When I started my 30-day visibility challenge, I was in a state of recognition. I needed to get more comfortable with being uncomfortable. I realized that I wasn’t really putting myself out there. By not becoming more visible in the marketplace, I was causing my marketing to suffer.
In turn, the oxygen that fed my business was being depleted.
What my business needed was more marketing. I knew that in order to continue my marketing presence, I’d have to get more visible. And in order to become more visible, I realized that I might have to consider things like;
- Facebook lives
- Video production
- Getting out in front of people
- Doing interviews
- Going out to events
…and the list continues…
Why I Did It
If I’m being honest, there was something desperate about my decision to do 30 days of Facebook Lives. Part of me knew it was the scariest thing I could do beyond video. However, that was the very reason why I felt as if I could conquer that I might have a shot. If I could get comfortable with being uncomfortable, I could practice talking about my message. I could present myself in front of a camera, and not feel completely frozen with comparison-itis.
I knew that if I could overcome that, I’d have a chance.
It’s easy to dispense advice.
As a business strategist and marketing specialist, I tell my clients all the time that they should be more visible. I tell them they should go for the interview, go to the events, and put themselves out there.
It’s easy to give that advice when I’m sitting here in my office surrounded by just my loved ones. But, it’s hypocritical and not putting those very same strategies into practice for myself felt wrong.
This year has been an interesting one… it’s been hard.
Referrals have slowed down. They haven’t gone completely away, but the business growth that I once experienced has taken a bit of a shift. While I’ve been focusing hard to grow my business internally, I’ve not paid attention to how it’s affected it externally.Entrepreneurship requires a level of discomfort. You need to get comfortable with being uncomfortable. Click To Tweet
Don’t get me wrong – the internal changes within my team and my day-to-day processes have been important and necessary. However, it’s like the scales shifted and I didn’t realize time was flying by. I wasn’t really making an impact on the outside world with regards to letting people know who I was and what I was doing. And that, my friends, simply sucks. I no longer was top of mind on anything.
So, here I was, heading into the third quarter, realizing something had to change for the fourth quarter. It was out of a sense of fear that I made the decision to do 30 days of Facebook Lives. Desperate times really were calling for desperate measures.
I started this challenge with only one goal, and that was to get through those 30 days.
I didn’t have a real clear plan at that point on what I was even going to talk about.
I just figured it takes 30 days to build up a habit, so I’d do 30 days of Facebook Lives.
I knew that I wasn’t going to be doing any on Saturdays, so it was going to be a little over four weeks. It ended up being timed out just perfectly, starting on a Monday and ending on a Sunday. I used my Sundays to do recaps. At first, my strategy was simple: just go through your story. Start out on day one explaining why you’re doing the challenge. I knew day 30 is going to be my finale, and halfway through I’d do a check-in.
By the fourth day, I was panicking as I didn’t want to do it anymore. Nobody was really paying any attention, and the reality was I felt stupid.
I felt like I was embarrassing myself. Maybe one or two people would pop in, all of them friends.
Honestly, made me uncomfortable. I felt like I was making an ass of myself.
Visibility Requires Pushing
But on day four, when I wanted to quit, when I really thought I could just pull out, delete the videos I had already done, and call it a day, I decided I’d just finish out the week. It was Thursday, which meant the next day was Friday and I’d get a break on Saturday, so I pushed through.
Come Sunday, I decided I’d recap the last week and just talk about what I had been experiencing. I realized right then and there Sundays would be my recap days, and I decided that I’d start talking about very specific things within my world, not just about my journey and my feelings, but maybe put some tips and some strategies in place.
Once I started talking about those things, I began to find it easier to be in front of the camera.Discipline is a character trait that comes from pushing past discomfort. Click To Tweet
Around the time I started my 30 Days of visibility challenge, Racheal Cook had talked about how she was getting through her Facebook Lives, having done 100 in a year. Some of the tips she shared were great, like putting on makeup or doing my hair. Now, it should be noted that I’m not big on putting on makeup, doing my hair, and “dressing the part” every day. In fact, I find it kind of pointless sometimes. But it DOES help if you’re “camera-ready” and it’s really the equivalent to being ready to go meet a potential client in person. It also took away the issue of procrastinating because I wasn’t ready yet.
By the time I was halfway through the challenge, I felt a lot more confident about being behind the camera.
And, At that point, I felt I could’ve stopped the challenge. I ‘d met my goal. I was comfortable with being uncomfortable, and if I’m being totally honest, I was getting kind of tired of doing them every single day. However, I decided to just go for it and finish out the challenge.
