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Business, Let's Talk:, Lifestyle

Let’s Talk: Does putting yourself out there make you more successful?

This post is not related to interior design.  There’s no fancy images to catch your eye; this subject is something I’ve been thinking and talking to people about and I wanted to share and continue the conversation with you.

I’m what they may call an introvert.  I’m not keen on big social situations,  I’m a big thinker and dreamer, I’m happy in my own company and I love being at home.  Like all the time.  And I don’t think being an introvert is a bad thing at all.  It’s part of who I am.  But, when I started my own business, I quickly realised that as well as selling what I do, I am also selling who I am and that means putting myself out there for all to see. And judge.  And comment and have a opinion on.  Gulp. 

I’ve read and been told that ‘people buy from people’.  That customers are more likely to engage and feel comfortable parting their money with someone they feel they know and can relate to.  And I completely understand and agree with that, but with social media rising to what it is now, that no longer means meeting someone face to face and talking with them and getting to know each other.    It means putting your real thoughts, opinions, how you talk and what you look like, out on that world wide web for everyone and anyone to see.  As much as I strive to not care about what people think, I really care about what people think.  What if they think that what I think is wrong?  What if they don’t agree with my opinion?  What if they don’t like my work?  What if they think I’m not good at what I do?  What if they think I don’t look the part or professional enough? 

Every creative person or otherwise must go through this process, social media or not.  We are creating something that our heart and mind has imagined and designed and whats the point of creating if we don’t show it to anyone?  

As far as social media goes I primarily use Instagram for my business.  I also have a Facebook account, which I post on through Instagram and a twitter account, which I rarely use.    

Social media in general has developed to be such a huge and important platform for businesses, old and new.  If you’re not on social media, you’re missing out.  You’re not keeping up with the current technological and cultural trends.  For all sorts of creatives, Instagram in particular is a visual way to engage with people, to express yourself and your business, to tell your story.  And some people have had huge successes from it.  The more followers you have, the more influential you are, the more work you can get.  For followers, it’s an easy-access window into your life and easy, impactful marketing for your business.  Plus it doesn’t cost a thing so everyone can use it.  

So, as a small and new business, does that mean if you DON’T use Instagram or social media, your business won’t be successful?  Do I have to put myself on Instagram, so that people can get to know who I am, so that they feel more connected to me? Or can I be just as successful if I purely post about my work, what inspires me and things I love, without anyone knowing what I look or sound like?  

I spoke to my bf about this and he made a good point.  He is a musician in a band, with 4 other people, and ultimately their band is their business.  They’re band is their brand and they have a huge following around the world.  Their front man connects hugely with their followers and shares a lot of his personal life on social media.  My bf on the other hand is completely opposite and shares hardly anything about his life on social media. Some images here and there that gives a sneak peak into what he does and likes outside of work, or he posts images from shows, etc.  He made the comment ‘If I was to put more about my life on social media, I would have way more followers and be more successful in the long run and be more like [the front man].  But I’m glad I haven’t because I’ve not followed any rules and done it the way I want to.’ 

His view is that you can compare yourself to others and manage your social media in the same way, and if that means posting more about yourself then do it, but you can also post in whatever way you want; if you have quality content and the confidence to be yourself and do things your way,  that is what will make you successful.  By being you and believing in that. 

That is one of the dangerous things about social media. It is extremely easy to get caught up in comparing yourself with others, because you are constantly looking at everyone else’s post’s.  And people post about their personal life; their home, where they go on holiday, what they’re wearing, what they’re cooking, where they go out at the weekend and they post about their work; beautiful new projects they’ve done, workshops they go to, their office life.  And I find myself absorbing all of these peoples lives and then realise I haven’t put anything up on my account and find it difficult to then do so, because surely, whatever I post wont be nearly as good as everyone else’s that I’ve seen? 

So perhaps there’s a unique balance.  I think it would help my business to put myself out there.  After all I have made this venture, me and me alone, so why wouldn’t I want people to know who I am and why I’m doing what I’m doing.  Because I’m passionate about what I do and I want to share every piece of that.  

But, if I only share as much as I feel comfortable with and keep posting the way I have been, maybe that’s okay too, because that’s my way of doing it and whatever success that brings, I’ve earned it being confident in myself. 

Everyone has to start somewhere right?  The people I follow have all built their brand and businesses into a success and shared it through instagram and it’s been inspiring to follow such driven women do what they love to do and make a career from it.  

I wonder if they had the same struggles when they first started out?  Are most people, who could be called extroverts, a natural when it comes to sharing their lives?   When I googled social media introvert the following headlines appeared, so maybe I’m not the only one.  

“Is social media helping or hurting introverts” 

“Which is the best social media platform for introvert” 

“Introvert: 10 things about social media that make me uncomfortable” 

“What online social media can teach you about introverts” 

“The ultimate guide to social media for introverts” 

Whatever your business, or social media platform, what do you feel comfortable with?  Have you struggled with the same thing or something similar?  I’d love to hear your thoughts.  

Thanks for reading 

Steph x 

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