Although it might not look like it, I often struggle with making connections, especially when it comes to marketing my own business. For me the most challenging is making the promotions and connections consistently and ahead of time. It's been, and still is, a journey about confidence in myself and growing ways to communicate and connect with people.
I admit I'm a busy person, but I often find myself prioritising others over myself and my own business. I find it easier to allocate time to make connections for others, to volunteer my time for free or to work for others. When it comes to finding time for promoting my business I make all sorts of excuses. My 'CEO time' and marketing forward tend to go at the end of the list, haphazardly or at the last minute or in fact not at all. This isn't good for my personal income or for the amazing people who could discover and find value from my services.
An example of this is how I promote my weekly LIVE@Lunch webinars. When I have a guest presenter I promote well in advance (at least a week ahead, if not more) but for events that i am the presenter they might be shared just the day before I go live... and then I don't have any or many participants. I don't need to wonder why!
It's not meant to be intentional but I think it is something to do with not being comfortable 'selling myself'. Crazy when you think that LIVE@Lunch is actually free! Crazy too in that I have the confidence in skills and the topics I am sharing and about the process of delivery, after all I have been doing online webinars for over a decade and teaching for many more years. I love live online presentations the most when there is a large engaging audience... so why am I not letting everyone know well in advance?
I think it's to do with confidence in myself and what I have to offer. I think (in fact I know) I am not alone with this way of thinking. In some ways I think it is almost a form of self sabotage, or self protection and the fear of success.
If I don't promote in time... and people don't turn up, well that's because they didn't know about it or perhaps they just don't want to know or aren't interested.
I am lucky enough to connect, create and collaborate with lots of awesome women in business. Getting the message out, connecting with clients and potential customers seems to be a sticking point for most of us!
What is common is that we are passionate and have skills to share. We might take one step in promotion but then rapidly lose confidence... scared to continue to put ourselves out there.
We delay in creating a website, we delay in promoting an event or do it once in one format and then don't continue.
I must admit that the most fun I have is working alongside someone to help them grow and promote their business. Whether it be co-facilitating their live webinars, empowering them to build their own website, brainstorming strategies and engaging in online tools that can grow the connections with their clients. Working together, confidence grows.
I'm going to share a few tips and resources I have learned so far in my own journey and from what the awesome women I have worked with have shared and I extend an invitation to engage in discussion on Facebook group Connect: Create: Collaborate so that together we can grow our confidence, ourselves and our business.
10 Tips to grow confidence in Connections
Lock in regular time to focus on promoting your own business or organisation - starting off with the what, the how and the when. (Yes lock it in now! Even if 20 minutes)
Take gradual steps and build up your promotions so you can manage them and grow your confidence.
Twist your thinking to consider: Is it fair that you are not letting people know about your great service?
Collaborate or partner with others who can help you grow your confidence in the resource or promotion area you want to develop skills in. (Nothing like doing 'scary' things together! If you are working in isolation in small businesses it's nice to work with others for moral as well as skill support & development.)
Engage in tools to help you share key information of what you are offering - the what, the when, the where and the how. And get them out there for people to see!
Don't limit yourself as to how and where you share. Share in a variety of locations - online and in the real world.
Get Creative! Don't hold back trying to be perfect, give things a shot!
Consider seeking out a business coach (I grow with each person I engage with... individual coaching is fabulous to gain that 1:1 support in the area you need)
Just because you tried something once doesn't mean it didn't work... or won't work in the future. Consider how you could improve or fine tune it. (People often see what you do without you realising it. I am often surprised to hear in casual conversation that people have been quietly watching - they are just waiting for the time they need your services)
Join free LIVE@Lunch events with various practical tips and skills to connect with ciients and potential customers... and to grow your confidence.
What's coming up on LIVE@Lunch focusing on Creating Confidence to Connect:
31st May Canva - a free online resource for creating beautiful designs for posters and social media imagery so you can get your information out there!
7th June Growing your confidence in using webinar rooms - I will share a variety of ways you can take baby steps to build your confidence in growing your live connections.
14th June Connect with special guest Camilla Ward who gives people the confidence to sing out loud and find your voice! I'm super excited for this session. Camilla is a lot of fun and together we are collaborating on an upcoming in person July event Capture Your Creative.
Come join the conversation in our Facebook group Connect Create Collaborate
So that together we can grow our confidence, ourselves and our business or organisation.