Video: Do We Really Need It?

One of the most common questions I get from people is, “Do I really need to use video?” And the question is clear: NO.

BUT – to be honest, it is a really good tool to engage, excite, inspire and connect with your digital audience.

One of the simple lessons in selling is that consumers like to do business with people they (1) Know, (2) Like and (3) Trust.

Video is a powerful tool that allows your ideal virtual client the chance to get to know who you are and what you stand for without ever meeting you face-to-face. But – there are also more advantages to integrating video into your digital marketing strategies. Let’s learn a bit more.

VIDEO and Social Media Users

One simple reason we should use video online is that it is predicted VIDEOS will account for 82% of all consumer internet traffic by 2022.

What does that mean? People who are looking to buy are watching videos to tell them how to spend their money – on both products and services.

Here are 5 more reasons you should be using video to connect, engage and sell to your audience using LIVE streaming technologies.

It Is Inexpensive

Live stream video is inexpensive. Although you can get fancy and hire a videographer or video editor, LIVE stream video is meant to present a “spur of the moment” look into who you are, what do you, and what doing business with you can be.

An Affordable Strategy For Branding

Most smart phones produced today, that have the capability of video recording, audio and connecting to the internet is more than enough to get you streaming. Platforms used to stream, such as Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and LinkedIn are also free.

It is Allows You To Create A Brand Personality

One of the easiest ways to show off who you are, what your services can provide, or what products you sell is through video. Your potential customers can hear you, see you and get to know know you. LIVE stream video is generally unfiltered, or at least unedited, so your audience gets a peak at the real you.

Video can be fun!

And, we love to get to know the “real” version of people. In a world where key phrases such as “authenticity” are everywhere, the perfectly edited and staged images we use often do not show anything too, well – “real.” A LIVE stream video shows us in all our likeable, and imperfect, glory.

You Can Engage, Educate and Empower

Video is a simple strategy to connect with your audience, and reel them in, through emotional appeals. We stop to watch videos because they evoke some sort of emotional connection. Maybe it is humor, esteem, power, curiosity, the desire to help – every video should be presented through an appropriate emotional filter to grab attention.

Time to Educate and Engage

And once you have it, you can use the video to inform, inspire, motivate or educate your audience. Give your audience the information they need to follow through with your call to action. When someone has emotion and facts, you can be sure they will be motivated to do what you tell them!

It Can Be Fun!

Simply put – video can be fun. For many people, there isn’t a ton of space in during the day for fun, play or creativity. Video is a simple space to explore that side of yourself, and your business. There are a few key tenets of LIVE stream video work – but, for the most part, use it as a creative space to share your business and let your potential clients get to know you.

It Becomes A Brand Asset

Videos become brand assets. That means, you can reuse them, edit them, or even repurpose them over the years. Brand assets make marketing, and remarketing your business, easier and less intensive over the passing of time.

Plus, once you make the video, it doesn’t just ‘go-away.’ People can see it and re-watch it as many times as they want. Plus, the more they watch and share, the more visibility your brand gets.

It is ONLY As Scary As You Make It

There is a lot of fear associated with video work. Public speaking is the number one fear in the U.S. – meaning it is pretty typical to be a bit anxious in front of the camera. However, the ease of LIVE streaming makes it so much more common than public speaking was in the past. And the more you do it, the less intimidating it becomes.

It’s only as scary as you make it

And keep in mind, when you first start, chances are good you are not going to have very many viewers. This makes it a bit less intimidating. It also gives you the peace of mind that you can make some mistakes and grow from them without it being a big deal.

Get Help Today

If you are ready to explore VIDEO in your business, reach out! We offer free consultations to discuss goals, strategies and create plans to help you become an elevated speaker.

Let’s Talk “Authenticity” and Revive What It is Really All About

Every Mask Is Still Part of Our Authentic Selves

The word “Authentic” or “Authenticity” in the online world of leaders, coaches and entrepreneurs has turned into a catch-phase that rarely holds much value any more. It became a phrase that people adopted to show they did not play by the rules of society or want to fit into the ‘box’ of the mainstream. Being “authentic” is a calling call for independence, uniqueness, honesty and trustworthiness. Today? It really is a word that undermines your brand success and turns you, and your work, into a cliché.

Nothing More Than A Placeholder

Once upon a time, the word “authentic” had a very specific meaning. Based on the Greek work for “Self” – Authentic means to “be one’s self.” Today, we casually use it to mean we are acting genuinely, hold some sort of authority to yourself OR you possess some level of unchanging, yet imperative truth.

If you hide behind empty words, nobody will ever know who you are

Fundamentally, when you tout your own authenticity – you are basically saying that you are yourself.

Well – of course you are.

