If there is one positive thing I can say for 2020 so far it is that being visible has worked. Not just for getting business in, but for increasing mentality towards my business, myself, and opportunities. Plus, as a result of my efforts at visibility, I have seen a big change in myself and a clearer vision and intention of where my business is going.
After plugging away for some time on LinkedIn and other platforms, trying to get my noggin around Twitter (still not sure I am there yet), launching a new website, writing a weekly blog, and contributing to the latest 4 issues of a journal, I was beginning to wonder where I was going wrong. Engagement on my posts was still low or inconsistent at best.
“Hi, I just wanted to say a very big thank you to @Helen Hill for taking the time yesterday to chat with me. Helen, your advice and suggestions have proven their worth almost from the word get-go. My afternoon of ‘marketing’ – which as I mentioned, I had been dreading – turned out to be rather a success. I reckon if you ever give up the learning design game, you’ve got a wonderful new business as a coach and mentor! Thanks again!”
Then at the start of the year, I joined a mentorship group whose whole mantra is about being visible, showing up as you. I completed the 5 day challenge with reckless abandon, joined the paid group, and then due to an insane few weeks of work descending like a reckless avalanche, I never actually got started on the course properly. However, I observed and absorbed from the sidelines, joined some of the group calls, and apparently some of it has been going in.
In addition, I have also been completing a course about a more personal topic. One that has ultimately made me get out of my head and think ‘fuck it!’. I had been putting so many barriers up for myself without even realising. Worrying about what certain people think about me, my work, my life. People who matter in no way at all. Why was I still letting them have any control over my life?
“It was the lovely Helen Hill who unknowingly like a breath of fresh air blew my tumbleweed on. Her post energised me, something clicked into place”
So I posted more, interacted more, and in my ultimate Fuck It moment, signed up for a course about using video in business. Me. Who fiercely declared I would never ever never no way do a video. But a client of mine had signed up and I was intrigued. She gave me the push to do it.
I became part of a gorgeous group of supportive ladies and felt very much at ease getting over each and every hurdle. They have been cheerleaders, motivational gurus, a sounding board, Mickey-takers, and any other possible roles required at the time. We have all shown vulnerability, but it has ultimately bonded us further and made each of us feel more at ease. I found my tribe.
And what a game-changer it has been. In about 8 weeks I have gone from hiding behind the lens to now having a course of my own in development which uses a LOT of videos. I have recorded 6 videos earlier tonight alone. I have tested out some practice videos on LinkedIn. In a bizarre twist of events, it has actually increased my confidence, rather than hampered it. And I… enjoy it. I think. Ish.
“This makes me smile so much because your attitude is inspirational…to keep focused on all the positives in life is wonderful to see”
The effect of being visible
Okay so a global pandemic may have had a hand in this too, but in the last 3 months I have made an incredible number of new connections, and not just clients, but fellow freelancers who want to collaborate, people who just wanted a virtual brew and some company, or some advice on an aspect of their content. People who just needed a sense check of a project they are debating. People who are just needing some sanity and adult conversation after being locked in the house with their toddler for 3 months (yeah yeah, I know, why call me?). And many of these have now become a regular thing, or we at least plan for them to be. It is on some of these calls that I have had a kick up the bum to do something new, due to getting a new perspective from an outsider. Someone out of my field. And sometimes, who fits the descriptors of my target audience.
I have also had an unprecedented number of lovely comments flung my way (now littered throughout this post) by people who have viewed my content, who have been following me for some time and have found that my latest content has really resonated. And in return, this lovely feedback has given me such a boost. I have been so bouncy-merry. I feel like a tide has indeed turned. The little ripples of a puddle went out and returned in the crescendo of a tidal wave.
“I’m loving the positive energy you’re spreading at the moment”
It actually got to the point where I have been pondering ‘do I believe in karma now?’. As after I felt like I had given my all for months, I finally had a week of epic wins, which turned into a fortnight of epic wins, and we’re now on for a month…
The more I have given this last few weeks, the more that has been coming back… Karma, hard work, giving, or just being visible?
All of the above.
“When you’ve had the pleasure of meeting Helen, you get to realise that she’s not such an ‘Unlikely Genius’ at all”
The moral of the story… Do I have one?
I am not sure there was a point to all this, certainly not a concise one. It is a ramble of thoughts and things that have been forming in my head over a few weeks. But if there was a lesson to take away, I think it would be this:
Be visible, in all your glory. Be you.
Stop giving a crap what donkeys from your past think.
Find your tribe. Embrace it. Welcome them in.
Be open. To new opportunities, connections, ideas and practices. Try them all. Find what works.
Spread the joy. Embrace the ripple effect at its best. It will bring lovely things back to you too.
“I for one, Helen, wouldn’t mind having your work ethic and determination”
Write 52: Week 51
Write 52 is an accountability initiative started by Ed Callow, to encourage the team to create original content every week, and to commit to it. You can find more information here.
Come join us and get writing!