Sharing your authentic, awkward self online
with Megan Yelaney
One of the most challenging aspects of marketing your service-based business is showing your face on camera.
In today’s episode, I chat with Megan Yelaney about how you can confidently show up on camera, and be your authentic, awkward self in a way that is going to magnetise your dream clients.
In this Episode:
- 02.40: About Meg and how her business grew
- 10.33: How to deal with a wrong turn in business
- 12.51: How to go after your goals (but not get down when you don’t reach them)
- 17.46: Lessons learnt from hiring
- 29.15: How to get past the fear of being on camera
- 36.29: How to be authentically you on camera
A 7 figure business coach who specializes in helping online coaches start & scale their biz by identifying their signature standout method. Meg really focuses on helping coaches get so clear on their purpose + unique method so they can craft a messaging and marketing plan that is 100% in alignment with them, their ideal client, and one that helps them stay in their lane and not fall into the comparison trap while they scale their business.
She started in network marketing in 2011, building that business to six figures, and transitioned to her own health and fitness coaching in 2017, scaling that to six figures in 6 months. She has since gone full time into business coaching and has scaled that business to seven figures in two years.
Megan specializes in client attraction utilizing social media marketing strategies, and messaging, as well as launch strategy to help her clients and students have a strategic plan to launch their programs profitably and in an organized and stress-free way that SUPER aligns with their unique coaching method.
One of the most challenging aspects of marketing your service-based business is showing your face on camera. Today, I chat to my guest, Megan Yelaney about how you can confidently show up on camera and be your authentic, awkward self in a way that is going to magnetize your dream clients. Let’s begin.
Hello and welcome to the Clare Wood Podcast, where myself and incredible guests share about money mindset, financial successes, and how to manage your money in a fun and practical way to create wealth and abundance in both your business and your life. I’m your host, Clare Wood. I’m a business coach and a money mentor. I strongly believe that money has the power to positively change the world. I can’t wait to help you transform your mindset around money, create a love of numbers and build the business of your dreams, so you can live a life of financial freedom, giving and global impact.
Welcome to the podcast. Megan, how are you doing?
I’m great. Thanks so much for having me. I’m excited.
Oh, it’s great to have you here. So, before we dive in, I’m going to ask you, if you wouldn’t mind introducing yourself to the listeners and sharing a bit about what it is that you do.
About Meg and how her business grew
Hello, everyone. My name is Megan Yelaney. I go by Meg. I am an online business coach. And I primarily help online coaches start and scale their business, specifically by identifying their unique coaching method, is what I call it, and their signature standout. And basically, it’s how do they stand out in a seemingly saturated market, right? How do they attract really soulmate clients, not just any client. And how do they stop comparing themselves? It’s all by developing their own unique method. And then learning how to make that marketable. And so, that’s really what I like specializing in. And I have a lot of fun doing it. So, it’s like a real quick elevator pitch, but we could dive in deeper if you want.
Yes. Now, the reason I wanted to get Megan to come on, she came and spoke to the mastermind group that I’ve been a part of, that I’ve spoken about on the podcast before, Ruby Lee’s mastermind. And Megan is just hilarious. And I wanted to share with you all, if you aren’t already, please make sure you go and follow her over on Instagram at Megan Yelaney. And I’ll pop the link for that in the show notes. But we’re going to dive a little bit more into what that looks like. But before we do, Megan, I’d love, this podcast is all about money, if you wouldn’t mind sharing a little bit about your journey into the online business world, where you started and where your business is currently at.
I started my business back in 2012. Technically, I signed up for my network marketing company in November 2011. It was right after Thanksgiving. It was a health and fitness network marketing company. And I just felt bad about myself after Thanksgiving. And I had had great results, honestly, using these programs of this company. And I was pretty much coaching without getting paid. And so, once I realised, “Wait, I could actually do this. But when I’ve been sending people to the website, I could have gotten paid.” I was all in, right? I’m already doing it, I don’t have to change much. And so, that was really exciting. And I drove in for like a month and I made some money, and I was like, “This was cool. I just made some money telling people about what I do.” And then I realized, oh, you actually have to treat this like a business and show up all the time and consistently. I don’t have time for that. And so, I stopped doing it.