WHAT ARE YOU REALLY TRYING TO SAY?

When you define your business, brand your leadership style as “authentic” it is a sign you need to dig a bit deeper and tell us WHO YOU ARE. The social scientist in me knows, regardless of the façade we put on, even those masks are a version of ourselves. So – not matter how we show up…we are showing up as ourselves.

Say what you want people to connect to

As a copywriter, speaker or coach, when people come to me defining their brand, or their brand personality or leadership style as “Authentic” I know they need to do a bit of work. It is time to elaborate on what specifically they want to highlight as “authentic” in their brand.

For some people, “authentic” means funny, informal or cutting-edge. For other people, “authentic” means homey, cozy or family-friendly. These are all awesome descriptive words that will invite your ideal client into your business space.

AUTHENTIC MEANS WHATEVER YOUR WANT IT TO- It IS Just a placeholder

At the end of the day, when we use “authentic” it is a placeholder for something more powerful. Or, it is a word we are using because we think that someone is going to connect with it. But, like words such as “trustworthy,” “honest,” or reliable, we know we are not going to do business with someone who defines themselves as “unreliable” or “deceptive.” As consumers, why would we want to do business with anyone who doesn’t believe in themselves? If they are not drinking their own brand in, why should we?

It is tempting to use words that are fun catch-phrases. However, when we use them – we lose our brand identity, access to our clients, and may forget who we truly are and why we are in business.

HOW TO DEFINE YOUR BRAND CHARACTER

To define your brand character, you need to get specific. If you are allured to the word “authentic” think about specifically what attributes you want people to connect with in your brand or business. Your brand character is your brand’s personality. This personality is what attracts customers and clients to you. When you brand has personality traits people are connected to, they are more likely to buy from you.

Do the homework to figure out who you are

Envision your brand like a person. What does s/he look like? What kind of clothes she s/he wear? Where does s/he live? What kind of car does s/he have? And then what descriptors is your brand? Bold? Brave? Adventurous? Analytical? Curious? Analytical? Cautious? Imaginative?

Think about the brands you connect with most – how would you describe them? Let’s think Nike? Strong, Athletic, Limitless, Dominance, Innovation, Performance and Winning. Those are traits we aspire to — so, we are attracted to the brand because we are attracted to the person the brand represents.

BE BRAVE AND STOP BEING AUTHENTIC

So – the moral of this story is to stand up bravely and walk away from being “authentic.” Tell the world who you really are. Step away from the barrier of authenticity and let people get to know who you are and what your brand really represents using powerful, but concise words. Nobody will accept who you are, or what your brand represents until you are honest with yourself and who you are as a brand…and as a brand leader.

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

If you are struggling with unpacking your brands authenticity, it is time to schedule a quick chat with the Wordwell Group. You can never show up in front of an audience until you know who, and what you are representing. That starts with your brand identity.

To schedule your free consultation, email wordwellgroup@gmail.com or schedule your appointment online.

Of Course, You Have To Prepare For Negativity

Facing negativity, trolls, and online “haters” is part of the reality of growing a business online. I tend to be someone who meets the world with rose-colored glasses, thinking unicorns make perfect pets, and cupcake calories don’t count. However, as someone who has worked within the world of digital media and public presence for a long time, a surefire fact is that as you begin to rise (or sometimes when you are just beginning your business), haters will come out of the woodwork to bring you down. And, you know what – in the long run, that’s OK. 

There will always be someone who brings negativity into your space

Coming Into The Light 

When you choose to open a business, digitally based or not, prepare for negativity. New ideas, competition, and ‘something different’ is seen as a threat. My wise ol’ dad once told me, “Emily, the more you know – and the more people know you know, be prepared to lose a lot of friends. It’s lonely on your road to the top.” And, as his social butterfly child, I laughed and laughed. 

Until I wasn’t laughing anymore.

I realized how accurate his statement was. The social rules for relationships are quite simple. We invest in relationships because: 

  1. Someone is like us
  2. We can influence someone
  3. Someone likes us. 

When you begin to separate from the crowd by launching your own business, for example – or finding success in a new and different way – it is easy for people to stop liking you.

Supportive Friends and Family Are Vital

No longer are you like them. No longer can you be influenced by them. 

Real friendships and healthy relationships mean you grow, evolve, and support those around you while they explore new limits. And when we rise – perhaps in leaps and bounds, your friends and family may not know how to react.  

In many spaces, you may feel pushed to the side. 

Many entrepreneurs talk about how solitary the journey can be – and this is the reason. As we evolve and begin to show up in new ways, people that were once our support group no longer are there for us. 

