change the settings, delete Dave, go live inside a FB group or private Instagram just for clients. Whatever you choose to do, do it for you!
It is time for you to shine. I guarantee when you do and you find the people who are out there searching for you right now, you will be so glad you did!
Regular Columnist: Article published in Brand You Magazine – Edition 18
Dawn Beth Baxter, founder of Beyond The Dawn
Dawn Baxter, owner of Beyond the Dawn, is a true industry leader, expert and mentor in the realm of digital marketing. Dawn has cemented her position as a sought-after authority in the field.