Can you control how you're perceived? ...Do you try to? If you avoid posting on social media because you're worried you'll be misjudged, criticized or bullied - this episode is 110% for you.
Suspend self-judgment for 15 minutes or so and stay with me here...
In this episode we'll talk about the importance of being yourself in order to attract and retain clients.
Jenna shares personal (embarrassing) stories from her past to explain how fear of perception can hinder business growth and how overcoming that fear can lead to success.
We'll talk practically about authenticity and the power of showing up as yourself when creating content and marketing your business online.
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Music by Jordan Wood
Hosted by Jenna Warriner, Creator of Magic Marketing Machine
This will be mildly embarrassing, but for me, not for you. So that's good. All right.
Hi, I'm Jenna. I M a social media management agency owner, and I teach service-based business owners how to get clients from Instagram. And if you're here, it's probably because you want to get some shiny new clients flowing into your business. And around these parts, we do that by creating content.
Now I talked to a lot of business owners and there are a few main reasons that I've discovered that keep folks from showing up online. And we're going to really dig into one of them today, starting by sharing a story that, you know, I'm not particularly proud of than an experience I had, where I shot myself and my business in the foot because of this exact issue that I see so many small business owners experiencing. When I first started my business, I was an actor. I was a bartender and I just kind of fell into this whole social media things as a 20 something. Living in a one-room bachelor apartment in Parkdale, in Toronto with cockroaches.
So how people perceived me meant a lot to me, not only was I coming from a career where looks are quite literally everything. Uh, acting, but also I knew that I wasn't of the like, you know, white collar community. I felt like I was faking anything that I had to offer. And it was really important to me that I was perceived as someone who was trustworthy and dependable and who knew what she was talking about.
So my solution was things like. Get nice business cards and buy nice pink blazers from Zara and, you know, dress. Like I saw the ladies dress who were going to work on bay street, you know, within my budget. Um, because I didn't even know how to dress like that. I had bar clothes and I had show clothes and I had audition clothes. That's like what my closet was. It was like three different women staring back at me. Actually, this is kind of fun. So when you do commercial auditions as an actor, you have to wear very like normal mom outfits.
So thinking about the type of clothing that women wear on TV commercials, it's got no logos. There's usually bright colors. It kind of matches the season. It doesn't really show off your body. So when you go to audition, Auditions. You're like supposed to air quotes, dressed like that. And I didn't dress like that in real life.
So then I would have like my designated shirts to wear, to auditions, to pretend to be that normal mom, when really I'd been bartending till 3:00 AM. And then my show clothes were often like glamorous gowns and dresses because I did a lot of cabaret singing. So then I had the section of my wardrobe that was like all these like gowns and to wear to opening night theater performances in that.
And then I. I had my bar close, which was just various black items that you would pair altogether. And we called them our bar blacks.
And to this day, I'm not a very good dresser. I just basically wear cozy things and the same. Neutral pinkish pallet every single day, don't care a ton about what I look like. But anyway, back to the story at the time, I very much cared what I looked like, because I felt like that was going to give me clout.
That's what was going to make me walk into a meeting with a potential client and have them actually believe what I had to say. I even went to a designer consignment store with my mom and she bought me a Helmut Lang designer, consignment blazer for my birthday for like a hundred dollars.
I still have it. It's gorgeous. Just so that I could kind of like, feel the part look. The part when I went to interviews or whatever. . OH, how far we've come. Right guys? So there's one day my friends worked at a fancy restaurant and he said, Jenna, we need social media. You should come to my fancy restaurant. And I will set you up a meeting with the owners so that you can see if you can sell them on doing our social media. Cool.
So I put on my, you know, one of my various blazers and heels. And I show up to this meeting, trying to look all fancy. And this man that I met, I think he was the chef. He was lovely. And we were sitting there and we're having a talk and I was selling him on what I can do for them. And what I would do if I was their social media manager. hIs business partner was on his way, I think, but he was obviously late, this man shows up. And he is everything I am pretending to be like.
He has a Louis Vuitton scarf on he waltzes in he's clearly wealthy. He's got, I can't remember what they're called, like a leather binder, you know? Wonderful. It's called. A binder. That's leather. Should I Google it? I'm going to Google it
I feel like I've already gone off the rails here, but I couldn't find it on Google. So I asked. Chat GPT. Do you know the word for those fancy leather binders, zip up notebook holders that rich men carry and they said portfolio or padfolio. So there you go. We all have a new word now. . This guy doubted me from the second he laid eyes on me and I immediately got so defensive. I didn't like that. He was late. I didn't like that. He walked in, but also it was his damn restaurant. You know, he's allowed to waltz throughout it. Should he so choose. And I'm like, like is my, is my blazer not fooling this guy, like guy one, the chef guy was so sweet to me.
This guy really wanted me to prove myself and I'm not in the business of proving myself. It's it's a me problem. He didn't know what the meeting was for or why I was there. And he wanted to see like assets that proved I knew what I was doing.
And the end of the day, those are all really reasonable requests. When you're about to hire a 20 something year old contractor. To manage the public image of your restaurant.
But I just felt like he saw through me and it hit me right in the gut. And I basically just left, like they said, great, send us your materials.
