You know that feeling. Your stomach is in knots, you feel flustered and lost for words, petrified your mind will go blank. You check the mirror once or ten times to make sure you look OK and there’s nothing in your teeth. You’re about to go live on Facebook for the first time. Or maybe it’s Instagram stories or your filming your first YouTube video or Podcast episode.
You’re terrified you’ll look or sound stupid. That you’ll say the wrong thing or they won’t get your humour. Or maybe you’re worried you’ll be dull and boring and won’t capture their attention. What will your family think? Your friends? Old coworkers. Will they laugh at you? Talk about you behind your back? Will you embarrass yourself You want so badly for things to be perfect. To know all the right things to say and the most charming way to say them. But how?
What if they don’t like me?
Let’s face it. If you’re going to be a successful entrepreneur you’re going to have to put yourself out there. Particularly if you have a service based business. But I’m going to challenge even those of you with product based businesses. People still need to get to know the person behind the products. After all there are sooo many product options available to people now thanks to online shopping. They need to connect with more than just the product. They need to connect with YOU.
So regardless of what your business is, as an entrepreneur one thing holds true across the board. YOU are your business. You are the most important part of your business and always will be. No matter how big your team may get one day. No matter how passive your product offerings may one day become. Your clients, your customers, are still buying into you. They are trusting that you are the right person to meet their needs. Whether that be coaching, healing, education, graphic design, photography, whatever the service is. They are investing in YOU.
Know, Like, and Trust
In order for someone to make the decision to invest in your products and services they first need to Know, Like, and Trust you. If you aren’t yet familiar yet with the concept of Know, Like, Trust it’s time to get acquainted with this critical piece of marketing. And if you are familiar with it it’s time for little reminder session.
Depending on what kind of business you have the importance of KLT may vary in intensity but it will always be important. For lower priced product based businesses this may be a very quick process. They may see something on social media that catches their eye and makes them aware of your product (the know). They may then visit your website and really like what they see and the vibe they get from you and your branding, and then they may read a few product reviews (trust) and be ready to purchase all in the span of a few minutes.
For service based business this Know, Like Trust process can be long and critically important process and piece of your success. They may enter into the process through a free optin. Maybe they’ve joined your Facebook group or started following you on Instagram. However they first begin to get to know you, when it comes to service based businesses where you are looking to have them invest in your coaching, consulting, or done for you service etc.etc., particularly with larger investment packages and programs, this Know, Like, Trust process may take weeks, months, or even a year. It’s something you must always be conscious of nurturing with your audience. They may just start by following and taking part in your free offerings. Whether that’s social media and blog posts, optins, podcast episodes, youtube videos, free trainings and videos on Facebook or elsewhere. It can look a lot of different ways but what remains the same is that they are dipping their toes in the water getting to know you. Getting to know what you offer and who you are. Starting to like you and what and how you offer things. And eventually trusting you to be the person who can help fulfil a need or desire they have.
But here’s the thing. There are probably a lot of people out there right now offering products or services similar to yours. And that is totally OK! You don’t have to have the most original and never seen before ideas and thoughts. There are many industries where there are a lot of people teaching and offering the same things. What’s important, and what differentiates everyone from each other is how they teach it. How they offer it. Their unique take on things that only they can have based on their own experience and unique mish mash of knowledge and skill acquired over the years. And only you can offer it the way YOU can.
The way you speak. The way you laugh. The way you fumble. The things you choose to focus on. The pieces you choose to leave out. The stories you have to enhance your points. You’re personality.
OK did that horrify you a little? The idea of your personality, your unique gifts, talents, and quirks being the determining selling feature in your business. Well it’s true and trust me, it’s not horrifying. It’s amazing!
It’s very difficult, if not impossible, to have a successful business if you’re hiding in the background. Think about it. Imagine you came across an Instagram account for a business offering a service you’re interested in. You were attracted to the pretty pictures and the inspiring quotes they share. So you start poking around their Instagram account a little more. Browsing through their feed. Maybe you check out their website and join their private Facebook group. But there are no pictures of them? No personal stories shared. No videos of them. Just “perfect” looking posts. Visually appealing yet impersonal posts. You start getting a little weirded out. Who is this person? Is there even a real person behind this business? You dig and find a small headshot on their about page and some generic information about their marital and family status and job and educational history. But WHO are they? And that’s even if you bother to try to dig that deep. Let’s be honest. You probably wouldn’t unless you were super duper drawn into some promotional post you saw them share.