I was I’m in Los Angeles, California at the time pursuing film, television and theater. I had just graduated college a couple of years before. I was doing the whole cocktail waitressing, bartending, actress, between acting gigs kind of life, because I’m also an actress. And I had a degree in marketing. So, I was like, “Wait, I could use this.” But I fell back to the cocktail waitressing and what was already comfortable, because it was a little uncomfortable starting to build this business online, not knowing what to do.
Fast forward. In about end of 2013, beginning of 2014, I went to this event that a lot of times this happens with network marketers as you go to these live events and you realize, “Whoa, I didn’t realize what was possible with this.” And that happened for me. And it clicked. And I saw these people shredding their mortgages and all this stuff. And I was like, “What? This is possible.” I hated the jobs I was working. I should say, I didn’t hate my cocktail waitressing job. Shout out to the people there. I don’t know if any of them would ever listen, but I actually really enjoyed the people I worked with. And I was very grateful for that job, but I couldn’t stand back on work. And I knew I didn’t want to be a cocktail waitress forever. I knew it wasn’t in the cards for me. And so I was like, “Wait, I’m sitting on this goldmine. And then it’s not working because I’m not working it.” And so, ever since then everything clicked. And I just went all in. I treated it like a business. A year later, I was able to completely quit all of my side jobs, cocktail waitressing, background work and went full-time. And that was in 2015.
So, I went from basically making maybe $10,000 for the year, which I was still excited about to $50,000. And then went all in once, I was full time and made six figures my first year in 2016. And then in 2017 as well, and I was at the top of the company for that whole time in the top 200 of the company, and even in the top 50 for a little bit. And so, I was riding high. I was so happy. I was making six figures, like what? I was a cocktail waitress before that and an actress, and expecting to be broke my whole life. So, I never planned for that. I never went into it going, “I’m going to make all this money.” Because I didn’t ever think that was my path. I didn’t go into my career choices. So, I don’t think anyone chooses to be a musical theater performer thinking they’re going to make a lot of money because you don’t. And so, it truly was about the passion for me, but when I saw the possibility of the income, I was really hooked, because I saw how much freedom it gave me. I saw how many people I was able to help. And I was able to be with my family. I was able to give back. I was able to do all these things I never thought possible.
So, that was like my first real jump in a business. And then in end of 2016, beginning of 2017, I started to get this itch, and I was like, “I want to do something else.” Because while I loved network marketing and the company I was with, I just knew that I felt very limited. I could only help people if they sign up for these programs, if they bought them as a distributor and actually built the business, or they just bought them as a customer. And I had so much more knowledge by that time. I had gone through courses and coaches, and learn all these skill sets. I had gone to school for marketing in college. So, I had all this stuff at my fingertips that if you didn’t want to join this program or this company, I couldn’t help you and get paid for it. And I had so many people at the time asking if they could work with me in a different capacity. And so, that’s when I said, “This keeps coming up. Something, I’m going to follow this.” It wasn’t a gentle knock. It was a bang from the universe saying like, “This is the 10th person who’s asked you to work with you outside of this company. Why don’t you like take that as a nudge?” So, I did.
In 2017 I started to branch out. And then at the end of 2017, beginning of 2018, I really just rip the bandaid and went all in on my own business, completely stopped the network marketing company, purely because I felt so split and so detached from it, and it just wasn’t my jam. You definitely can do both at the same time. I just knew my heart was so in this other opportunity.
Once I went all in, everything changed. 2018, we ended up almost hitting 200K in that business in the first year. And again, the reason I like to share the whole story is it wasn’t my first year of business. It was like five years in after starting my network marketing company. So, I’d learned a lot of what not to do and what to do. And then in 2019, we actually five times our income. And we ended the year at around $744,000 in cash for the year. And so, that was our biggest growth. And I get a lot of questions on why, and I’m sure we can dive into that a little bit more, like what specifically happened. But that was the year that I created my signature group program. I created a mastermind. I created a membership, my offers. My offering really expanded. My products massively expanded. I got super clear on who I was talking to on my branding. Everything just fell together. The biggest thing I did was I focused on myself and my business. And I had my blinders on. And I had no clue what anyone else was doing. And that was so important.
So, one biggest piece of advice I can give, is stop watching what everyone else is doing, because I wasn’t distracted. And that’s why I had such growth that year. So, okay. That was a lot.
No, no, no. I love it. So, that was 2019. How did 2020 play out for you?
