Many people find it difficult being in front of a camera even in the best of circumstances. We don’t know how to stand, where to look, and suddenly we have no concept of what hands are for or what they do.
Seeing ourselves in pictures also has the potential to bring out our inner critics and perhaps other ongoing issues. And now people want us to share these pictures online?? It’s almost like a nightmare becoming reality.
Some people shared with me what prevent them from sharing photos of themselves online. They include:
- The potential to be shamed or negative comments/criticisms
- I struggle with fear of judgement. I also worry about being misunderstood or misrepresenting myself.
- When you are a “business” that revolves around “you” you have to boil yourself down and not appear one dimensional
- The permanence of the internet
- Often it feels narcissistic to post only photos of myself
According to a poll I took on my instagram, though, all but one person said that they want to know the person(s) behind the business they’re buying products/services from. Here are just a few things people wrote in:
Other people said:
- I like a store/product with a story
- I love getting to know who’s behind brands-makes me want to support them
- I like to shop/support small biz. It won’t really change if I buy or not but it’s nice
- I love seeing who is behind a company or a brand! Partly because I’m nosey and also nice to see who you’re supporting if you buy from them.
So, if our customers want to get to know us and want to see us, how can we overcome our discomfort of being visible online?
1. Work with where you’re comfortable now
If you’re not comfortable sharing a photo of yourself–don’t do it! Instead, get personal and relatable through your captions. Use your words to build those connections. We’re all on different journeys and different stages. There’s no right or wrong. Go with how you feel.
2. Add Glimpses of You
Not okay with sharing a photo of your face? No problem. That doesn’t mean you have to be completely absent from the photographs you share. Sometimes just having a hand in the frame holding your cup of tea or a photo of your feet propped up on a cushion brings that level of human-ness needed for a deeper connection.
3. Practice, Practice, Practice
Over time, maybe you start to feel a little bit braver and can share a fuller photo of yourself. It is a big step, as being in front of the camera, sharing that online, alongside with a caption that may be personal is a vulnerable thing to do. It opens us up to criticisms and judgements. We see our own perceived flaws and our inner critic rises up to the surface.
I like to think though, that the more you create and the more you keep showing up in that vulnerable way, then the easier it gets. Gradually, it can become more comfortable as our barriers start to come down. The things we see as flaws may remain as flaws in our eyes, but perhaps we’re working towards a place of acceptance. And from that place of acceptance, perhaps compassion.
This article was originally sent out to my email list and has been adapted into a blog post. You can subscribe to my email list here.