Now I want you to think about the people you follow and admire and respect most online. Heck even in you “real life”. Do you get excited every time they pop on live on Facebook or you see a new Instagram story pop up? Do they share deeply personal stories? I want you to really thing about what draws you to them. Is it their perfection or their rawness? Their realness. Do they always look and sound perfect? Heck no! You feel part of their lives because they share the good and the not so good. They share a more full picture.
Perfection makes us uncomfortable. It draws our ego’s attention to our own lack of perfection. And let’s face it. We know perfection isn’t natural. It isn’t possible. So while we might at first be attracted to it visually, too much perfection will start to make us feel uncomfortable, insecure, and even wary.
It is peoples authenticity, their realness, their openness that really draws us in. It makes us feel seen and understood. It creates connection because we can begin to see ourselves in the other person. I know for me, both in terms of who I’m drawn to online and off, I am most in awe of, and attracted to, those people who seem to not care about what other people think. It’s incredible inspiring to me. It helps me little by little feel more comfortable being me. Because I realize that it’s not their perfection that draws me in. It’s their light. The way they can dance like a lunatic and not care how they look because they are having SO MUCH FUN. The way they can completely lose track of what they were saying in a live and just laugh and carry on like a real damn human and not some sort of scripted perfect robot. I’m drawn in closer and closer by their realness. Not their perfection.
So who do you want to be in your business? The presence where everything looks perfect and feels disconnected and ingenuine to people? Or the business where people trust you and feel connected and drawn to you?
OK so let’s get back to where we first started and the purpose of this episode.
What if they don’t like me?
That’s what’s holding you back from letting more of the real you shine in your business right? What if they judge me? What if they don’t like me.
Well guess what?
Not everyone is going to like you.
And that is not a bad thing!
There are people out there, your people, who you are meant to serve. The ones that most resonate with your message and your energy. Your ideal clients. And you desperately want them to find you right? Right!
Well here’s the thing. How are they going to find you if you’re wasting all your time trying to act, talk, and look in a way that you think is going to appeal to EVERYONE. Which by the way is completely impossible. Regardless of how hard you try to be perfect and vanilla and not rub anyone the wrong way… you’re still going to. And you’re going to be turning people off and having people not like you for reasons that AREN’T EVEN YOU. It’s this mask your putting on in hopes of appealing to everyone that in some unnatural contorted way that they aren’t going to like. And guess what. YOUR people aren’t going to like you or be drawn to you either because you aren’t being you! It’s a lose lose situation.
You have to be willing to have some people NOT like you, the people who aren’t you people, so that YOUR people can see you, find you, and fall in love with you and what you do.
You are doing an incredible disservice to the people you are meant to serve by not showing up as you. By being ashamed of who you are or how you look or how you talk. There are people out there right now who are looking for you, need you, who are desperate for it.
This goes for the real world too people. You can never find your true friends. The ones that will love you for who you truly are and support you if you aren’t being your own damn self.
People are going to fall in love with your potty mouth, or the way you snort when you laugh, or the way you use words in the wrong context when you’re telling a story. And yes, you can still be seen as an authority and have flaws. Because flaws are human. And humans like humans!
So, are you not showing up in your business, heck in your life, because you’re worried what people might think You’re worried that they might not like you or what you do? Are you still wanting to make sure you can do it in a way that somehow manages to appeal to everyone and not ruffle any feathers. Well that’s just CRAZY! You realize that’s not possible right? Do you want to be blah and generically likeable to billions of people who aren’t going to be interested enough in you to ever invest in your products or services?
OR do you want to be unabashedly yourself. Calling in the dozen, hundred, then thousands of people that are going to be drawn like a moth to a flame by your unique light and feel seen and understood and accepted by who you are. Who will trust you, stand by you, refer you. And ya have a whole bunch of people see who you are and not be interested and carry on with their lives. And maybe if you’re really awesome you’ll have some people who are so triggered by your awesomeness that they don’t like you. Oh well. Because who care. You aren’t meant to be friends with everyone. You aren’t meant to be accepted by or liked by everyone.
In order to impact people positively I have to be willing to risk impacting people negatively. It’s not even a question of risk. I know that through showing up in a way that will impact people positively that I will absolutely without a doubt receive a negative response and have a negative impact on some people. Can I embrace that and be OK with that?
You are only meant to connect to YOUR people and they can’t find you if you aren’t being you. The incredible, unique, amazing, and one of a kind YOU!