Courtney Elmer, host of The Systems Made Simple™ Podcast, talks about how online business owners can implement easy brand building exercises to find that inner voice and stand out from the crowd.
When you finish listening, you'll have the exact tools you need to overcome your fear of speaking up so you can finally experience what it's like to say what you truly want to say.
BY THE TIME YOU FINISH LISTENING, YOU’LL DISCOVER HOW TO:
If you’ve ever struggled with what to say or how to say it, you’re going to love these three simple steps to find and use your voice so you can show up and serve authentically as only you can to start brand building and start the brand management process.
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You’re Listening to the Systems Made Simple™ podcast, Episode 27, which is all about brand building, how to build brand awareness, and overall brand management!
Imagine how it would feel if you knew exactly what to say, and you weren’t afraid to say it.
By the time you finish listening to today’s episode, you’ll know exactly how to find your inner voice and start using it to make a bigger impact, without worrying about what people will think so you can focus on brand building.
Your voice is needed now more than ever. And it’s time you learn how to amplify your authority so you can start helping more people.
Today we’re talking about something that is one of the most powerful tools you have in your possession. It’s free to use, it’s something you already have, and you’d think that given how accessible it is, more people would be using it.
But sadly, using it is easier said than done. What are we talking about?
Speaking up and using your voice for brand building.
One of the mistakes I see so many struggling entrepreneurs making is that they’re choosing not to speak up out of fear of what others might think when they do.
They’re afraid that if they said what they really wanted to say, then people might reject them…
Or that if they speak their mind or speak their truth and say what’s really on their heart, others might ridicule them, or call them out, or say something hurtful making them wish they’d never spoken up at all.
Maybe you’ve had an experience of this.
I have, many times!
In fact, growing up you want to know what my mom would always tell me? She’d say, Courtney, it’s your mouth that gets you into trouble!
Now, there’s no question that I had a healthy dose of sass and spunk for a 9-year-old girl. But hearing this repeated over and over again caused me to start biting my tongue and silencing myself before my mom had to because I didn’t want to be punished for speaking out.
And guess what? This became a coping mechanism that helped me avoid punishment back then. It worked for a time, but without realizing it, it became a habit for me that only recently have I recognized and have spent a lot of focused effort to change.
That’s typically how our beliefs work. If you’re a long-time listener you’ve heard me talk about this on the show before, about how beliefs are the lens through which you interpret the world, or to put it really simply, it’s a thought that you continue to think without thinking about it.
So I thought, that if I didn’t speak up and just bit my tongue, that I wouldn’t have to risk punishment or embarrassment of saying the wrong thing, or hurting someone’s feelings, or ruffling feathers. It was like a seatbelt -- this particular belief acted like a restraint that would keep me from flying through the windshield and getting hurt.
And so for many, many years, I watered down my message and did not work on brand building. I’d smooth out the bits and pieces of my copy that I felt were too harsh or came across too strong. Even in coaching sessions, I’d find myself looking for the perfect words or how to say things just right so that I didn’t upset or offend anyone. It was exhausting, and it created big problems in my business. My content wasn’t getting great engagement, people weren’t converting to my programs, and I wound up feeling like I was wasting a lot of time creating all this copy and content that wasn’t converting, and maybe you’ve felt like this before, too. Maybe you feel like this right now! In fact, I have to assume to an extent that you do, otherwise, you wouldn’t be listening to what I’m saying to you, right now!
Here’s what I want you to begin to recognize: In everything in life you have a choice. And one mistake I see a lot of entrepreneurs making is choosing not to speak up out of fear.
Chances are, you place a high value on the opinions of other people. Maybe there’s a part of you that thinks others need to like you in order to serve them well.
Maybe you’ve thought to yourself, well if I say what I really want to say, people won’t like me, which means - I won’t be successful.
I used to think that people needed to like me in order to be successful. And If this is you, I ask you to hear me out. Really listen closely to what I’m saying right now.
Think for a second about the work you’re here to do. What’s important to you about it? What’s important to you about your work? What’s important in brand building, how to build brand awareness, and overall brand management?
I can assume that it’s because you want to have a big impact. Or use your unique gifts and talents to help people and leave your mark on the world. Or maybe it’s to grow a successful business that allows you more time freedom, or time with your family, or financial independence. These are the deeper reasons that drive you to do what it is you do and keeps you at it even when the going gets tough.