2020 was an interesting year. So, 2020 was awesome. It was a great, great year. We made around the same amount in cash. We made almost 800K in cash, which was incredible. We did a little bit better than the year before. We had planned for a million dollar year cash pretty easily. Actually it was supposed to be way more than that. It was supposed to be about 1.5. And that’s what we had projected based on all our plans. And 2020, let’s just leave it there, right?
Now, a lot of stuff, it wasn’t even because of honestly, COVID or anything like that. I made a few wrong hires that really bit me in the butt, so to speak. I don’t know if that’s the phrase, but those really hurt me. And this is the thing. And I’m really transparent with this, because I just want to be honest with people of what to expect as you grow.
The hardest thing I’ve noticed as I’m growing at this level is having the right people to support me and the right team, and hiring for the right skillset. And I made a couple of mistakes that I can definitely dive into, if you think it would be helpful for the audience, because they’re pretty big ones that I want people to learn from.
Yeah, absolutely. And one thing I’d like to, before we move into that, just closing out on that “missing your target”. It’s something that people ask me about a lot. And people are almost getting scared to set themselves goals, because if they miss it. So, I’ve got my own theories around this. I’d love to hear your take on it. When you look back on 2020, do you go, “That was a massive failure. I’m such a loser.” Or how do you look at, what happens when you set a goal and you don’t quite get there?
How to deal with a wrong turn in business
Yeah. Oh, I love this question. Because honestly, it was like August of 2020, and Ruby, your coach is one of my best friends, and so we were helping each other out and everything, and she was helping me with this mentally. And I was like, “I have two choices.” Right? I figured out that this hire I made, basically wasted six months on and that really held us back. I could either, just blame that and just stay in that, and I did for a bit, and totally let my goal go and just do what I could, or I could go balls to the wall. I could sign. I figured it out mathematically. I knew how many high ticket clients I needed to sign to hit the goal. And I knew I could do it. I had the wait list. I had the people ready. And I looked at how much time and coaching I would be doing during the holidays, during just life stuff, working on my marriage, working on stuff with family. I would have been sacrificing everything that was important to me just to say, “I hit that number.” Because I got screwed during the year. And I made the wrong decision. It’s not just that person. It was also my fault of making the wrong hire. And I said, “It’s not worth it. It’s not worth it.”
And so for me, it was actually a huge win, because not only did we technically make more than the year before, which any kind of growth, especially during 2020 is such a win. Even if we didn’t stay the same, even if we didn’t make as much, it would have still been a win because I learned, and I prioritize what mattered more than money. And if I had just hustled, hustled, hustled, I’d probably be having a very different conversation right now. I’d probably be burnt out. I’d probably be very upset. I’d probably have a lot of stuff going on in my personal life. And so, I was actually really proud of what I did in 2020 and how I handled that and the choice I made, if that makes sense. The money wasn’t as important in that situation.
Yeah 100%. So, what about if someone is going, “Okay. What if I did compromise all those things.” And they went all in and they still missed their target. What kind of advice do you give to your clients around, how do you navigate between the wanting to achieve those goals and then letting go of, if you don’t?
How to go after your goals (but not get down when you don’t reach them)
It’s such a good question. And the thing is of course, there’s no one size fits all, right? And I’ll hit on that first one first, if you felt like you sacrifice some of your priorities, you’re so not alone. We’ve all been there. I bet you, every person listening to this, I’m sure Clare, you have as well.
I’m trying not too well up with tears. It hits me in the feels.
I’m glad you asked this, because it’s a very sensitive subject, but it is something that I don’t think enough people talk about, is we all have done it. I have a hundred percent sacrificed. My marriage was on the rocks for years. And it wasn’t just because of my business, it was other stuff we had to work on. Right? But I hands down know that a lot of how I prioritized my business, I made it about me. I made it very separate. I made my husband feel so outside of it and so separate, and not as important sometimes. And I really, 2020 was the year, I was like, “I’m not doing that anymore.” And we really looked at that and I said, “What’s the point of all this, if this human I want to spend the rest of my life with feels like so left out?”