Other Times It’s Just “Mean Girls” 

If you have been watching my social media lately, there is a good chance you have seen some good ol’ fashioned “mean girls” movement. Although I act quickly to dodge, weave, and block – I don’t babysit social media, so some of it might slip through. When your business begins to grow, and your sphere of influence slowly begins to blossom, often mean people just come out of the woodwork.

For no other reason than they want to be mean.  

When You Go Online, You Open Yourself Up To The World

Being online means being in the spotlight

However, when you open yourself online on the flip, you also open yourself up to people who might not like you, trust you, or want to see you succeed. These are people who become your ‘trolls.’ Luckily, there are ways to disengage and create a pillow of protection around you. But, what you cannot do it avoid them altogether. When you begin to show up and shine, be prepared for just as many people trying to bring you down than people trying to build you up.  

Muhammad Ali Said It Best 

Muhammad Ali said it best when he stated, “I’m too fast. I’m too smart. I’m too pretty.” He faced a lot of criticism. Yet – his mindset was a reminder that no matter how people might take him down, he had it covered. 

Not only did he trust his ability to win, but he also began to use the criticisms people had against him to build himself up. The criticisms became his war-cry of self-motivation before each fight.

And it is something I recommend you do, too. 

As business owners growing a sphere of influence over the wild-wild west of the internet, recognizing that some people will be out for blood just based on the fact you exist. Perhaps they are threatened, bored, or maybe they are mean. 

One obvious thing is that you have to be prepared to deal with it. Sometimes that means having to thick skin. Other times it means blocking people who are genuinely slandering you or your business – while other times, it might mean engaging with people head-on. And even if you do not feel like you want to engage, breathe in Muhammad Ali and remind yourself, “I’m too fast. I’m too smart. I’m too pretty,” straighten your crown and move on. 

Stand Up Confidently In Your Brand Story 

Going into business can be a scary thing. With new skills to learn, the necessity of marketing and networking while managing your business’s ins-and-outs is overwhelming. When you begin to lose focus due to online harassment or “mean girl” behaviors, it might be time to work with someone who can help you refocus your brand so you can stand up in your brand story confidently. 

Entrepreneurship is a journey. Do not let the distractions of people online (or locally) get in your head and in the way of your success.  

Learn more about the work of Dr. Cross and her team at the WordWell Group by scheduling your free online assessment here

Just Do The Work

This week we are talking about how to get started with your digital business and building an d of interested consumers. Regardless of how experienced or new you are to business, the dynamic nature of digital marketing means you are constantly having to learn new ways to promote your business and connect with your clients.

Do The Work

Quite frankly, it can be overwhelming. The numerous social media channels you can engage with, the process of building a website, or even learning how to run effective ad campaigns can paralyze you into inaction. Today we talk about how to break out of the analysis paralysis and get to work.

What is analysis paralysis

The first question you might have is, “Well, what exactly is analysis paralysis?” That is the process of becoming so entrenched in the thinking aspect of your work, you become fearful of actually doing the work. When you are trapped in a cycle of analysis paralysis, you are unable to move forward with your work because you are caught in an increasingly complicated net of overthinking or over analyzing the problem, process or information you are attempting to work with.

Analysis Paralysis Is Destructive

The Trap of overthinking

Some of us have the tendancy to overthink before we jump into action. We like to know the ins, outs and all the ‘arounds’ of a situation before we apply a solution. As a trained researcher, I know I am someone who likes to look at all the possible variables and outcomes before I decide which direction is the best direction to move forward with. My thought process is, “well, if I can see the problem in its entirety before I try and solve it, my success rate will be higher and faster. However, analysis paralysis proves that although that mindset works in setting up studies or in a lab, it is not the most effective way to do business.

Thinking is great – Overthinking Will Slow You Down

You have to show up and do the work

The one way to just STOP the analysis paralysis is to just do the work. What does that really mean? It means, you DO something that you have been thinking about, versus just thinking about it, analyzing it, and wondering which is the best direction to move in.

Just Get Started

Keep in mind, there will be mistakes. There will be problems. You can expect failures. “Doing the work” can be messy business. You have to maintain the mindset that you are “willing to engage.” And willingness means you jump in, even if you are not feeling really prepared. Willing to engage also means engaging fully. This includes preparation, practice and planning.

YOu also need to believe in the work you are doing

Another side of this task is to believe in the work you are doing. If you truly do not believe in the power, the value, or the significance of your work – you might not want to show up for it. If you are not deeply in love with the ideas you are trying to share, the products you are presenting, or the services you are selling, it may be hard for you to show up for yourself and your work. Part of our success lies in the fact we deeply believe in what we are doing and carry faith that the power of our work will make the world, in some regard, a better place.

Trust Yourself

The other way of saying this is that we have to drink our own Kool-Aid. If you don’t believe in yourself of what you are doing, how can you expect someone else to?

