Building an online presence need not be the super complicated thing we make it to be in our minds. In fact, overthinking it will likely affect your chances of success.

The most common obstacle people throw out there for not building their online presence is ‘I don’t know where to start’. But, as with everything, it starts with taking action and it really is as simple as that.

Take a few minutes and think about someone who is absolutely smashing it online. (I’m thinking about Shaa Wasmund – yep she is my ‘gurl crush’). Dissect what they are doing. What do you notice?

I’m willing to bet that interspersed between the golden nuggets of value they offer, they are storytelling and documenting. Offering up snapshots into the unknowns of their world and sharing things we otherwise would never see.

Why are they doing this?

Well I’m sure in the majority of cases there is genuine enjoyment derived from sharing with their audience.

It would be difficult to sustain otherwise. Right?

But from a marketing perspective building your ‘know, like and trust’ factor is imperative and what better way to do this than reaching out and relating to your audience in a way that only you can?

Admit it, as online consumers, we love to see the ‘behind the scenes moments’. Or hear a great story of how some huge issue was overcome. I know I certainly do. And it is for this very reason, I lapped up Shaa’s facebook live just this morning where she shared her journey through the streets of London at 8am in search of a makeup shop because her makeup artist hadn’t turned up just before an event.

Is content like this empowering me with knowledge to build my own business? No, not really, save for showing me that in a crisis a girls gotta do what a girls gotta do. However, it shows me she is real and suddenly emulating her success (did I mention she is my girl crush) seems so much more achievable.

Authenticity is still key…

Of course, that doesn’t mean to say I can copy everything Shaa does and suddenly I will have an audience of 23k or a private FB group of 9k plus. (The word authentic springs to mind). But what it does demonstrate is that by putting yourself out there and not worrying what other people think, you are aiding your chances of being successful online which is integral for building and nurturing a digital business.

On a practical level, storytelling/documenting helps you to share content consistently. Though I hasten to add that sharing for sharing sake will probably do you no favours. Your audience will likely not care that your cat just ran up a tree and the last thing you want to be is boring, so don’t try too hard. But next time something goes right or even wrong why not hop on a FB live or snapchat and share?

Note: I reference livestream/video as it’s all the rage but you can share in other ways too; write a blog post, podcast, share an image etc.

Documenting and storytelling is the way forward but one thing that has held me back is the lack of perfection. Do I want to jump on Facebook when my hair is a mess and I feel anything but glamorous? Nope, I do not. But then I have to stop and wonder, would Gary Vee (another of my faves) worry about his hair or is Amy Porterfield thinking about her manicure? (Hmm maybe Amy’s a bad example, because she always looks amazing). But the point is, if Shaa can jump on a FB live without a full face of makeup what is stopping you or me?

But, I still don’t know where to start?

I was petrified of doing my first FB live, but I asked myself ‘what’s the worst that can happen’? Once I bit the bullet I realised it was actually more enjoyable than I’d expected. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve made errors including not looking into the camera, forgetting to go back to sharing the camera after sharing my screen, sweating, forgetting what I was saying etc. But I’ve learned from watching others that the faux pas that you think are hideous are actually where the beauty lies.

For the most part we are all au fait with camera phones and social media and many of us find it easy to share on our personal feeds daily whilst our business feeds are covered in cob webs. Where do you start? How about starting with a more casual approach? Engage with your audience like you are speaking to an old friend instead of looking at this as a major hurdle you need to overcome.

Whether it be a 60 second livestream or a 600 word blog post, a 30 minute podcast or some random image that means something to you, just put it out there and start a conversation. The more you do it the easier it will become! And don’t be afraid of asking your audience to share your content too. Be online – succeed online!

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