I am Carlii Lyon, I help individuals be their own brand and put themselves out there so they can attract the right people, places and opportunities into their life. Connect with me to ask a question about this post or find out how we can work together.
I can say hand on my heart my life changed after I began purposefully putting myself out there on social media. I was suddenly exposed to new opportunities, interesting new people and as a result opened my mind and broadened my horizon.
In fact, I remember the moment everything changed.
I was feeling completely depressed and confused about what to do next in my career. I had spent the last 15 years running a PR consultancy and representing high profile individuals from all over the world, but things had changed, I had changed and taking several years out to be a Mum solidified that. While I had a great network, I had never done anything to put myself out there and always avoided asking the people I knew for any kind of support or opportunity.
That was until everything changed.
I was sitting at my computer one morning in a daze trying to pretend I was being productive when I came across a video of Gary Vaynerchuk. For those of you not familiar with Gary Vee, I highly recommend you take the time to become acquainted. He is a fast-talking, foul-mouthed, see what you get kind of guy who has built an incredible personal brand via social media. In this particular video, he basically said “stop whining, stop complaining, stop making excuses and forget about what others think. Get the f*#k on with it.”
I am not usually one to take anything as gospel but for some reason, at that moment I did. I immediately put up a post on a women’s business network Facebook page and explained who I was, my background and the fact I was honestly looking for my next steps. I was inundated with messages, ideas, and opportunities. I immediately created a personal website on Squarespace promoting myself as a personal branding consultant and have since run workshops all over the country. I haven’t looked back.
Now I am not suggesting that things can happen as quickly as that and especially given the current climate. But who says that now is not the perfect time to plant seeds of chance and expose yourself to new people, places, and opportunities the only way we are able to right now.
Overthinking is what always held me back from putting myself out there via social media. Being on social media vs actively using social media are worlds apart. I was on social media watching everyone else rather than actively and purposefully using the time to benefit my life and livelihood. I was worried about what other people would think, that I would be proven to be not good enough and/or that I couldn’t commit to following through with promises once I actually did put myself out there. If you know you do the same, here are three steps to help you overcome the habit-
1. Take one small step today
The first is generally the hardest. Taking that first step might mean putting up a new profile picture. Updating your bio section to really reflect who you are. Writing your first article. Sending a connection invite to someone you admire. Posting a picture or video of yourself for the first time (I felt sick the first time I did it!). With each step, it gets easier and suddenly what was uncomfortable becomes second nature.
2. Find someone to support and encourage you
This needs to be someone who is actively putting themselves out there on social media. There is no point asking someone who doesn’t as they will probably tell you all the reasons why it is not important. When you know there is someone holding you accountable and there to support you along the way, it makes the whole journey easier.
3. Keep in mind this one great truth
We all think about ourselves much more than we ever think about anyone else. That rule applies to everyone. So while you think everyone is going to be watching what you are doing and judging what you post, chances are they will look, judge and forget in a matter of seconds. If they do think about it, take it as a compliment that they are dedicating so much headspace.
Reid Hoffman, Co-Founder of both Linkedin and Paypal, was quoted saying ‘We are just at the cusp of what it means to operate in the networked age’. He said it years ago and am sure he could never have anticipated something like Covid-19; a moment in time we would rely so heavily on social media to remain connected. Though this period won’t last forever, perhaps it will be just the thing we all need to really embrace this new era.
The truth is there will always be opportunities out there, the question is will you be?