Does the thought of posting a photograph make you anxious?
When I first set up my business social channels, I had one selfie-style photo that I used for my profile image, and that’s it.
For months and months, I battled with posting photographs of myself. When I finally did, I’d very often delete them.
It’s a struggle that’s very common with introverts, those who are generally more private, reserved and don’t like being in the spotlight.
I often see business owners hiding behind a logo and only using stock images in their posts.
The problem if you’re a solo business owner, is that you come across as impersonal, distant and cold. Who wants to do business with someone they can’t even see?
Why do we need to share photographs?
‘Putting yourself out there.’
You’ve probably heard these buzz words and phrases a lot lately. But there’s a reason for this.
Being visible, being authentic and showing who you are, helps us get to know you, like you and trust you — yep it’s the good old ‘Know, Like and Trust Factor’ again!
Every time someone sees your friendly face, they’ll remember what you do, what you stand for and you’ll become more of a real person in their eyes.
People buy from people.
I bang on about it all the time, but that’s because it’s so important to remember.
Why do we struggle to post photos?
So what’s the big deal? Why can’t we simply take a selfie and just post it?
For a lot of introverts, there’s more going on here. These are just a few of the reasons we hold back.
Fear of judgement
Fear of judgment is the most common fear that most of us face. It’s worry about what people will think.
We start to overanalyse and overthink how we’re perceived. We begin to worry that maybe someone will find us lacking, think we’re showing off or just not like us.
The truth is we all judge each other. There’s no getting away from that. But it’s almost always in a positive way.
Think back to the last photo someone posted, did you think negatively of them? I’m willing to bet you thought something nice.
If you have low self-esteem, sharing a photo can feel extremely revealing. When you lack confidence in the way you look, you start to see ‘flaws’ that most others don’t even notice.
I find it so hard to show my teeth when I smile.
I’m very self-conscious that one sticks out a little more than the others.
In my mind, it’s obvious, and I expect everyone to notice it. But they don’t.
Very often we get fixated on something about ourselves that others already accept or don’t even see as a problem. I understand that it’s not easy, but you have to try and let it go.
The more you post photos, the easier this will get.
But it doesn’t look professional
So many of us put off posting selfies because we are worried that they don’t look professional. In some way, this ties into our fear of judgement.
I fell into the trap of worrying that selfies would make me look unprofessional. The fact is, we want to see the real you.
Yes, professional shots are great, and I’d recommend getting some. But sharing a selfie now and then will make you more real in the eyes of your audience.
How can you get over your anxiety of posting a photo?
1. What is the purpose?
You don’t have to use a photo in every post — in fact I’d recommend you don’t.
The first step is to figure out if using a photograph will add to the message, story or lesson that you’re sharing.
Start by asking yourself ‘what is the purpose of sharing this photo?’.
Here are a few ways you could use photographs naturally in your content:
- A behind-the-scenes look at what you’re working on or what you’re up to
- A personal story and lesson about your journey
- Asking for help choosing your profile image
- Asking for help choosing the banner photo for your home or about page
- Asking for help selecting an outfit for an event
- Sharing good news like an award nomination
2. Reframe It
If you’re struggling to push the publish button because it feels too revealing or you have a fear of judgement, then try reframing it.
- What is the worst that can happen?
Generally, the worst that can happen is someone says something negative. This is highly unlikely, but if it does, it’s just one person’s opinion.
- What is the best that can happen?
I can think of a lot more good things. The best is getting a new client. Who doesn’t want that?
- What is most likely to happen?
You’ll most likely get a few likes and comments. Great!
Usually, we build things up in our heads and only see the negatives. The likely hood of the worst thing happening is slim and comparing it to what could happen (getting a new client) it’s not that bad.
3. Take Baby Steps
Start slow and take baby steps out of your comfort zone. Try posting one photo first and work up to sharing one a week.
You could get a friend to take some side or back profile photos, so you don’t have to be directly in front of the camera.
Photographs in natural light are much more flattering. Take selfies in front of different windows around the house, try different angles to find ones you like.
I’d also consider investing in some professional photographs too, mixing these up with your selfies will stop you worrying about looking professional (but remember to keep it real).
Start doing it
I feel much more comfortable sharing photographs of myself now, and every time you do, it gets easier.
- You don’t have to post photo’s all the time
- Think about the purpose of your post
- Think about what is likely to happen when you post a photo
- Take baby steps out of your comfort zone