This post is part of my brand new Share Your Stuff Online series, where I’ll be talking about how sharing online can transform lives and businesses.
If you really want to share your stuff online, you have to do a bit of soul searching. Take the time to understand what truly makes you awesome. Why? Because credibility should be born out of truth. And if you’re truly awesome at something it will be much easier to live it, breathe it, sell it!
awesome is: something you love to do that you do really well and people will pay you for it
Finding your awesome can help you earn massive credibility online.
Awesome is not just about saying you’re the next best thing since sliced bread…it’s about living like you are. It’s about taking lessons from your unique past history and turning it into something that impacts other lives and businesses.
When you have awesome credibility, you’ll be able to get people on email lists, connect with great joint venture partners and influence prospective buyers to get what you’re selling with ease. Without this credibility, nobody will give you their time or their money.
The unfortunate thing is that too many of us walk around with a sign around our neck that tells everyone “I’m awesome” while the bubble overhead says, “Pardon me while I find myself.” Your brand is going in way too many directions and it’s not clear what you really do well.
Sure, you can experiment and you will have to along the way, but at some point it’s time to plant a flag in the mountain so the right people can find you.
This matters because consumers need you to clearly communicate why they should choose you.
It’s important to spend more time understanding what makes you awesome.
I was listening to a conference on Google+ (my new favorite hang out) when I heard the speaker talk about researching trends and listening to what “the market” asks for. I got the impression that it could be mistaken as, “forget about what you’re good at, run after the trends”.
So what if your awesome is selling cosmetic products and doing makeovers, but when you go online you hear people talking about cruises as a trending topic. Does that mean you then need to forget about your awesome gift for making people beautiful and head over to become a cruise consultant?
Hmmm…maybe not. Can you see yourself loving it? Do you see yourself immersing in the study of how to become the greatest cruise consultant ever over the next few months? If not, it may not be worth the switch.
Maybe the presenter was giving good advice, but I would rather focus on a viable set of specific experiences and skills I love doing and I’m really good at, then find out which audience it’s trending with. I’d offer this approach…
– First, pay attention to your own life experiences and where you are gifted. What do people tell you all the time you’re great at? You may end up with a pretty long list. Narrow this down in the next step.
– Look at which of those many talents you get super excited about. I mean, really, really passionate about. What topics do you talk about that keep you going non-stop because you have so much information?
– THEN after you start examining the possibilities, choose 1-2 topics and get that trending and marketing research done to validate which ones could earn you money.
Then you can start to…
marry your awesome to the right audience
If you take the route of ignoring your brilliant combination of joy and talent, and you simply run after the crowd, you are eventually going to despise the work it takes to build a trendy business around a group of people you have no love or talent for.
So when you find your target, how do you take that awesome to the streets to build credibility? How do you get it in front of the right people?
Let’s walk through a few steps…
Develop Your Online Bio
One of the first things people see online is the About You page, or maybe they read your social profile.
You can connect by sharing a compelling 30 second short story in your bio.
Take a sheet of paper or your favorite online notebook (like Evernote) and jot down notes about what makes you so enthusiastic about what you do. How did you get to where you are now? Why do you do it? What appealed most to you? What have people said to you when you were at your best doing it? What impact has it made on others? What outcome do people get when they spend time with you?
Remember you’re introducing your relationship to a topic you love. Figure out an attention-catching, respect-inspiring couple of sentences around which you can introduce your story and position your online identity.
- Tip: Don’t have a clue where to start? This is great material for your online bio. I recommend resources like Nancy Juetten, author of Bye Bye Boring Bio. Her book was a God-send for me when I first started a few years back and she has a real knack for helping people pull out their awesome. (This is a link to her book on Amazon but you can find Nancy on her site, Authenticvisibility.com as well).
I must admit I still get nervous at times about sharing my bio or talking about myself. It’s not always easy to toot your own horn.
Just remember part of the fear comes from being worried about what others will think. Break through that. Someone wise once reminded me that someone needs to hear your breakthrough so they can have their own.
Share Your Awesome Results
Think hard about the results you’ve personally gotten for yourself or for other people that showcase your awesome.
If you’re giving advice about how to make money, share exactly how much you’ve made and what that’s done for you. If you’re giving advice about losing weight, share examples of awesome things that happened because of healthy changes you made through diet or exercise.
Got an “awful to awesome” story? Share it. Or talk about a situation where you helped someone else achieve their awesome.
This means you need to get familiar with your results. Have a means in place to measure and capture successful outcomes.
If you haven’t started paying attention to what your clients are saying about the outcome you’ve helped them get to, now is a good time. If you have no clients, find some people to work with – even if it’s for free – and give them help in exchange for their honest feedback.
People want to be able to relate to you and what you do. They want to be able to feel like you know what your’e doing. Results are a great way to demonstrate this.
Add Social Proof
You should have several proof elements readily visible online, whether it’s on a blog, a blurb in your social profile/bio, or anywhere your market might find you visible.
For example, if you’ve appeared on various media stations, put the logos of the radio stations on your page with wording like “as seen on.” If you have before and after photos showing off a transformation, put those on your page as well.
The idea is to give people bite-sized chunks of proof so they know you are as awesome as you say you are. They might not even consciously look at it, but just having them there makes a difference.
Share a picture that represents you or your business. Have a killer testimonial prominently displayed on your most visited blog page. Or make sure your most spectacular achievement is showcased upfront.
Statements and testimonials that come from other people are often called “social proof”. This is one of the most powerful ways of showing off your awesome. Why? Because it doesn’t come from you.
Social proof means that other people who have no financial gain from endorsing you like your product enough to go out of their way to help you. It sends a strong message.
Social proof can include comments on blog posts, testimonials on other people’s blogs, or word of mouth endorsements from friend to friend. It can also include detailed case studies where you walk through a problem you helped resolve from start to finish.
These are a few of the most powerful ways to establish your credibility and share your stuff online. In the beginning, this process may take some work, since you will have to put together the best elements of your story and prepare your proof.
Once you’ve taken the necessary time, however, to learn more about yourself you can be more clear about who you are. Your awesome will keep working for you again and again, without you having to do much more than restate it and add to it in different ways.
And the more people get to know the real you, the more likely they are to pay attention to your stuff.