Remember, ideas are fleeting

Finally, remember – ideas are fleeting. They come and visit…and will only stay if they are pursued. Perhaps they are like young love. Ideas want to be courted and admired and layered in attention. If they are ignored, pushed to the bottom of the list or forgotten for later – those magical ideas were leave and visit someone else who wants to play with them. If an idea comes to you, make a quick plan and get to work. Do not let analysis paralysis get the best of you and keep your best ideas from coming to live.

Learn More At the worldwell group

If you find yourself stagnant or unsure on how to make decisions to propel your business forward, schedule a consultation with the team the the Wordwell Group. They will work to help you understand your business, goals and set up plans to get you moving. They will even work with you to ensure you are holding yourself accountable and taking action when ideas visit you. To schedule your free consultation, call 925-726-9375 or book online.

Show Up With Credibility and Character

We have talked a lot about emotions, and the impact emotions have on our engagement with people online, especially through social media platforms.  Today, with many people still practicing shelter-in-place behaviors and working from home, socializing from home, and enrolling their children in distance learning programs, our primary way of connecting with people is through digital platforms.  And as vital as these social connections are, as leaders, coaches, and entrepreneurs, we must assess our own communication behaviors to ensure we are acting and communicating in a way that showcases our best selves.  Today, we focus on credibility. 

What Is Credibility? 

Focus on the truth so you are trusted and believable

Credibility is the quality of being trusted and believed.  As business owners, speakers, leaders, and entrepreneurs, we want to be credible.  We want people to trust us. More importantly, we want people to trust what we share, what we believe in, and what we recommend.  In the digital sales world, this sense of trustworthiness must extend beyond the products and services we sell. 

Credibility Stems From Our Digital Character 

Our character as speakers is being honorable, honest, and have integrity. It means that we are reliable and responsible.  In our age of digital connection, our online character designs our credibility.  What does this really mean?

Act with honesty and integrity

It means that what we post, what we share, how we comment, and what pictures we choose to highlight will impact how trustworthy we seem.  And frankly, it is a slippery slope. The adage of selling is that people will buy from you if they perceive you to be like them, they like you, and they trust you.  If people see you promoting ideologies, beliefs, or half-truths online, they may stop believing in you, your advice, and your products. 

Do Your Research

When my clients ask me what the solution to this is, I answer simply, “Do your research before you engage.” There is a ton of misleading information shared on social media.  And because we connect with so much of it so intimately, we feel like it is important we share it, perhaps to be part of a solution.   However, when we share false information, a half-truth, misleading, misguided, or blatantly wrong information, we are not only breaking our trust with our followers and potential customers but also perpetuating a problem. 

Do your research

Before your share, comment, or tag a post, make sure you do your research to ensure it is factual.  And, more importantly, that it is worth sharing.  It is food for thought to recognize that something might be true sometimes, but it also might cost us, clients.  Not all battles are worth fighting online. 

Tips for Research 

A follow-up question I get is, “well, how do I know what is true?” And to be accurate, today, taking the time to really understand what is “true” is a feat.  Here are my recommendations:

  1. Use a simple fact-checking tool
    1. There are tools, such as Snopes, that will give you a simple “true or false” report.  Another good one is Find the Source and Check Other Sources
  2. Find the source
    1. Follow links that bring you to the original story OR use a search engine to find information about where the story originated. Then you can determine whether you want to trust the source or not.  
  3. Verify the source
    1. Find out if the source is reliable:
      1. Does the source exist?  About Us sections and social media profiles are easy to fake – so, dig in and see what other people have to say about the source.
      2. Are they who they say they are?  It is simple to pretend to be someone you are not online.  So, dig in to see if what is said is being said by them. 
      3. Is the source trustworthy? Find out if they have a process for learning if something is accurate information or not.  There should be some form of record-keeping. Also, look to see if they are experts or authorities on the topic.  An authority in one field does not make someone an authority in all areas. 
  4. Cross-check with other sources
    1. Make sure you take the time to see if other places are reporting the same thing that you are finding AND that these spaces are trustworthy. 

Good Information Can Be Hard to Consume

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

The simple summary is that it is difficult to find good information to consume through social media. It is a lot of work to find information that you can confidently support, knowing it is credible, and it will not negatively impact your character. However, if you are choosing to perpetuate information online, take the time to ensure what you are sharing is reliable information that can be proven and lacks bias that makes us look less credible. 

Focus on Being A Producer of Information 

This all circles back to the idea that as leaders, coaches, and entrepreneurs, we need to be good producers of information.  Stay in your lane. Focus on what you are really good at. Ensure that you are sharing your in-depth knowledge and insight on your area of expertise. This does not mean that you cannot be passionate or informed about other topics. It does suggest you take the time to promote the information you produce and steer clear of information that you are not fully confident.  

