Wednesday, September 19th, 2018
Ok – I admit it – I used Ben Fogle in the subject line as a sexy ploy to entice you to open up and let you know that I’m running an event on Tuesday and I’d love you to be there!
Fear not – there is a Ben Fogle story below – so do read on after this commercial break. (Ben is a very handsome British TV presenter who climbed Everest recently.)
So briefly – my event is a storytelling night, a mini workshop on how to share quick stories to promote your creative work. There will be inspiring stories by a tv music composer and a writer and a chance to meet some inspiring creative people. It’s in a beautiful private members’ club in central London in the theatre district. If you are not far from London, I would love to meet you.
Click here for more details
So back to why I jumped on Ben…
As you may know, I have a love/hate relationship with self-promotion. I know that if I want a life on my own terms working with people that inspire me, I need to reach those people to let them know I exist. That means marketing – video blogs, social media and everything that this current era requires in order for you to stand out.
But last week I faced a real challenge.
I realised that I had left it rather late to promote the event I’m co-hosting with my friend Bev Glick, a storytelling expert. After a relaxed summer, I hadn’t quite got back into my work groove. Last week, we had hardly sold any tickets and I quickly had to step up and shout to the world.
In a pressurised state, I asked a social media friend of mine what would create a buzz on Instagram and he advised me to share a storytelling tip every day.
So I gave it a go.
At first, I didn’t get much traction. I was a bit shy and it probably came across in my mini videos. But by day three, I started to get bolder. I was at the Good Life Festival and after watching Ben Fogle do an inspirational talk about his climb up Everest, I spotted him afterwards and ran over like a breathless fan to do a spontaneous interview on his insights on storytelling. My knees were wobbling and I was nervous and fairly inarticulate, but I realised that this step was part of the bolder new me.
On day four, I did a short video while cycling to teach people that storytelling is about sharing experiences.
As I was getting into a new habit of sharing my daily stories, I began to attract followers from all over the world who were liking and commenting on my posts. More importantly, the tickets started to sell.
I learnt two things.
First – the reason for this increase in profile was that, because I had a date in my diary, there was no backing out. The date gave me a deadline and I had to step up my game. I talk about commitment in my ebook Thrive, and this was a great example of how commitment helps you raise your game in life.
Second – I realised that sharing daily stories actually becomes fun and easy if you are prepared to go through the initial angst. I really did begin to love marketing my event once I realised that people were enjoying my daily insights. Inspiring others feels good – so why wouldn’t I want to do that more?
So again, I’d love it if you came next week.
It’s a chance to meet me and Bev – a former music journalist – and learn a few things about storytelling to raise awareness about your creative projects.
Marketing is not about being the most polished or perfect version of you. It’s about taking a stand for your most important work, committing to doing projects that feel important and showing who you are to the world and sharing things that feel meaningful to you.
Here is the link to book – Places are now going fast and I do hope to see you there.
Tuesday, September 11th, 2018
I was recently on a lovely date at the Park Theatre watching ‘Little Voice’. It was incredible show – I was enraptured by the passionate storyline about a young woman whose coping strategy to deal with an abusive parent was to mimic the singing of megastars.
As I sat there, though, a feeling of anxiety rose beneath the surface. I heard the thought: “I should be telling a Facebook story about this show – it would be a perfect moment to promote my brand.”
The counter thought was: “Can’t I just have a minute to enjoy this experience? The whole point of running your own company is to have freedom to live!”
This dilemma is still sitting with me.
I love what I do. I love my clients and how they bring me closer to the world of creativity and the arts. I get a rush of excitement every time I see one of my actors perform, a musician plays a gig or an artist launches an exhibition.
At the same time, I feel an ongoing pressure to be documenting my every creative move for the world to see. I feel a duty to inspire others to live a creative life. As a person who is essentially driven by the desire to connect in an authentic way, I feel at odds with the need to broadcast what I’m doing.
I ask myself, when the need to tweet constantly becomes the new priority, where do we separate life from work if our whole existence is to constantly be on show? I never wanted to be a public figure – but as I develop my business, I feel the necessity of being that.
Do you feel the same way?
So many of my clients have chosen their profession because expressing themselves fills them with joy. Many are introverts who love to jump into a state of creative bliss. To constantly promote yourself adds a burden and can take away from the joy of simply doing.
So I want to share my thoughts on this topic and where I am finding my own way through the jungle of social media narration.
These are my thoughts.
Having social media at our fingertips gives us access to promoting ourselves to anyone in the world. It gives us a whole new freedom that we’ve never had before. If you learn the basic skills to make the most of using social media, then for the first time in history you can build any relationship you want with any person across the globe. Everyone was a distant figure in the past – but now you are free to connect, reach out and build relationships as well as your profile.
Whenever you feel frustrated, remember that in the past it was so much harder to compete with others, and if you are committed, you can really build a profile and a following. You can have a career on your own terms, without the interference of managers or agents taking a cut.
Where I went wrong was trying to do it all. When I first set up my business, I started a YouTube channel, went on Twitter and Facebook, designed my own website, started a blog and within a few months I felt exhausted. I did everything reluctantly and without joy. It felt like a burden and the shadow of that time still affects me.
If I were to start again, I would do only one thing to start with and focus on that. Trying to be vocal across social media is time-consuming and unnecessary. Focus on one for a while and pick the one that you find enjoyable. I like Facebook because it feels sociable and fun.
One of the barriers in my mind to sharing regularly on social media is a constant noise in my head that tells me that I shouldn’t share a video if I’m having a bad hair day or If I don’t have good lighting. I even worry that I’ll be annoying if I enthuse too much. Perhaps it’s glib, too boastful, too much! Basically, the barrier is normally related to the feeling that I’ll be judged – an annoyingly common trait of being human.
So I have to remember the purpose of sharing my world is to build trust. The more people that know and relate to, the more likely they are to feel connected to my work. The more connections I build, the more I will have a community of people I really like to work with. It’s an equation – the more I share of myself, the more trust I can build. It’s like any relationship.
As you know, I’m a big fan of storytelling as it transformed my experience of social media and helped me to promote myself in ways that I found enjoyable. I used to find the whole world of Facebook a bit superficial, but when I discovered that finding stories in my everyday life could be a way of making social media meaningful, it helped me to actually make it a meaningful part of what I do.
Look around. What have you read today, who said something that sparked some passion? Finding moments of meaning in our day and sharing them can be a way to spark conversations with other people and it can actually enhance your working day instead of adding another block to it.
If you found this topic helpful – I’m running an event on 25th September in London. Here is a link to the event. Click here: Trailblazer Tribe Live
I would love to know your thoughts on this topic.
Do you ever find social media a chore? If so – which of my thoughts do you find meaningful?
Hope it helps