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  • Jeannie Scott

Speaking on Stories Giving You the Ick? 7 Tips to Get Noticed on Social Media if You're Shy.

It’s no lie that social media plays a huge role in our lives. And getting noticed online has never been more important to people. Whether that’s to sell your products or services, build a brand for yourself online, gain exposure, or build an online presence, getting noticed on social media is hugely important!

So, what do you do if you want to get noticed. But you’re uncomfortable speaking on your stories or going live?

Firstly, you don’t have to speak on your stories or go live. One of my clients had built a strong brand and influence on social media without really speaking on her stories or going live before we started working together. But we worked together to combat her shyness around speaking on her stories, so that she could take her business to the next level!

I spent the first year of my biz just posting graphics on Instagram. I didn’t even post photos because for years I was so uncomfortable having my photo taken that there just weren’t any. It’s a crease in my self-esteem that I’m still ironing out.

I really struggled showing up and speaking on my stories, because as an introvert, I found it so hard to articulate myself well. It’s why I was drawn to acting – I literally get paid to say what I’m told. I love to write, and for a long time, that was how I showed up and provided value. But I knew there was an intimacy missing between me and my audience because I wasn’t sharing how sound or look (not posed) with them. How were they ever meant to trust me?!

Coming from a performer background, I know the power of seeing people speaking live, and from the heart. I knew this was something I had to focus if I really wanted to commit to making an impact in my business.

So, if you’re shy showing your face and speaking; or tend to re-record your videos 10-20 times before exhausting yourself and giving up, then keep reading.

And this isn’t a ‘how-to’ to gain more followers or likes on your post. Vanity metrics are as fickle as the algorithm they serve. We’re not chasing trends, because that’s fucking exhausting!

1. Why you’re showing up? For what purpose?

Okay, so you want to show up and speak on your stories or go live, but why? What do you want to say? What’s your preferred outcome?

Like anything, if you’ve got a really strong why behind your action, you’re far less likely to be swayed by fear. Meaning, if you know why you’re showing up on social media, then if your start to feel those feelings of fear or discomfort, you’ve got a strong anchor to bring you back to it. If your intention is larger than the fear, intention will win. If fear is larger, fear will win.

For example, you might know that you want to show up on your stories so that your audience can see you, and initiate some engagement. But why? If your intention is just to introduce yourself because that’s what you think you should be doing, then when those voices telling you, “you look cringe” and “you sound ridiculous” crop up, you haven’t got a very strong intention to come back to. It’s not bigger than the fear.

Think bigger. Why do you want to introduce yourself? Because you want to build that know, like and trust factor everyone keeps talking about.

But why?

What’s the goal after that?

Because I want to make connections with people in my audience and sell my services to them without seeming sleazy.

Why? Because I want to build up my client base and make money to buy a house.

You see that you really want to get to that bigger deeper why. Your ‘why’ that you have an emotional connection to. You don’t have a strong emotional connection to your audience. You haven’t met them. You don’t have an emotional connection even to the money. What you do have a strong emotional connection to, and therefore a strong ‘why’, is buying your own home.

2. Focus on the other

This is the most valuable bit of learning I got from drama school, and I have taken into my acting career and everyday life. Focus on the other. What do I want them to do, through my action?

This may sound contradictory, but don’t make it about you. As much as focusing on your ‘why’ makes it about you. Once you have that, and you know why you’re doing it, turn that attention onto the other. Basically, turn the CCTV in your mind outwards. If you make it all about you, then you’re more likely to succumb to those pesky mind monkeys that make you feel uncomfortable.

You focus on the other, by turning your attention to your audience and how you can serve them. So, if we go back to the example of introducing yourself on your stories, the other is you audience. And you’re focusing on why the introduction is for them and not for you. How does it benefit them? What do they want to hear from you? How can you serve them?