And so, I just want to first, I’m trying not to say this phrase because I just hear a lot of people use it, but I don’t know how else to say it, is normalize it. I hear everyone saying, “Let’s normalize.” And I’m like, “I don’t know about that phrase.” But that’s all I can think of right now. But normalizing that everyone has done that. Everyone I know has sacrifice something and they go, “Crap, I shouldn’t have done that.” So, just know you’re not alone. And that’ll hopefully give you a big sigh of relief. And to know that you can always fix that. You can always say, “Okay, I can start today.”
So, really sit down and go, “What is the most important thing to me on a day-to-day basis? And this is an exercise I have my clients do. It’s very morbid. But go with me here. Is at the end of your life, you’re on your death bed, are you going to be thinking about those big launches you had and how much money you made, or are you going to be thinking about who was with you while you did it, and the relationships and all of that. And as cliche as that sounds, doing that really gets me back to what matters. It just catapults me back to like, “Hey, of course my business goals matter. Of course, I want to grow. Of course, I want to make as much money as possible and impact all these people, but not at the sacrifice.” And guess what? You can do both. You truly, truly can.
I think a lot of times we think we have to do one or the other. So, that’s the biggest thing is like, one, forgive yourself. Two, go, “Okay. I can make a change right today. What is most important to me?” And then three go, “Okay, great. Now, these are the most important things, right?” For me, it’s family is first. Actually, first is me and my health, and then is family. And then is my business. My business is a close third. It’s friends and family, I would say. And my business is definitely one of my most important priorities. I love it. I’m obsessed with it. But the other two, if those are not in alignment, my business will suffer. And it does all the time. I am so much better business when those two are in track.
So, that’s what I would do first, is make sure you got everything you need for your week, if we’re just looking at scheduling or whatever, planned out for those two. And then you can go, “Great. Now, what are my big projects? What are the big things I want to work on in my business? How can I fit my business around my life, instead of my life around my business?” And that’s why we actually changed a ton this year in our business plan to fit our life, because I realized last the two years, while I loved it and we made a lot of money, and it was great, and we had so much growth, I didn’t want to keep going at that rate. And I knew I couldn’t sustain that. So, it doesn’t mean you have to make less. It’s just, you have to get a little more creative on how can you make more by doing less or by restructuring your offers too.
I love that. And talking about the deathbed thing, one of my friend’s wife actually passed away about our age yesterday. And I had a real like, “Wow.” And I remember last night I was sitting there going, “I’ve got to do a social post.” And then I was like, “Do I?” If someone I knew was sick or if I was, would I really be pushing myself to get out these social post on time. So, sometimes when you get those massive wake-up calls and you have that context, life really is so precious and so fragile. And what’s the point in massive success, if you’re not happy along the way. So, thank you so much for sharing that.
Now, I want to loop back to, you said you made some hiring mistakes. I know a lot of the listeners are scaling their business or looking to at some point in the future. I’d love to hear some of the lessons that you have learned from hiring.
Lessons learnt from hiring
I love talking about this. And I think it’s why it went through it. I think I was supposed to go through that, so I can help other people. That’s what helps me with it. So yeah, a couple mistakes. So, one is I hired… I’m going to start with a general one, because it wasn’t as sad because it was someone I absolutely loved. It wasn’t a mistake. It was more of realising it wasn’t the right fit. And so, I basically promoted someone in my business, who is incredible at what she does, so good. And that’s why I said, “Hey, I want to promote you. I’m obsessed with you.” We became such good friends. But we both realised a few months in like, it wasn’t a good fit as a role for her. It just wasn’t where she thrived. It wasn’t her personality. And it was a completely different role. If you are going, I’m talking about promoting within, and if you love working with, don’t just necessarily that they should be promoted to a totally different role, because it was a whole different skill set. And this marries into the second thing, is pay attention to what you’re hearing in your industry. And think before you just jump. And I was very reactive the last few years, as far as hiring goes. I was very hire happy. I spent a lot of money on a lot of different people, because I thought, “Oh, my friend is doing that. I should do that. Oh, she’s doing that. I should do that.” And I didn’t step back and take a beat and go, “But what do I really need for my business right now?”
One of the big terms, and I talk to Ruby about this a lot, that is thrown out so much in the coaching space is online business manager. You need an online business manager. You need an OBM. You need an OBM. And so, I literally hired one or I promoted my virtual assistant, my executive assistant, really to OBM, just because everyone said I needed an OBM. So I thought, “Oh, I need an OBM. Of course, of course.”
