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  • Visibility – how to avoid being the world’s best-kept secret

    Article written for the Mpower community

    One of the most challenging parts of running your own business can be getting more clients or customers. It can also be one of the most frustrating and here’s why…

    You have the most incredible product or service, and you know it has the potential to impact peoples lives in such a positive way.

    You know deep down, that if people would just try your ‘thing’ they would be smitten with it, because it’s THAT good.

    How do you know this? Because it has been born out of passion, a tiny idea planted in your mind and heart that you have nurtured. This venture has grown more vivid and more real with each day and now you can glimpse the possibilities waiting for you in the future.

    • Maybe you can see yourself on the big stage, in front of an audience of thousands.
    • Maybe you can see yourself on breakfast TV sharing your ideas and showcasing your wares.
    • Maybe you will be asked to partner on a project and work with some of your longtime heroes/heroines.

    All these dreams can come true, as they have for many other entrepreneurs before you.

    The truth is that everything, and I mean everything, that you can imagine happening, could happen. But (and of course, there always is a but), you have to be SEEN.

    Visibility is a key piece in business success, because without it, you could very well be the world’s best-kept secret. The bottom line is that if people don’t know you exist they cannot begin to know, like and trust you, which is the prerequisite to becoming a customer.

    So what stops us from getting visible? Here are a few blocks that may be holding you back and what you can do to overcome them…

    1. You know what you do, but you can’t yet articulate it succinctly

    People are time poor, you need to be able to share your business in under a minute. The best formula for getting this across is, ‘I help (who you serve) who are (their problem) to (solution)

    For example in my business as a coach ‘I help working mums, who are feeling tired, stressed, overwhelmed and guilty, to get more time and achieve work life balance, so they can enjoy spending quality time with their kids and still have time for themselves.’

    Once you’ve worked it out practise, practise, practise.

     

    1. You don’t believe you’re good enough/ young enough/ experienced enough/ stylish enough/ funny enough…

    Unlike a regular job where your boss will give you a promotion or a raise, as an entrepreneur you have to give yourself the accolades and permission to shine. You have to avoid comparison (see point 5 below). You have experience and wisdom of life that no one else has AND you have gifts to share. You are enough, go and share!

     

    1. You’re not very good at video/ blogging/ networking

    We all have to learn new skills, none of us came out of the womb walking, talking or understanding the intricacies of SEO! Every skill can be learned and every learned skill can be improved, it just takes…yep you guessed it, practise.

     

    1. You’re scared of messing up/ rejection/ failure

    When our baby takes it’s first step and promptly flops on to their bottom, we don’t criticize their inability to walk, we praise them for trying and for taking that one step. As a business owner you will have to be your own cheerleader. When you try something new and aren’t perfect or even if you completely mess up, give yourself a pat on the back and say ‘Well done for trying, have another go’ Learn to embrace failure, because it means you’ve stepped out of your comfort zone and are stretching yourself. Fortune favours the bold.

     

    1. Others are already doing it and they are so much better/younger/more experienced/wiser/funnier than you.

    I often use the ‘coffee shop’ metaphor when talking about competition, because a small town can have 5 or more coffee shops and they are all thriving. Why? Because people want different things from their coffee experience, it could be taste, ambience, location or customer service.

    Similarly you have your own way of doing things that is unlike anyone else and that is your USP.

    Therefore there is no competition, because no one else can compete at being you. Exude your ‘you-ness’ and your tribe will find you.

    A final point. In our quest for visibility, we have to slay our dragons!

    And by that I mean facing your fears, outing your insecurities, squashing your desire for perfection and curbing your critical inner chat.

    You are enough, you are perfection, you are a gift to the world and someone is waiting for you to show up right now. Someone is waiting to see you or hear you and when they do they will think ‘I love what she does’

    While you remain invisible you are depriving others of your gift.

    While you remain invisible you are squashing your genius and wonder into a tiny grey box. Burst out in glorious technicolour and let us see what you’ve got.

    Being a mum in business is an intrepid path, certainly not for the faint hearted, but with an Mpower group behind you it is not only easier, but it’s a lot of fun too.

    Emily xx

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