Become a producer of information

The rule of thumb, we must act as a credible funnels of information.  We must not promote information that we want to believe.  But, we highlight information that supports our character and our credibility. 

Work With the Wordwell Group 

If you are unsure about your online presence, or if you are struggling to really understand what information you should be sharing online to elevate your brand and your presence, it is time to schedule an appointment with the Wordwell Group. We can help you refine your message, raise your presence and, ensure your brand is supported with your strong character and credibility. Schedule your appointment by emailing: wordwellgroup@gmail.com or by scheduling online here


The Only Way to Lead Is Through Listening

Listening is an integral space in communication. Listening is the tool that allows us to determine if we are connecting with our team, employees, clients, peers, or even vendors. If we are not listening, it is impossible to gauge if we are on the same page as anyone else. Or, quite frankly, if they are on the same page as us.

Check Your perceptions

One of the most challenging parts of becoming a better listener is checking your own perceptions. This might mean your perceptions of a person, your desired outcomes of a conversations, your ulterior motives or even your mood. These are all perceptual filters that will impact what we bring to the table during a conversation and determine how we understand a message.

Check your perceptions

Ultimately, this means we hear what we want to hear – or we hear what we think we are going to hear. We become our biggest obstacles in being effective communicators if we do not put our perceptions in check.

How Do We Get Better?

First and foremost, check in with yourself before you sit down to an important conversation. Spend time to clarify your emotions, your desired outcome of the conversation and the main points you want to communicate. It is also a good idea to check in with your relationship status with the person you are going to talk to. All of these variables will impact what you hear, how you hear it, and ultimately how you react to it.

Check in with yourself

Think about it this way. When we are having a plain old, no good, very bad day, we will perceive everything to have a cloud over it. Even the funniest jokes might only invite a tiny, internal smile. This means we might be more likely to interpret messages as being negative. If you are floating on cloud 9, you might be missing details that are negative or difficult because you are focused on feeling good. Regardless of the filter, unless you check in with yourself before a meeting, your filter will impact you ability to really engage and listen fully.

Listening also means asking questions

Listening also means you are asking questions. Checking in with yourself and holding yourself accountable for the filters you are bringing into the conversation is one step. However, another step is asking questions to the person (or people) you are speaking to. If you do not understand something, ask for clarification. If you feel the emotional energy in the conversation is not productive, call a time-out.

Take time to ask questions

The communication process demands that listeners take an active role in the engagement. In the U.S., we tend to place a lot of value on the speaker. However, the listener carries 50% of the responsibility. Without good listening, there is no communication.

Leaders Must lead through listening

The best way to lead is through listening. This does not mean you do not have a voice. But, it means you take the time to check your perceptions, goals and relationships as you interpret the information you receive in a conversation. It also means taking the time to understand what the person is attempting to say – even if they are not able to eloquently state what they want to.

Good leaders listen for understanding. They then can use what they understand to make better decisions or to more effectively connect with the people they are working with. If you are not listening, you may not have the most productive, or satisfied team. And, once you begin to practice active listening, you might find listening allows you to meet your goals much more smoothly than speaking does.

Work with a professional

If you are struggling with leadership, aren’t making sales, or are not able to build your team or company as effectively as you want to, it is a great time to schedule a free consultation to learn how you can elevate your leadership through listening. To schedule you appointment, email the wordwellgroup@gmail.com or click here for an online appointment.

Wordwell Group
Wordwell Group

This is the Now-Normal. And You Can’t Always Fix Normal

I have met with numerous clients and contacts over the last month and there has been an overwhelming message of “I am not sure I want to do that, yet. As soon as we get back to normal, I won’t need it.” And although their arguments hold some truth, the missing link is that what we are living now is normal.  And often, success resides in accepting a new reality instead of trying to fix things to match an old one.  Let’s talk about how to find success in today’s climate. 

Step 1:  Accept It 

First, acknowledge that this is just “normal” now. It is not the ‘new’ normal.  It is life. It is how things are.  There is not really any ‘going back to the ways things were.”  It’s too late for that. We have been living in a changing world for almost 6 months.  It is long time we acknowledge that things are different and to remain competitive, we also have to accept change. 

Step 2: Set Goals

Photo by Moose Photos on Pexels.com

Once you take the time to realize you cannot continue treading water in the hope that things will return to how they were ‘before’ – set some goals.  Focus on both long-term and short-term goals to help you keep your business afloat today, BUT – also goals that will help your business begin to produce equitably as prior to the national shutdown.  This might be hard to do.  But, think about sales goals, monetary goals, networking goals, and people goals. Once you know what you are working toward, it becomes a bit easier to navigate the steps to meet them. 

