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I’d like to think I don’t learn everything the hard way, but this wouldnt be one of those times.
About 2 years ago I decided I needed to do things a little different. A LOT different. I used to use the excuse that I was too busy with client work to “show up” more in my business (and by show up I mean show up as myself, no more playing it safe).
I would blog as consistently as I could and share my content socially (although my social media efforts left something to be desired) and I felt “stuck”.
The ‘stuck’ feeling existed because I had created an idea of who I thought I was supposed to be. By choosing to brand myself as “The WordPress Chick” I felt like I should be all over the ‘code is poetry’ mentality but a coder is the last thing I ever wanted to be. I simply fell in love with WordPress 6 years ago, found I had a knack for explaining it to people and knew I could make a living doing something I loved.
The path to my showing up started with my decision to start my podcast. I didn’t have a strategy in place and I wasn’t too sure what I was going to talk about, especially since most of what I was doing then was video, but I didn’t care. I wanted to start a podcast and jumped in with both feet.
That’s when I realized the magic that is supporting other people.
I knew I didn’t want to do a ‘solo show’ only but I also didn’t want an ‘interview only’ show (I knew I had plenty to say), but I had NO idea that sharing what other people were doing and giving them the opportunity to share their story (because I wasn’t interested in doing a rinse & repeat style interview) would be life changing for me.
The simple act of reaching out to people that I wanted to interview (and I knew had something of value to share with my audience) has literally changed my life.
The relationships and opportunities that have shown up since starting the podcast continue to amaze me, but that’s not the lesson I learned the hard way. The lesson I learned the hard way was to trust myself.
But that’s not the point of this post. Because it took me so long to really show up as myself I realized it was much easier to show up and support other people while I figured out exacty what it looked like for me personally.
I remember exactly when I had this ‘lightbulb’ moment.
Someone had followed me on twitter and then shared my content. I went to follow up her back, liked what she was sharing and went to check out her site. When I got to her site she had a ‘coming soon’ page up (with an opt-in) and said to connect with her on Facebook while the site was being finished. When I went to her Facebook page I was in awe of the engagement and content. She was building a community (where her audience was) by sharing whatever she found that she thought would be valuable to her audience. She built an amazing following because she just wanted to share cool stuff! And she was super appreciative of my support of her (because then I tweeted about the awesome resources on her Facebook page)… and now we’re friends. 🙂
Here’s the thing though…EVERYTHING she shared was someone else’s content!
Of course I’m not saying you don’t want to share your own content, but in her case she didn’t have any yet and it didn’t stop her! It was the first time I really “got” that we have a chance to connect with people GLOBALLY- and I don’t mean just friending and following people all over the world. I also started paying attention to what other people shared. And one thing became glaringly obvious to me.
There were a handful of “old school marketers” who NEVER shared anyone else’s content.
And it’s such a shame. There are SO many amazing people they’re missing out on (not to mention the impression you give off when all you do is talk about yourself). You just have to be willing to step outside of your comfort zone.
And the easiest way to do that is to help build someone elses tribe.
Share their content.
Reach out and ask how you can support them.
My challenge to you is to find someone NEW that you can support.
Even if you’re already supporting other people and sharing their content, it’s good to step out and find new people to share with your audience, just make sure they have something of real value to offer your audience. We all know when someone is a ‘super fan’ of someone else because they share everything that person does. And that’s fine… but there’s a fine line between sharing because it provides value to your audience and sharing because you adore someone.Make sure you’re on the value side of that sentence.
NOTE from Tea of Story Bistro: Once you’ve found someone new you can support, come visit us on Facebook and share. Was it easy for you to do? Hard? No right or wrong answers here — we’re all just experimenting! Image credit: Leyton Parker