You know what, it was only about five years ago when I signed up to Facebook. I hated the idea of being online! I didn’t want people to find me and know all about me. I wanted to hide outside of the internet and thought I would forever…
I’m an introverted researcher and writer and I teach at university. I have anxiety from time to time. Getting in front of my uni students was enough visibility for me to deal with! I thought everything would be sweet to just stay hiding. In this digital age – what WAS I thinking?
But then, my desire to serve more people with my skills in writing, research, strategy, communications and business grew so big! I knew it wasn’t going to work to stay within my small immediate network to leave my stressful teaching job and support myself.
So I conducted a few experiments. I got myself a Facebook page – in another name. I got myself a Linkedin page – in yet another name. And I started to test out the language I would use to promote myself.
It felt WRONG! Talking about yourself is just plain uncomfortable… It’s not natural for an Australian to do so. But I was a writer, and I did know how to write copy, so I just pretended for a while, in this ongoing personal experiment, to see myself as a client. I wrote about myself with some distance.
Even though that writing was not 100% authentic to my story, boy did it have good results. Just from a few posts on LinkedIn, I was able to gain clients with a promotion I offered to review the messages on people’s websites. I made $650 from that and I told myself there must be something to this being seen online thing.
Needless to say, I grew in confidence with being online but I still didn’t have my real name any where. I started an editing and proofreading business and I called it Monk script. When I introduced myself people would say, “What?” I loved the story that I could tell about the meaning of that business name, but it really didn’t get me very far. And what I was noticing was that people liked to hire me, for me. They met me, got to know me, and then they wanted to work with me.
That’s when I began to think that maybe I should put myself out there a little more.
I’m really good at what I do. That’s still hard to say. I’ve been training in writing, English, the arts, government, not-for-profit, management, design, visual art, education, teaching AND business…not to mention research, for over ten years now. But none of that meant much if I wasn’t putting that “out there” attached to a real name.
People want to work with people. People want to know you. And that’s really scary for a perfectionist, introvert who wants to excel in business.
So here I am 4 years on from deciding I wanted a life in business and instead of hiding myself away and hoping that writing and editing jobs come my way; I’m now declaring: “I am Alex Christopher. I am a writer at heart. I know about communications and business. I can help you emerge from your chrysalis and BE SEEN to your wonderful audience. I will support you in your journey to grow into a confident business creature AND along the way, I will help you craft the message you can send to your tribe.”
Yep, I’m a Visibility Coach now. I am offering 6 people a place in a new program starting October, dedicated to helping business owners use their words to be visible and shine.