by Lori Milner, author, entrepreneur, thought leader and founder of Beyond the Dress
After giving a talk to a group of female entrepreneurs on personal branding, I was approached by a woman who currently has a successful Physiotherapy practice. She has a niche expertise focusing on post pregnancy moms and wants to capitalize on this.
She reached out to me because she had started a series of weekly talks for new moms on various topics. Her first talk had 15 people but this whittled down to 3 people by the 4th week and she couldn’t understand why.
She asked for advice on how to go forwards and start to create herself as a brand; this is what I shared with her:
Change your mindset
The 3 people that showed up came because they appreciate your knowledge and contribution. Instead of feeling despondent there are ONLY 3 people, make sure that you show up for them with the same passion and enthusiasm as if the room was full. Word of mouth is powerful and honour them for showing up for you.
Less is more
Doing a talk weekly provides a little too much choice. Naturally our mindset becomes, ‘well, if I miss this week, I can always go the following week’. However, if something is more limited, we make time for it and create it as a priority in our diaries.
Create yourself as a brand and thought leader
That means starting a sentence with the words ‘I am an expert in...’. Do not hide behind another ‘qualification’; own your expertise and back yourself. You know enough. You are enough. Now do it!
I suggested she create bespoke content that can be distributed to various magazines and publications in her field. In addition, this must be loaded onto her LinkedIn profile which must be up to date of course. Lastly, the same content can feature on a blog on her website and shared through social media channels.
Start to find opportunities to speak and share your knowledge. This is not about being paid for your time, this is about gaining experience and a track record. And most importantly, gaining confidence in your ability to speak publicly. Once you have created a track record, then start worrying about charging for your time.
Eliminate negative self-talk
Lastly, I told her to watch the TedTalk by Amy Cuddy on your body language shapes who you are. I told her it won’t really resonate until the last 5 minutes where she speaks about her experience with imposter syndrome. Amy explained when she first started her work, she didn’t believe she deserved to be there. So, she kept doing it and doing it until she became it.
I have been through this when I started my career path of speaking and training. I believed what right do I have to deliver this content, who am I? But I realized I had his knowledge and can be a contribution to others. Once I changed my mindset, I haven’t looked back.
So, my parting words are no matter what you want to do or become the expert in, make sure your headspace is in sync. You deserve to be here and do it enough that you become it but believe that you become it.
“If you want to have more, do more, and be more, it all begins with the voice that no one else hears.” - Tim Ferris
Here’s to owning your world,
LORI MILNER is the engaging facilitator, thought leader and mentor known for her insightful approach to being a modern corporate woman. Her brainchild, the successful initiative Beyond the Dress, is the embodiment of her passion to empower women. Beyond the Dress has worked with South Africa’s leading corporates and empowered hundreds of women with valuable insight on how to bridge the gap between work and personal life. Clients include Siemens, Massmart, Alexander Forbes, Life Healthcare Group, RMB Private Bank and Unilever to name a few. Lori has co-authored Own Your Space: The Toolkit for the Working Woman in conjunction with Nadia Bilchik, CNN Editorial Producer. Own Your Space provides practical tools and insights gleaned from workshops held around the world and from interviews with some of South Africa’s most accomplished women to provide you with tried-and-tested techniques, tips and advice to help you boost your career, enhance your confidence and truly own your space on every level. Own Your Space is the ultimate ‘toolkit’ to unleash your true power. It’s for the woman who wants to take her career to new heights and who is ready to fulfil her true potential.
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