Are you an entrepreneur or maybe looking to start and grow your side hustle into a real business? From social media to online marketing, CONFIDENCE is key. So if you’re struggling with finding the confidence to become a leader in your niche or build your brand to become an even bigger and more powerful presence, here are a few things to keep in mind.
Nobody sets out to become an influencer. (Well, maybe some do, but sustainable, meaningful leadership comes pretty organically, when you have good information to share and work to do it in a fun and effective way instead of thinking about hitting celebrity status).
Some of the most popular and respected thought leaders are also the most humble. They may be making millions of dollars a year and are followed by tens of thousands, and they still wonder: “Am I worthy?”
We’re all experts in something, and sometimes, the more niche that knowledge is can be the thing that helps you stand out. Lots of people can cook: maybe you are an expert in a specific type of recipe (paleo, gluten-free, vegetarian) or maybe there’s a hack or tip you created in the kitchen that will blow people away!
If you’re a fitness trainer who specializes in training runners, let people know that they can work with you, starting 8-12 weeks before a race, and use you as a coach and cheerleader, either one-on-one or in a small group. (And if you’re looking for a great certification, see my review of the REVO2LUTION RUNNING™ exam from Dr. Jason Karp.)
And don’t overthink it. What you find easy and simple may be incredibly confusing and overwhelming for someone else. I have made the mistake of assuming that people know how to do a push-up, for example, only to see with just one or two reps that their form is a disaster and they’re in danger of hurting themselves. Sometimes I’ll throw out terms about social media, analytics or online marketing and I can almost see the other person’s eyes glazing over.
You know more than you think you do, especially if you’re passionate about the topic!
You don’t need to dive right in with a huge project or topic: start small, keep it simple and once you’ve established those skills, you can work your way up to something more.
My mother will always be my favorite test audience. She loves me whether I make a mistake, stumble or look foolish. And you probably have lots of others in your own audience that are very forgiving and can be a great group to start with.
Do you have an existing email list? Let them know that they can have early and/or exclusive access to you and your chats. They already know you and have opted in to getting information from you, so they’re a lot less likely to judge harshly.
Maybe you want to offer chats to some of your fitness clients outside of the gym, giving them support on days where they can’t come to class or checking in with them once a week to make sure they’re staying on plan. Those clients are already invested in you and trust your expertise.
A great teacher is always a student as well. If you get too stuck in your ways or stop educating yourself about what’s changing in your niche or genre, you’ll not only do a disservice to your clients but you’ll leave yourself vulnerable for another expert or influencer to take over your audience.
Hopefully, you love what you teach, so it’s no hardship to stay up to date! Subscribe to magazines, read blog posts, watch videos. Make sure that you’re looking at what’s happening outside of your bubble.
I think that when people start advertising themselves as experts, they feel as if they have to claim to know everything, and to have invented all tips and tricks. Absolutely not! One of the best ways to establish yourself as a leader is to give additional sources and resources, and to tell your clients and students where the information came from.
It shows that you are always learning (see above) and that you’re open to ideas and advice from others in the niche. And remember: people aren’t coming to you because you’re the ONLY one who knows something about the topic. They’re coming to you because you’re the ONLY one who can demonstrate it and explain it to them and the BEST at making it clear and meaningful.
I do a lot of brand-building coaching and consulting with clients and not a day goes by when I don’t learn something from one of them. Sometimes it’s an app or tool that has helped them. Often, it’s a different way of looking at a challenge or a problem and it helps me come up with a more creative and effective response.
Ask people around you: what’s working for you right now? What are you struggling with? Do you know any interesting information that you can share?
Keep asking questions and pass on what you know. It will make a big difference!
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