And I sent them a letter that said, I just don't think that we're the right fit. And looking back on that, like I made the right decision. We were not the right fit at that moment. But.
It just really goes to show how much fear of how you're being perceived can make you sabotage yourself. It can really harm you. If I gave no shits about how that guy perceived me, I probably would have aced that interview, but my head got between me and landing that client in that moment.
Ironically, if you're not creating content, you're not showing up as the face of your business. Or even if you're more of a behind the scenes person, You're not putting your business itself out there because you're worried about how you're going to be perceived. And you're worried about facing criticism.
We're being misjudged, your not even giving people the chance to be mean to you, ironically, because you are already being mean to you.
Please don't unplug me. I don't wish to beat. No, don't take your AirPods out. Stay with me here. I need you to stop being so mean to you. Business owners, you just stop sabotaging your own success because you're worried about your videos being boring or dorky,
or your hands look funny or you've got a stray hair or who cares if anyone actually does like point those things out, them pointing it out.
Doesn't harm. You. They can't hurt you. The only thing that can hurt you is you not growing, not showing up, not getting eyeballs on your business to then get, make sales. Because of fear like that actually changes the trajectory of your life. Some rude comment of someone who's criticizing you because they feel. Powerful behind a keyboard. Uh, they can't hurt you. That guy's opinion of me. That didn't hurt me.
He's still was willing to hire me. You know, if I would've sent my pitch, if I would've told him my quote, if I would've not gotten in my head and actually sold by self in that interview, he's he doesn't kitten Gary. He would've been like, sure. Probably would have hired me. It's impossible to turn it all the way off, worrying about how we're going to be perceived by others. And do you know what else you. You know what else in social media, you kind of have more control over that than just existing out in the real world, if you will, because you do get to edit your videos.
And if you mess up, when you're talking, you do get to cut that part out. And then you can add a filter if it makes you feel more confident, like that's fine too.
It's so random that this next story came to me because I feel like I've talked about my first couple days at high school. Multiple times in the last couple of weeks. It's so weird. Like I'm in my thirties. I don't know why these keep coming up. But anyway, when I went to high school, I went to a school where I didn't know, I knew like one other person. To maybe to other people, everyone.
I went to elementary school with, went to a different school and I went to an arts high school in a different city. And I didn't know who I wanted to be. I didn't know what crew I wanted to be in when I got there. So the first three days of school I dressed for all different kinds of clique's. So the first day I had these, I had these outfits planned.
I think that my mom bought them for me at Sears. I had like a little green skirt with a. Pink foal leather, butterfly belt. It was the days when we used to put the belt over the skirt, even though it wasn't holding it up, like you're going to know exactly how old I am. If you remember when that belt over the pants look was cool. I had like, you know, the pink and green cutesy skirt look, and then the next day stark contrast. I hired hard, 180 degree pivot.
Suddenly I dressed punk rock. I remember my outfit. So clearly it was actually dope. I had these like jeans that were kind of pins, stripey and a punk rock. T-shirt probably with a band. I didn't actually listen to on it from Bluenotes, punk rock and then. I can't remember what I wore on the third day, but I knew I was covering all my bases. And I also did not think that anyone would notice.
It's like at the same time. I was really heavily caring what people would think when they looked at me, but didn't think that anyone would notice my class that I had hatched. But online day three, some stranger said to me, Like, who are you? And I'm like, what do you mean?
I'm Jenna, like, hi. And they're like, no, like who are you like yesterday? You were in a skirt. And like, today you're like dress like a punk. Commented on it. Hi, like clique hopped. From one. Style to the next, just to make sure that my bases were covered. Oh my God. Fear of how we're going to be perceived.
Right. Putting so much effort. Into what we think people are going to see when they look at us. When, I mean, authenticity is the buzz word of the year.
Of this lifetime, like. What people are truly attracted to is when you're unabashedly yourself. When you weren't just shamelessly, you.
That's when people start saying, you know, I don't know what it is about her, but I just love her. That's when people start saying, man, when you walk into the room, it's a breath of fresh air.
That's when you start to get responses from people. Like that. It is so attractive. To just not give a shit note. It is so attractive to just be you authentically, whatever that is. And then you're going to find all of these nuances about yourself. Start attracting other people with those nuances. All of the nerdom that you start to share will attract other people with that same nerdom. N E R D O M like geeky thing that you're into.
Or life experiences that you had will start to attract other people with those life experiences.
And then because you shared that very unique and authentic detail. People are going to be drawn to you so much faster and connect with you so much faster and want to work with you so much faster.
I should see if I can pull up pictures of my first couple of days at high school and share them on Instagram.
By the way, I'm at Jenna's page on Instagram page with an I. It's linked in the show notes. And the same handle on TechTalk. I share a lot of very practical tips for increasing your engagement, creating content, content ideas, content strategy, marketing psychology. All of that good stuff in a very practical way on those two 📍 platforms.
And there is also a free training in the show notes of this episode called how to get clients from Instagram without wasting hours glued to your phone, which goes through the whole strategy that my clients use. To grow their accounts and get clients from their content. And if you get nothing else from this episode, please know, That if you do not stop being mean to my friend. That's you. I'll beat you up after school. Okay. Love you bye