I didn’t really need an OBM. I actually needed someone to come in, set up the systems and then leave. I didn’t need someone all the time because I don’t have a huge team to manage. And I actually don’t want a huge team to manage. It’s not how I personally want to run my business. And so, I just kept hearing that phrase, and that was such a hot buzz word in the coaching industry. It’s still is. And I thought, “Oh my gosh, I need an OBM.” So, that was one of my biggest mistakes was hiring just based on what other people were doing and not based on what I actually needed, and looking at the role that plays. So, that was one.
And then next was hiring more generalists instead of specialists. So, same as an OBM, it was a little bit more of like, they were going to do a bunch of different things. And if you need a bunch of different things done more of like an executive assistant or a virtual assistant, things like that, of course, right? They’re going to do many different tasks. But what I personally needed and what I find a lot of people need are specialists. They need a very specific, content repurpose, or content strategist, someone who’s going to take their content and really make it work for them. And they’re probably going to pay that person more money. They are going to pay that person more money. And so, immediately you think, “How can I save money?” You’re actually going to save more in the long run, if you hire the right person, who’s an expert in what they do. And so, this year that’s a huge transition we made, is we don’t just have a bunch of generalists. We have very specific people doing various specific things. So, that’s the second thing is, look at, “Do I need a generalist or do I need more of a specialist?”
And then the third thing is related back to, don’t just do what everyone else is doing. In the industry I’m in, I’m not sure how it is where you are, but at least here in the States, it’s very common to just hire a lot of contractors in the coaching industry. It’s like, everyone is contractor. I’m hiring my first full-time employee this year. And I was never exposed to that. It just wasn’t a thing people did. I realised, “Wait, I actually, I love my contractors. They’re awesome.” But at a certain point, I’m getting to this point where I need someone who is a fully, fully dedicated to just my business, and they are in it with me and they have no other clients. And you can find those people. And when you’re a contractor, when you hire contractors, you’re not necessarily their priority, you’re one of many, because they’ve had other clients. And I felt that. And I was like, “I know I’m at that space.” So, even if you’re not there yet, keep that on your radar, because you don’t have to just have contractors forever. You can have some contractors. I’m always going to have some specialists, but then I’m going to hire a full-time employee to help me with all of those kinds of general things, if that makes sense.
So, those are three main tips. And then I can get into the nightmare story and lessons I learned from that.
Yeah. Amazing. Yeah. Look, it’s definitely something that clients of mine struggle with. And a lot of my clients aren’t actually coaches. But when they are looking to bring someone in full-time, there’s this real sense of fear around the commitment that, “What if I bring someone into my team full-time and I’m like…” But that’s business. That’s a life. Sometimes you hire someone and it doesn’t work out. And do you know what? Even if someone isn’t a contractor, if they’re not a good fit, you can still let them go.
It is a little bit more complicated here in Australia with the employment laws and whatnot, but it’s not like you’re then committed to work with this person for the rest of your business life. So yeah, maybe if you don’t mind just sharing that story as well, the disaster story.
I’ll try to be really fast in general with this, because the biggest things I learned from this is, one, make sure you set such clear expectations upfront and you know exactly what you’re getting. This is a done for you service specifically. If you’re hiring a coach, it’s a little bit more vague, right? It’s not like, “This is exactly what you’re giving me.” This was a done-for-you service. So, setting real specific expectations, you know when you’re getting things done, what timelines, and they set those. And they set not only when things are getting done and the timelines, but communication.
What’s communication like? When will you be reaching out? Will it be through email? So, not only how often, but what’s the portal. And I know that seems like obvious, but these are things I literally didn’t do. I was just very impressed by their fancy presentation. And it was a referral. So, I thought, “Okay, this is a referral from someone I trust. They’re geniuses at what they do.” Obviously, their presentation was beautiful. And they had some of those things, but they weren’t as clear and concrete. And so, I really should have looked at that before jumping in and getting excited because they’re great salespeople, really good salespeople. They definitely sold me.
So, those are two things. And then also, is really look at the body of work they’ve done. This might seem super obvious, again, but when you get excited and someone’s really good at sales, you can get a little bit blindsided by that. So, look at all the work they’ve done. Ask for portfolios, ask for programs that they’ve done. It depends obviously what you’re hiring someone for. So, ask for the specific deliverables of whatever it is you’re hiring them for. If it’s a website designer, ask for the websites that they’ve designed. Message the people whose websites they’ve designed and ask them how they enjoyed working with them, what was the process like? Were they really timely? Did they stick to their timelines?