The focus away from you and onto them, automatically turns your attention outwards. And for someone who struggles with negative self-talk, or self-doubt, you want to turn that attention away from yourself. You can even tell yourself: “it’s not about me”.

3. Practice. Write it down. Then let it go.

As an actress, I always advocate for a good practice, before showing up. Especially if you’re feeling discomfort around it. But too much rehearsal can also be counter-productive.

It’s easy with something like your stories to record a minute of it, watch it back and delete it before posting. And if you’re in the habit of doing this at least 5 or 6 times before posting, then this is for you.

The great thing about stories is that you can watch them back and make sure there’s nothing glaringly weird about the video before you post it. But it means you can fall into the trap of watching yourself over and over again and becoming really critical.

I used to do this all the time, for audition self-tapes (basically auditions you film yourself and send off). I’d learn the lines, get on video and start recording. I’d watch it back, hate my teeth, or the way I said a certain line and re-film it. I’d do this upwards of 13 times. And I’d get more and more frustrated with myself. And see more and more issues (where there really were none). I was over-exercising my critical eye.

So, I changed my mindset. For an in-person audition, I have one (maybe 2) chances to read and make an impression. And I take this practice into my self-tapes and recording stories. I make sure to do all the prep I can before hitting record and then give myself just 2 chances to film it before posting.

So, take this practice into your showing up on video for social media. Practice what you want to say. Write it down if that makes you feel better. And do all your prep off camera. Then, just hit record and give yourself a maximum of 2 re-records before you just post it.

You’ve got to get comfortable with imperfection. And really, the way you do that, is just by showing up imperfectly.

4. Rehearse out loud.

Another tip from the actor in me; rehearse! Practice. Confidence comes from doing. But there are ways that you can rehearse without necessarily even showing your audience. For a lot of introverts, they find it much easier to articulate themselves through writing. You can literally write a script for yourself and learn it.

Another thing to note. We introverts have a very strong inner voice, and sometimes practicing in your head might feel like enough, because that voice is so strong. However, you want to bring it to voice; speak it out loud. You’re more likely to get nervous if you haven’t actually bought those thoughts to voice before.

5. Breathe

In moments of stress, you might not even notice that you’re holding your breath. Other mammals don’t pause in between their inhale and exhale, so as to remain present at all times.

Get intentional about your breathing before and during when you show up live or in stories. If you’re holding your breath, or breathing in a really shallow way, it’s going to make you feel more nervous.

Do a couple of rounds of box-breath before you start recording to calm your nervous and stay present.

6. Move. Record on-the-go.

Move while you’re recording. You’ve probably seen lots of people recording their stories on walks. It helps to bring some freedom into your body. If you’re sat rigid and uncomfortable, then it’s just going to further exacerbate the discomfort you’re already feeling. And that’s going to translate into how you show up.

Take your recording outside, or move around your house whilst recording. Your mind and body are connected. If your body is stiff, holding onto a lot of tension, that will show up in your voice and your ability to be creative and free.

7. Have some damn FUN!!!

As my client L would say: "it's not that deep." If you're not having fun while you do it, what on earth is the point?

I inadvertently created a series on my Instagram stories called “That’s the Tea”.

Every morning, with a cuppa, I impart some wisdom to my audience. It’s very tongue-in-cheek and I’m not taking myself too seriously when I do it. But it became a fun excuse for me to, not only infuse my body with much-needed caffeine before 9am. But it also gave me an excuse to show up consistently on my stories and provide value. Even though it’s not necessarily the most ground-breaking thought (I mean, give me a break, it’s early-hours then and the brain hasn’t quite kicked in). I have fun, and let myself be creative on a platform, that can feel so daunting for an introvert.

You don’t have to be perfect. It’s takes practicing to showing up imperfectly to build confidence.

Come and join the perfectly imperfect party over on Instagram. Slip imperfectly into my DMs and let me know which of these 7 tips you're most excited to focus on. And sip a mug of steaming hot mindset tea with my most mornings.

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