Now, serious question: how often are you allowing the opinions of other people to get in the way of you achieving these things? How often do your fingers hover over that ‘publish’ button before posting? How often do you go back and edit that post to ‘smooth out’ the parts that you feel might sound harsh or too blunt? How often do you spend on brand building or brand revising? How often are you typing something when you suddenly stop, delete-delete-delete, and stare at the screen, maybe gazing off into the distance wondering how to say what you really want to say?
Now, where do you think your business will be 12 months from now if you KEEP hiding the parts of you that people really need? How will this affect your ability to make a big impact in the world, if you keep choosing to silence yourself before someone does it for you? How will this impact your brand building and brand management?
I know you’ve heard that other people’s opinions don’t matter, you don’t have to please everyone. But what about when you feel like you DO? What about when you’re so worried about losing business because you’re worried about what people will think if you say this or say that, that you don’t realize how much business you’re losing by not saying anything?
You want to know the biggest sin in marketing? Being boring and not working on your brand building.
Watering down what you want to say. Making it “vanilla” When you speak to everyone, you speak to no one! And guess what!
You’re doing it because you’re so worried about what people will think, and don’t want to offend anyone. And I get it, you want people to like you. But you know what’s funny? People don’t like vanilla! People like freakin chocolate-covered cherries or rocky road. They call it 31 flavors for a reason! Not one boring flavor.
So if your content isn’t gaining the traction you thought it would even though you're spending hours writing those posts and emails, this could be why people aren’t resonating with it -- a lack of brand building and brand management.
Do you think every influencer you follow hovers their finger over the publish button? Think of your favorite influencer right now. What are they saying that you’re drawn to? What is it about then that is magnetic? What is their brand building strategy? You know what I think it is? I think it's because they don’t care what people think. Isn’t that funny: the people we look up to the most are the ones who don’t actually care what people think of them. And we love them MORE for it! Do you think I hesitate before publishing my content or going live?
How you do one thing is how you do everything. So if you’re hesitating or censoring or editing yourself in any way right now, where ELSE in your life are you silencing yourself, your thoughts, your opinions, your feelings? Where else are you NOT speaking up?
Let me ask you this: what would you say if no one was judging you? What would you say, if you felt free to say what you really wanted to say? What would your brand building strategy look like?
If you’re saying you’re afraid of what people will think if you really said what you wanted to, what you’re really saying is other peoples’ opinions of you are more important than the work you’re here to do and the impact you want to create. Ouch. I know! I had to learn this the hard way.
So let’s talk about how to work through it.
One of the things that I hear a lot of people tell me, especially struggling entrepreneurs, when I first meet them and sit down with them on a clarity call, or when they interact with me, they're like, you know, I just want to have a big impact. But I only have 300 followers, or I only have a small email list and I'll say something like okay, well, how small is small? Oh, well only have you know, 500 people on my email list. Okay. How would it feel if all those people were sitting in your living room or sitting in an auditorium listening to you talk hanging on your every word what if They were there begging you for more, because they resonated with what you were saying so much, whatever they were the ones who were opening Instagram or Facebook waiting for your post to come across their screen?
You have to be willing to step into a courageous new level here, you have to be willing, first and foremost before anything else, to let go of the need to feel like you have to make everybody happy. This is the first step in brand building.
That's a responsibility that you are not responsible for. You are not responsible for someone else's emotional state. And by thinking that you are, you're actually doing a disservice to your people who need you and to your purpose that you have been called to. It’s a disservice to your PEOPLE and your PURPOSE. It’s a backward way of brand building and brand management.
This doesn't mean you can't have a unique style, but it means that you own your style and you say the things on it when you come from a place of love. That's all that really matters. You know, as my mentor said, and now I say to my clients, I don't need you to like me in order to change your life. In fact, I was on a coaching call the other day with a client of mine. And she was laughing and crying and cursing me out all at the same time. But it was because she had this huge breakthrough. And I gave her a round of applause. And I was like, there you go. And we laughed about it and I told her, you know, if I don't have someone cursing me out and their journey at some point along the way, that I'm not doing a good enough job helping them, right?
So it's gonna be hard. There's gonna be times where the rubber meets the road. But when you trigger someone else, or when you say something that wakes someone up and causes them to think differently than they have been? What a gift. That is, right. And I think too often we get in our own head worrying about what people are going to think about what we say or don't say, or what we say that we just create.
All of these predictions are these scenarios that don't actually wind up happening, right. So I'm of the mindset now where it's like, okay, whatever I'm going to say and if anything comes up, I'll deal with whatever that is, as it comes up.