Step 3: Invest In Yourself

When we talk about investing in yourself, the focus is on your learning new skills and gaining access to new tools that will help you meet your short, and long-term, goals.  The tools and skills that made you successful prior to the shutdown might not be the tools you need to be successful now.  A changing business context, with potentially new goals, is a change in demand for what you need to know and what you need to do to be successful. 

Photo by Lukas on Pexels.com

We often think of investing in ourselves as something such as resting more, getting a manicure, or perhaps it is getting a new outfit.  However, now you need to invest in resources that make you better, stronger, and more effective doing business from behind a screen. 

Step 4: Stop putting band-aids on your business

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Finally, stop putting band-aids on your business.  Continually making tiny changes to fix tiny leaks will not effectively put your business back on track.  A shift has already happened. That means how you do business and how you show up to build your business must change.  The band-aids are ultimately just extending how long it takes you to sink.  Invest in yourself with new, relevant goals to start swimming back into success. 

Step 5: Get to work

It is time to get to work. We are back to business.  A different business, perhaps – with different goals and different tools, but – back to business nonetheless. And as you get back to work, think about the following:

  1. Don’t expect perfection.  Extend yourself grace for making mistakes and learning as you grow. 
  2. Show up and do the work to learn. Even when it is uncomfortable or hard.  If you aren’t showing up, you aren’t doing the work. 
  3. Don’t think that you need to do what everyone else is doing to be successful.  Learn from others, observe, and study. But, do not trap yourself into thinking the only way to succeed is their way. 
  4. Get help.  We all don’t know it all and can’t be it all. Get help.   Humble yourself and ask for help.  This is also a gentle reminder that you might need the help from a coach or consultant to get your business to the space you want to get it.  

Schedule An Appointment 

The best way to get to learn if you are on the right track is to schedule an appointment.  On a 30 minute call, we can talk about your goals, strengths, weaknesses and areas of concern.  We might find the Wordwell Group can answer to your growth needs.  And, we might find another expert to help you grow.  Regardless, now is the time to act.  WE are getting back to business. We are no longer waiting for “normal” – we are reminded, today – this IS normal and it is time to get to work. Schedule your appointment here.

Work from a Space of Fearlessness and Not Recklessness BuidingYour Brand

One of the biggest mistakes I see with new business owners attempting to build their business and brand online is doing too much.  The fear of not succeeding often triggers a wave of energy where we feel it is imperative to just DO something.  Or we feel like if we are not doing what everyone else is doing, we are going to fail or are doing it wrong. However, as you build your business and your brand online, it is vital you build it from a space of fearlessness and not recklessness. 

What Does It Mean To Be Reckless?

When we act recklessly, we push ourselves through extreme action without putting a lot of thought into the actions themselves.  We have an urge to “do” without thinking about the “Why” or “what results” am I looking for.  


Even more so, as new or growing business owners, we observe what other people are doing.  If we perceive them to being successful, we then believe that we have to do the same thing or we are setting ourselves up for failure.  We think ourselves into this space of panicked energy – where just “moving” and “doing” seems like the right thing.  Yet, as a business owner, “doing” without purpose is reckless and a waste of precious resources. 

How Can I Act Fearlessly?

To act fearlessly means you are putting one foot in front of another and trusting yourself and your work.  You are trusting that the hard, new, and potentially scary work you are doing will be successful.   It fundamentally means you do the work.  The work is setting goals, holding yourself accountable, learning new skills and theories, and putting them out there.

Fearless is when you put yourself in the public eye, trusting that what you provide to your audience is ready for consumption.  Maybe that means your products are packaged, labeled, and ready to be mailed.  Or perhaps it means you are ready to integrate LIVE streaming into your social media presence and you have taken the time to get a microphone, lighting and outlined what you want to talk about.  

Fearlessness does not mean that you are not nervous. Fearless means you have done the work and can face your fears because you are learning to trust yourself and what you provide.  

Stay in your lane

Another vital step you take in working from a place of fearlessness over recklessness is to stay in your lane.  You do not need to do what everyone else is doing.  Stick with your business. Stick with your goals. Stick with your platform, your voice, and your purpose.  Just because you see others on social media doing something does not mean you need to jump on the bandwagon.

Additionally, if you are not seeing success in sales, you do not immediately need to provide more things for people to buy from you.  Often, it is a question on how you are marketing.  Adding another business means more work and not much guarantee of success.  Stick with your goals – and your brand.  If you are not meeting your goals, chances are good you need to reevaluate your marketing structure. 