My Lessons Learned
In hindsight, for this type of challenge, a 30-day timeline is a pretty large undertaking. It’s a BIG time commitment, especially when some of it spills over into your weekend. But, it did achieve the goal I wanted as now I’m comfortable with being on video.
Part of actually getting comfortable came from a place of deciding “I don’t care what you think of me anymore. I’m just going to say this. Take it or leave it. Don’t want to watch me? Just tune out. It’s not a big deal.”.
The reality is Facebook Lives themselves can be helpful. Plus, there truly is power in video marketing, which is part of the reason I wanted to practice doing it.Video marketing can jump you to the front of the 'visibility' line while building a trust factor. Click To Tweet
It was also an interesting experience with regards to market research. I had my business page up for the last four years of being in business but I just started doing this challenge. I never told anybody outside of my Mastermind group and I didn’t mention it to my clients. I just got on Facebook live on day one and announced it.
There were several people that started watching it after the fact, all of which, again, were friends or family. I was hoping that if they were tuning in every day, it was because something, even just one thing, was interesting enough to them. That gave me a little bit of momentum going forward.
How To Do It Better
As a result of this challenge, I now recognize other things that I’m going to have to work on.
Here are key takeaways I’d keep in mind for the next time I plan this type of challenge:
- The first thing would be preparation.I did map out what I was going to talk about it in advance, but they were just simple one-off bullet points. I wrote a sentence or two to put in the description and plotted out what link I’d share, but it didn’t really go beyond that. I had the scope of my stories or insights along with tips that I had planned on talking about, but I didn’t rehearse explaining it.
- There’s power in practice.It’s not that I want to sound scripted. In fact, being a former radio personality, I have a HUGE issue with sounding scripted! That said, I do recognize how important it is to practice articulating what you want to say and making sure you refine the message. Often I focus on wanting to sound authentic because that’s important to the way I want to be perceived and how I prefer to have messages given to me. Regardless of personal preference, there IS something to be said for practicing and making sure that you’re articulating your message in a way that your audience can resonate with what you’re saying and that the explanations make sense.
- Think like a producer.Racheal Cook, one of my most favorite digital mentors, covers this in her Sweet Spot Strategy; about having your lighting already squared away, having your backdrops sorted out, and different little things that you can do to lessen your resistance. I luckily already had some of those things in place without even trying, but I can see where this advice is really important.
The Value You Can Share
I now see the value in Facebook Lives and how they can be great for when you’re wanting to do short-term tips and insights. If you’ve got a new concept or idea and want to put a little sampling out there of that content just to see if it’s going to resonate with your audience, it’s a perfect opportunity to do that.
In fact, because of doing this challenge, there are already some things that I know I’m going to be putting together that are going to be like little bite-size pieces of training on Facebook. It’s a way for me to see what people think of them and if they resonate with anyone.
Quick production notes I learned for Facebook:
- You can embed your Facebook Live videos into your website, or your blog, or your newsletter.
- While YouTube still has a bigger video audience, Facebook is trying to capture some of that market space.
- By embedding the videos on your website, you can see insights and analysis on it just like you would on YouTube.
Because of this, I can now definitely see the possibilities with that in terms of my marketing.
Other things that I didn’t do this time but would in the future include giving people a heads up that I’m going to be doing these lives and being consistent with my times. Granted this wasn’t the goal in this particular challenge, but letting people know what you’re doing and when, sharing topics in advance, and utilizing it as part of also your video marketing strategy are all great ways to increase your exposure. It’s also a way of encapsulating your brand and showcasing your playlists with different topics if you want.
Was It Worth It?
Without a doubt, the challenge was well worth doing.
Sometimes as entrepreneurs, especially solo entrepreneurs who work at home continuously without stopping for years on end, you blink and all of a sudden five years have passed. You try to remember what it was like when you did have a “regular job” where you met up with people every day. When I think about it, the idea of throwing together an outfit and going to a meeting, even just down the street, feels like a really big overwhelming thing even though I used to do it all the time.
I realized that I don’t want to lose that part of myself, and I feel like I already have lost the comfort level that I used to have with it, so bringing some of that back is really important.
The challenge did open my eyes to a lot of things. The biggest being that I’m not spending enough time in my role as the CEO of my business. I’m not spending enough time marketing and focusing on being visible and getting out there.
Now that I have achieved this one little goal of being comfortable with being uncomfortable, I’m going to have to put myself in that position more and more.
As an entrepreneur, now that this is over, and looking at it from a strategic standpoint, I achieved my goal of getting visible. I achieved my goal of getting comfortable with being uncomfortable, and now I can do video and feel pretty confident in it.
So, are you ready to get visible with me? Are you ready to add video marketing to your mix? Take the plunge into visibility with video. I promise you won’t regret it.