So it's not about not wanting to upset people, it's a matter of showing them why they need to listen to what you have to say. It's not about trying to say things just the right way or smoothing out what you want to say to appeal to a wide audience. You won't appeal to anyone that way. It's about saying what you feel called to say and not silencing that inner voice that comes up for you. This goes for everything. every conversation you have -- with your spouse, your friends, your family, your clients, your students, on social media, in your inbox with those in your community.
You know what else someone said to me one time, which has stuck with me, there's no money in the middle. And what they meant was when you think about that law of polarity, right, you've got these two ends of the spectrum, the people who love you and the people who don't, if you're somewhere over here in the middle.
So own your style… and say the things. When you come from a place of love, that’s all that matters in your brand building and brand management.
You have a huge responsibility to help and serve and heal people. To change their lives. I can promise you you won’t be changing anything if you’re worried about your ‘likability.’ To worry about upsetting people or worrying if people will like you is saying that this responsibility you have to help others isn’t as important as their opinion of you.
And this could be one of the reasons why you're not seeing more sales come in right now. And you're not having more people convert. So if you choose not to show up authentically and speak your voice, that's your choice. That's okay. You're robbing people of their lesson. But that's your choice. So what are you going to choose?
Are you going to choose to let go of the need for people to like you, and instead step into your power and your strength and serve them regardless of what may or may not happen. This is my mantra, the people that I need to like me, like me, my husband, my son, my family members, at least I think to an extent they do. I don't need the rest to like me, and I let go of the need to need them too. Because when someone and I say this phrase like gets triggered, right, or when you maybe push a button, and someone maybe gets their feathers ruffled a little bit, that's a good thing. It means you're helping them see beyond their current limitations.
Maybe you're sitting here listening to me right now, I pushed a button for you and you're thinking about something differently, right?
This is the first thing you need to realize, right, is that when you push someone else's buttons, you're helping them see a perspective that they haven't seen before. And that's a gift. So you need to shift your belief and know that you are giving them a gift.
When someone gets triggered that’s a GOOD thing. It means you’re helping them see beyond their current limitations.
In addition to the self-mastery journey I’ve been on for years, peeling back the layers of the things that were holding me back and speaking my voice with the world, there are 3 very specific, slightly counterintuitive things I’ve done to find my voice. And I want to share those with you here, so if this is something you struggle with, this will help.
But I want you to realize, first and foremost that it is your responsibility to show up to heal, to help to lead, and to serve. And if you're choosing not to do that, or if you're choosing to edit or censor or silence yourself in any way, you’re doing your people in your community a huge disservice.
I want to help you find your voice to start brand building and overall brand management! Maybe it’s not a full-blown version of your voice just yet… maybe it’s just the tiny whisper you need to get started. and the more you practice, the more you will grow. So three slightly counterintuitive steps I'm going to give you now to help you find that voice.
1. Get quiet
3. Choose to speak anyway, and see what happens. That's my challenge for you in relation to brand management.
Here’s an easy writing prompt I want you to do that will only take a few minutes. I can guarantee you that when you do this, by the time you finish writing out your answer to the question I'm going to give you, you will have already gained so much clarity and peace, about speaking up and speaking your truth and speaking what is coming up for you without worrying what other people are going to think.
Close your eyes. Imagine you have a room full of people… what would you say to them, knowing they’re hanging on your every word? What would you say if you weren’t afraid to say it? How would you start the brand management process?
Sit and spend some time with this. Maybe even close your eyes right now if you're in a place listening to this where you can close your eyes. I want you to imagine that you have a roomful of people. Maybe it's those 200 followers you have on Instagram, maybe it's the thousand people on your email list. Maybe it's a few thousand people, however many people it is doesn't really matter. What matters is they're there in the room listening to you. What would you say to them, knowing that they're hanging on your every word? How would you sustain that brand management?
What would you say to them, if you weren't afraid to say it? How would you go about brand building and brand management?
Notice what comes up for you here, this is where the work is. This is where the change happens, in doing so, take some time with this. Maybe grab your journal so you can journal a few sentences to those questions.
What would you say to that roomful of people knowing they're hanging on your every word? And what would you say? If you weren't worried about what they might think? How would you be brand building? What method would you use for brand management?
There you go. That's your homework for today. And I want to hear from you when you’ve done it! DM me on Instagram and let me know if this was helpful to you. Share your biggest takeaway on brand building, how to build brand awareness, and overall brand management! More importantly, if you have any questions that came up as you were listening today, send them to me bc I'm here to help and serve you.
If this episode inspired you in some way, please share it with a friend who might need to hear this too.
I love hearing from my listeners and what you guys have to say about the show, and as always go forth and live your EffortLESS Life®. You’re the best — see you back here next time on the Systems Made Simple™ podcast.