Be Your Own Expert – And Find One To Work With

We become reckless when we try to do more than we are capable of.  We become reckless when we are not seeing results and we react instead of assessing.  Remember, people, are ultimately going to want to work with you, sign a contract with you or purchases a product from you – they are choosing YOU over anyone else. They trust you to be an expert in your business. Do not confuse them by focusing on things outside of your area of business.

Wordwell Group
Wordwell Group

And when you are struggling, it might be a time to reach out to someone who can help you find your voice and build your brand online.   We all cannot be experts in everything. Reaching out for help in an area where you need to grow is a responsible step of acting fearlessly. To learn how you can show up online and build your brand more effectively, schedule a free Discovery Call or email the team at wordwellgroup@gmail.com

Filters Are Not For Everything

There is no doubt that filters can be fun.  From the oversized glasses and crazy hair and filters that make us look fresh, young, and free, there are filters to commemorate any day and add the right nuanced mood to any mindset.  And frankly, most of us have used them.  In fact, most of us will continue to use them.  Especially as we become more dependent on digital paths of communication for fun, family, and business – filters may become a ubiquitous part of life.  The question I come across is, what are the rules for filters when it comes to our professional footprint?

What Are FilterS?

Filters are those fun tools on social media cameras that allow you to change the characteristics of the photo.  From beauty filters that erase fine lines and add perfect shadowing for the perfect jawline contour to silly color hair, hats, and playful glasses.  Some filters let you dance and change your voice, while others turn you into cute little dogs, kittens, and foxes.  Others provide sparklers and a playful background, while other filters allow you to integrate music, cartoons or stickers.  The idea is to create an image that compliments your messages and adds a bit of playfulness or intrigue to your videos and images. 

There Is No Doubt Filters Are Fun, But Are They A Shield?  

Filters are fun.  They are also addicting. It is a creative outlet that lets us show-off a version of ourselves that we might not otherwise be able to conjure up. However, as speakers representing our brand, business, services, and products, are you using a filter as a shield?

Speaking can be scary.  Even showing still images our ourselves can be intimidating.  We worry about the side of our nose, the laughter lines highlighting our eyes and imperfect smiles, teeth, and hair.  Showing up in a space where the attention is on us is why so many of us fear to show up.  A filter allows us to create a distance between our real-selves and the version of ourselves we can people to see.  We buy into the narrative that if someone can’t see the imperfections in our skin or tired eyes or flat hair, they will like us more and we will avoid the judgment that might come with being imperfect.  A filter hides all of that.  We feel safer.  We feel more confident.  We feel protected. 

There Comes A Time to Show Up Honestly

As much fun as a filter can be in your personal Snap Chat account, Instagram or even Facebook, when it comes to you – be very careful using filters that change what you really look like.  Filters can create the perception that you don’t take yourself, or your business seriously. Or, they might modify what you look like to the point that when people see you in real life, they don’t recognize you. 

As business owners, we want to show up in a way that people will know us, like us, and trust us.   Why?  Because we do business with people we know, we like and we trust.  Using filters, or photoshop, to radically change what you look like is creating a space of distrust.  People may begin to think, ‘If I don’t know what she really looks like, what else is she hiding?” Or, if you have too many cute, playful filters that change your voice or turn you into a loveable teddy bear, your potential clients might say, “Man, she doesn’t take her business seriously…will she take me seriously as a client?” or “Why is she showing up as a teddy bear? Is it is a distraction because she doesn’t know what she is talking about?”  There comes a time when you have to begin to show up honestly

Filters Are A Distraction To Your Professional Identity 

Filters are fun, but they are a distraction to your professional identity.  You want people to know who you are.  And we like people who we can relate to.  That means imperfect people.  People who make mistakes have a hair out of place or a smile that isn’t quite even.  We like that because we are all imperfect and can relate to that. 

We also want to know the person we are going to do business with take their business, brand, services, and products as seriously as we do our own.  That doesn’t mean there isn’t room for playfulness, but it does mean we need to show up honestly in a way that represents who we want people to see us as.  We also do not want to surprise people when we meet them in real life because we look, sound, or act so differently than we do online. 

Even more importantly, the longer we are sheltering-in-place during this extensive pandemic period, we want real people more than ever.   We are craving connection with real people.  We are overexposed to wordsmithed truths, over-edited images, and videos and idealized lifestyle shoots.  We want someone we can connect to.  We want people.  People who are not hiding behind the safeguard of a filter. 

Take the Shield Off – It’s Time to Show Up

As you begin to build your online presence and brand, it is time to take the shield off.  Filters are fun, but they are not who you are as a professional.  Photographers can be our experts when it comes to adding lighting and nuanced shadows to our images.  But, for you – it’s time to be honest with who you are and how you can show-up online to represent yourself and your brand and showcase your products and services.  Businesses grow through relationships.   Do not get in your own way by hiding behind filters.  We don’t build relationships by hiding. We build them by showing up and using our voice to take up space.  