I’m a huge fan of this. When I have people who are inquiring about my coaching, I give them the names of my past clients. And I say, “Go message anyone on my site, message anyone here. They’ll give you their honest opinion. I’m not wanting them to say anything, they’re going to be truthful with you.” And I think that’s great. I never get offended by that. I think it’s smart to do that.
And so, that’s a big thing I didn’t do. I just trusted the person who referred me. And I didn’t go and research a little bit more and see, what else did they do? What else did they put out? And didn’t realize that they take probably four or five times as long as they say they’re going to. And we ended up never actually getting what we paid for. And so, it was a really, really frustrating experience. And especially if you are a people pleaser, and I am recovering people pleaser, you can just make excuses for them after awhile. And I was doing that. And by the end of the six months of getting nothing, I was like, okay. And that’s where I had to let it go, and go, all right.
So, this year is not going to turn out like we thought. And the main reason is I wasted a lot of time and energy on this. But I learned how to hire and how not to hire, and I can teach my clients that. And that’s a huge lesson. That was worth the money, I guess, I spent on that. You know what I mean? So, I hope that makes sense. But those are the biggest things. Always interview their clients and ask for deliverables before you commit. Make sure you know the timelines. Make sure you know the communication channel. And then also if you can do a payment plan, especially with done-for-you, do a payment plan, so that you’re not paying for something until you actually get it delivered to you.
Yeah. Great tips. Another one that I’ve got that has come up for me, I also had a number of lessons about hiring in 2020. And one of the big ones that I guess I would say that I’ve taken away, is look for early warning signs. So, someone that I hired, in the very first email to me was multiple spelling mistakes and links that didn’t work. Now, spelling is my thing. I hate when there’s spelling mistakes. Especially in this role, there was a high level of attention of detail required.
I should’ve seen that flag right from the start, but I chose to ignore it. And I think that’s another thing that I would say is like fire quickly, if you are getting those signs. Every time that I’ve held on, I’ve coached someone, the same issues keep appearing again and again. So for me, if you feel like it’s not a good fit, call it quickly. Just say, “You’re amazing, but this isn’t working out.” And yeah, again, that would be some of my takeaways from the year 2020.
I feel like I could talk to you all day, but I did bring you on to chat to you about a specific topic. So, I’d love to do a little segue into that, if that’s okay. So, the reason why I wanted to bring you on today is to chat about having massive success in your business, which is what you have done through being authentically you, or as you like to say it, being awkward.
But before we get into that, maybe if we take a step back, because a lot of my clients, of the listeners, aren’t even at the stage where they’re confidently showing up on camera yet, let alone diving into being vulnerable and being a bit awkward. So, let’s go right back. If someone is at the stage where they’re like, “I hate showing my face. I feel awkward. I feel really uncomfortable.” Firstly, do people need to show their face online these days? And secondly, if they do, how can they get past that fear or phobia of showing up?
How to get past the fear of being on camera
This is such a good question. And of course, there’s not going to be like a one size fits all. This advice might work for you in it. And it honestly might not. So, just take that. And as far as, do you have to show your face? It depends on if you’re a personal brand or not. Right? If you’re a personal brand, I think so. I do. I really do. I just think if someone’s going to hire you, especially if they’re going to hire you as a coach or consultant, they need to trust you. And if they can’t see your face, I don’t know. I can’t trust someone me. That’s just me. Right? And it’s most people I know. But if you are not on a personal brand, if you’re selling a product or something like that, then not necessarily, you probably can get away with it a little bit more, maybe once in a while, so people can put a face behind the brand and associate that, but not as much, right? So, you can get away with it more. But a personal brand, I truly do believe it.
I’ve coached hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of people in the service industry, and all of them have owned that. And they’ve all been able to get to that place of being comfortable. Now, everyone will take time, right? Some people, one day there’ll be like, “I’m an expert at lives now. And I love it.” And some people it will take them like a year to feel comfortable on a live. And I totally get that.
I come from an acting background, so I have a little bit of an edge in that sense, even though, even with that background, I was terrified going live, because I wasn’t hiding behind a character. I was being me. And I was like, “Ah, this is scary.” So, just know that everyone is probably a little nervous the first time.
