Why trying to be visible is hurting your business
I want to talk about something that’s been troubling me for a little while now. It’s the idea that you have to be visible if you want your business to work.
The reason it troubles me is because for some of us this idea could actually be hurting our businesses.
Watch the video – or scroll down to read more.
In the last six months, I’ve seen a LOT of people running visibility challenges and visibility courses.
Do video. Go Live. Do Reels. Get out speaking or networking. Do a Challenge. Be Seen. BE VISIBLE!!
Now, of course this makes total sense. After all if nobody knows you exist then you are going to struggle to get clients, so people do need to know you are out there. So putting the focus on getting more visible does make absolute sense. However, many of the heart-centred business owners I work with and who are in my community identify as either highly sensitive or introverted – including myself.
If this is you then the whole idea of “being visible” can feel very uncomfortable. Whether you’re highly sensitive or an introvert, “trying to be visible” isn’t really all that fun. Our natural instinct is to run and hide from the spotlight – that’s just the way we are wired. But despite that it’s easy to feel like you need to jump on the bandwagon because it seems like everybody is doing it – and everywhere you turn you are told this is the only way your business is going to work. And then you beat yourself up and start wondering what’s wrong with you when you repeatedly fail to find your flow.
For example, a client of mine was in a visibility challenge and had been challenged to create a video and share it on social media. She came to a call and shared that she was almost sick with fear and anxiety because she “had” to do this thing. Luckily, she had the support of a wonderful community inside the membership and they got behind her and encouraged her. She did go and create that video and of course there was a sense of achievement of having gone out of her comfort zone and got it done – but overall it was not a fun day for her.
And I feel the same.
As a highly sensitive introvert I recently found myself feeling blocked around visibility within my own business. I’ve always known that there’s is a lot more I could be doing to raise my visibility. But as soon as I start telling myself I “should” be doing it, it starts to feel heavy rather than coming a place of inspiration. When this happens it’s easy to procrastinate, and then we start to beat ourselves up for not doing more of what everyone tells us we “should”.
The thing is, I’ve done enough to be visible that it’s worked for me so far. I write regular blog articles and record the occasional video (though I could definitely do more). I also run webinars and I do a lot of speaking type things – mostly online these days. As a result I’ve been visible enough to make my business a success and give me a consistent 6 figure turnover for over a decade. But if I’m really honest with myself I also know that I’ve allowed this discomfort to hold me back from reaching even more people.
Despite everything I had done, I still had a block to “being visible”, which I was aware of but wasn’t quite sure what to do about it.
Then, one day, I had the “aha!” moment:
Of course, I’m a highly sensitive introvert – the last thing I want is to be visible!
It just doesn’t feel “safe” to put myself out there that way. It feels vulnerable and exposed.
It’s hard to even put it into words but on some deep unconscious level the idea of making myself visible to hundreds or even tens of thousands of people feels like I’m putting my very survival at risk.
And of course the problem with this is that while you or I are holding back on being visible, we’re not reaching enough people, and we’re not making the difference we know we can make. And that’s not very fulfilling either.
So I’ve concluded is that for someone who is highly sensitive or introverted, trying to be “visible” is not the answer.
In fact once I thought about it the idea of needing to be more visible started to feel very similar to needing to “close the sale” in a sales conversation. It’s very “all about us” and what we should be doing, rather than all about the client and what they need. As a heart-centred business owner, you have very probably gone into business because you feel called to make a difference to other people. You want to serve. You want to care. You want to give. You want to help. And, yes, you want to get paid for all of that so that you can make a living doing what you love. So doing things for others is usually easier than doing things for your own benefit.
So here is how I suggest you go about reaching more people:
1. Let go completely of any idea that you need to be visible
Yes, really. Just release it and let it go.
From this moment on, stop telling yourself you need to be visible. Then go and do something completely different. Whether you go for a lovely brisk walk outside, make yourself a nice cup of tea and sit quietly for 15 minutes, or take a whole day off. Just let go of the pressure to be visible. Completely. Ahh, isn’t that a relief?
2. Connect in with your ideal client
Once you’ve enjoyed the relief of knowing that it’s okay not to be visible, it’s time to connect in with the vision you have of your ideal client. Really tune into them… picture them as clearly as you can.
Who is it that you’re most called to help? What is it that they are struggling with right now? What’s the biggest challenge that is causing them some pain, some problem, in their life that you know you could help with? Imagine there is someone out there right now, feeling just that way.
Then think, if you could make a difference to that person right now, today, what would you say to them? If you just had one opportunity ever to get a message across to them that might make a difference in their lives, what would that message be?
3. Go and get that message out
Once you’re clear on what you would say now go and get that message out there! Find a way to communicate it. Any way will do! It could be an article, a video, a Facebook live, a reel. You might come up with a talk topic and reach out to ask for speaking engagements.
You’ll notice that as soon as it’s no longer “all about you”, you’ll stop worrying so much about the “being visible” bit, because you’ll be so concerned with making a difference and serving the people you’re here to serve.
Suddenly it won’t matter so much to you if somebody out there doesn’t appreciate your message. Because, actually, you didn’t make it for them. What matters is that you’re reaching the people who need to hear from you, and you will suddenly care a lot less what everybody else thinks.
4. Set the intention to serve
Instead of making the goal about something as vague as “being visible”, set out with the intention of making a difference to a specific number of people this month – what if you set out to make a difference to 1,000 people this month? Or even 200?
Or what if you could aim to make a genuine difference to just one person a day for the rest of this month?
What difference would that make to the action that you take in your business?
What difference would that make to the way your business feels?
If this article resonates I’d love to encourage you to go out there and serve, care, make a difference to just one person – today!
What one thing will you do today to get your message out there?
Do let me know in the comments below, and also let me know if it feels more comfortable and in flow for you than trying to be visible. I always love to hear from you and read all your comments.
Create a Business you Can Fall in Love – and Stay in Love with
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