If you are unsure how to show up and put the shield down, reach out.  From Small Group Coaching to even a simple Discovery Call, we can get you on the path to being the authentic, confident professional you are.  Keep the filters for fun and family.  When it comes to business, let’s get to work and be the professional your business needs you to be. shield

The Internet Is Exactly What You Make of It

Branding yourself online can be overwhelming.  There are experts, gurus, marketing secrets, virtual assistants, and coaches lurking in almost every corner of the internet, waiting for someone to show up who they can sell themselves to.  And as new business owners, leaders, coaches, and entrepreneurs, most often, when we are showing up, we are ready to network and expand our businesses.  The internet has earned a bit of a sloppy reputation for many online businesses.  However, the internet is exactly what you make of it.  Let’s talk about what that means. 

Opportunities Abound On the Internet 

For many people, the knowledge and experience they have on the internet are bound closely to social media and Google searches.  These types of experiences are designed to be simple to navigate.  Information on search engines and social media is designed to be consumed easily.  They are designed to become entrenched in quickly.  They are designed to make you feel successful, easily.  Even more? Information about anything, and everything, is easily accessible. It becomes quite simple to get lost in a sea of information, potentially meaningless, daily.

On the other hand, the Internet offers insight, information, tips, experts, and models for almost anything you could conjure up.  The opportunities to learn, network, and build a business are almost as endless as the information.   But, with the excess access to information comes the responsibility of the information we can access.

Information Can Be Overwhelming 

For those of us interested in pivoting to online businesses, the mindset is “this should be simple.”  We use the Internet daily and are very engaged on various social media platforms.  Yet, it is important we recognize that consuming information on the internet is quite a different process than being the producer of content on the Internet. 

Advancing this ideology, as we pivot from information consumers to information producers, the information we can access online to elevate our business can be overwhelming.  We might not know what we are looking for, or maybe we are not sure exactly how to find what we are looking for.  It is simple to get lost in data.  

Focus On Your Business Goals 

The tried and true way to help you use the internet in the way you need it to work is to focus on your business and your business goals.  Once you begin to look inward, you can start to see where your energies need to be focused.  Getting trapped in someone’s sales funnel, joining a group, and comparing yourself exclusively to the moderator or their business model can be debilitating.  Remember, your business is yours.  You can from what other people are doing – but, you must stick with your goals, your mission, and your skill sets to find success. 

Furthermore, remember – when you are in an online space, you are now showing up as an entrepreneur.  No longer are you just representing yourself, your family,  or sharing your opinions.  You are making the shift from a social media consumer to an information producer.  Begin to remind yourself, as you navigate online spaces, “Is this for me?  Or is this helping my business?”  If you see your searches, rabbit holes, and time is filled up with information, people, memes, and polls that are not feeding into your business – chances are you need to distance yourself from those activities. Remember, the internet is what you make of it.  If you use it for personal use, entertainment or shopping – that is how it will serve you.  If you begin to use it as a space to make money, be someone of influence or power – you must shift you engagement on social media platforms to reflect that. 

Do Your Research 

Once you have accepted the perceptual shift of how you are showing up online from a “consumer” to a “producer” do your research.  

  1. Join groups and see what other people are doing. 
  2. Network online ( have you seen my upcoming Masterclass on Online networking)
  3. Read about social media algorithms.   
  4. Learn about SEO or tools to convert your social media followers into clients (I have a Master class on that, too!)
  5. Experiment. See what feels right for you and your brand.  Try something new.  If it doesn’t work, don’t be disappointed – just try something else.
  6. Ask for help. Not everyone will follow the same path to monetization online. 
  7. Have a plan.  Make goals. And focus on those when you spend time online. Track your time.  Be specific about when you are online for work and when you are online for yourself. The line is grey and shifty…but, until you know what it is, it will be very hard to build a digital business. 

Learn How To Grow Your Brand and Your Online Presence 

Simply put, information on the Internet can be overwhelming.  It can be exciting and stimulating knowing that you can build your dream business from the safety of your home.  Knowing you are familiar with the tools, have access to the tools, and can obtain other necessary resources to build a successful business is empowering.  The flip side is information overload or not knowing where to find the information that can help you launch your brand successfully.  

If you are feeling overwhelmed or unsure about how you are showing up online or how you can change your behaviors so you become a producer of information online and not just a consumer, sign up for a Discovery Call with me.  Join a Master Class.  Or sign up for Small Group Coaching or enroll in my Elite One-on-One Coaching program.  It’s time to show up online, claim your voice and conquer your fear of showing up online. To get started, sign up here.