How do you feel when it comes to talking about what you do in your pet business?
Do the words ‘Putting yourself out there’ make you want to run to the hills?
Perhaps you’ve felt frustrated because people less experienced or qualified than you, or who use outdated and questionable methods are everywhere?
Or if you’ve a product, you might feel invisible while competitors are sharing endless posts about how they’re ‘smashing it.’
If you’re nodding along, I imagine it’s not that these people or products are in any way superior.
More likely the people behind them are more bold, and it’s the voices that shout the loudest who get heard.
In this podcast episode I’m talking about five things that can stand in the way of your being bold in your pet business.
I’m going to offer some gentle suggestions and share an event I have coming soon that can help. (Register for the Be Bold Bootcamp here)
Listen in on the player link below or carry on reading the key points as a blog post.
1. You don’t feel able to put yourself out there
You’re forever being told ‘what’s wrong’ or ‘just do it’ or ‘get on with it’ and it’s not that you don’t want to put yourself out there.
Or that you can’t be bothered.
It’s that you don’t feel able to do it and there’s a difference. No amount of pushing and shoving is going to help and it’s going to make you feel worse.
You might feel self conscious, you might want to ‘stay small’ and it might be that your business operates on word of mouth and has done for years. Change can be hard.
Suggestion: Take really small steps. If you’ve been told ‘Go and do a live in this group,’ but that feels terrifying, join the group, and start reading and engaging with posts to build up.
2. You’re unsure of where to start
Do you hear things like ‘You should be on Clubhouse, ‘You need to be doing reels,’ ‘TikTok is perfect for you,’ and feel like your head’s about to explode?
Overwhelm with all the different ways, tools, platforms we can use can be paralysing so we do nothing.
When we feel bombarded with advice on the next big thing or the best thing or what we ‘should’, ‘must’ and ‘need’ to do right now, we put the brakes on.
Give yourself permission not to do the things you can’t stand or don’t feel comfortable or confident with. If you hate video, don’t force yourself to do it.
Suggestion: What do you like doing already? Writing? Put your thoughts into a blog and repurpose for social media. Video? Try reels, YouTube, TikTok.
3. What will people think?
You want to talk about what you do but what will people think? Your friends, your old boss, your family?
Do these people matter? Are they going to buy from you? Do they even have a need for your product or service?
Let’s say you’re a newly qualified dog trainer but you used to be a lawyer.
If you’re worried about what people sitting in the offices at your old firm are thinking and not sharing what you do, it’s the dog owners who miss out.
Suggestion: Keep a record of ‘wins’ to reflect on. From reviews to social media posts to thank you cards, so when you’re thinking ‘can I post this,’ you’ll think ‘yes!’ (Read Why every pet business should have a win folder.)
4. What if people tear you down?
Your clients aren’t going to do this and they’re the most important people. Unless you’re saying something that warrants it.
The people who most people I work with fear will put them down are their peers.
Other pet professionals might look at their content and think ‘oh, that’s rubbish/basic/simple/dumbed down.’
That they might be criticised. Or ‘put in their place.’ But what we offer in our businesses isn’t for them, it’s for the people who need our help.
There’s a full podcast episode you can listen to on this topic: How to deal with criticism from people in your industry.
Suggestion: If you’re sharing advice, put yourself in your clients’ shoes who hang on your every word, not your fellow pet professionals.
5. You think everything needs to be polished and perfect
Wouldn’t it be amazing to have your own graphic designer, video editor, copywriter, tech support, social media manager who made everything look perfect.
You might look at people at the top of their game and think you have to look like them.
And one day you might, but when you’re starting out, you’re most likely not going to have the budget to get everything done for you.
You’re passionate about what you do so important to get your work out there, and all you can do is your best.
It doesn’t have to be perfect and polished. This can come in time.
Suggestion: Think about what would happen if your ‘thing’ stayed hidden. Who would it impact? Try to think of them, not you. Who wins when you win?
Being the face of your business and relying on what you do to make a living is hard. We’re not like people with jobs who don’t have to do this stuff.
Putting what we do out there is vulnerable, it’s scary, but our livelihoods depend on it.
If you feel worried about the attention being on you, remember you don’t need to be the hero of the story, you can be the guide.
This is where you talk about your thing and the impact it has others. As the focus is on them rather than you, this can make things feel less daunting.
The hero of the story is your client, the person or the animal who has the transformation, you or your programme or your support or your product are the guide.
Would you like to work on taking steps to be more bold?
I’ve a free, five day Be Bold Bootcamp taking place on Monday April 25th. To save your place, click here.
If you enjoyed this post, you might like to read Osmaan Sharif on how to get out your way and put your pet business out there or How to overcome comparisonitis with Kate Hoyle