So, my biggest piece of advice, and this is actually something I’m learning in a program I’m in now, it’s more of like a, it’s called like a mental fitness, Positive Intelligence Program. It’s really awesome. And one of the things they said is, anytime you come up against a roadblock and you want to take some massive action and it’s so overwhelming, right? Show up live. Go live for five, 10 minutes or an hour. That’s terrifying if you’ve literally never shown your face on camera.
So, what is 10% of out of your comfort zone? And I think that’s where you need to start. Instead of going, “I have to commit to going live five times a week.” What is temper since scarier than what you’re doing now? So, if you’re not showing your face at all, right? If you’re not showing pictures, you’re not on stories, on Instagram Stories, you’re not going live, then what is 10% more? Right? Maybe not a live. What if you take a picture of yourself and you share that on stories and you do an introduction, or are you doing an introduction post on your feed, right? Start with that. And that’s your 10% for the week. And once you’re like, “Okay, I didn’t die.” I was okay. “I’m all right.”
What’s 10% more than that? Maybe you hop on your stories and you talk for four story slides, just four. “Great, cool. I didn’t die. I feel better.” You do that again and again, until it becomes almost habitual. And then you go, “Okay, I’m going to do my first live. It’s going to be super scripted because I have to do it that way. And it’s going to be five minutes.” And that’s all you do. And then you get used to that. And so, instead of having it be this huge big thing, chunking into those like, what’s 10% out of my comfort zone? That’s really how I like to do it, is inching it. If that is really how scared you are, which again, I totally get it. It’s terrifying. Saying be yourself is really easy to say, then doing it is very different. And we have all these fears, right? Of judgment, of our friends, our family, people that we’re like, “Oh, I don’t want those people to see this.” Right? It’s scary. It is. I definitely was so fearful of what my friends would think. And I still actually have that to this day a little bit. When I post something I’m like, “Oh, are they going to think I’m weird for posting my income? This is awkward.” Especially the income. And I have to ask myself a couple of questions. I go, “Who am I posting this for? Am I posting it for them? Or am I posting it for the person who I know needs to hear it? I’m posting it for that person.” And I have to get back to that.
Because one thing that really helps me is when I say that, I go, “If I’m not going to post this, because I’m scared what someone will think of me, I’m making it all about me. And I’m being really selfish.” And that for someone who’s a people pleaser that gets me when I go, “Meg, you’re being selfish because all you’re saying is, what are they going to think about me? How am I going to look?” It’s me, me, me, me, me, me, me, instead of what the point of this thing is, the point is to help this other person, to help your audience, to help inspire them, to help their transformation. And if I don’t show up, if I don’t start sharing my face, I’m doing them a disservice.
And so for me, that really helps me just say, “Okay. I got to write down all the reasons that I want to do this and that I should.” And all the things that I can’t control, that’s really helpful to write down too, because then you can look at that list and go, “I have no control over how people respond. I have no control over how they think.”
And I also have to realize a lot of my assumptions are not true. They probably aren’t going to think what you think they’re going to. They’re probably not going to react. We always catastrophise. And it’s usually not as bad as we think it’s going to be. People don’t usually react the way you think they’re going to as dramatic as we put it. So, that was a bunch of tips mixed together. But I hope that helps a little bit, with the 10% really helps.
I just want to expand on what you were saying about how it’s a bit scary at the start. I show up regularly on my stories. I do lives, all of these things now. For me, it wasn’t the first time, it wasn’t the first few months. For literally years, I would film videos and cry. And I deleted and I couldn’t post it. And I think how ridiculous I looked, and ra, ra, ra.
I promise you, if you stick with it, like any skill in life, it does get easier. And the reason why I stuck with it, because so many people are probably thinking, “Why did you keep doing I, if you hated it so much?” It’s because I knew that that connection that people make when they can see you on video and when they can see your face, is so worth pushing through the discomfort off.
So, okay. Let’s take this one step further. Okay. So, let’s say that people are at the point where they’re nailing that. They’re showing up now, they’re able to show their face. Maybe it still feels a bit uncomfortable, but they’re doing it anyway. What if they want to take it to the next level? And do you know what? In some respects, I probably fall into this category, where I have the experience sometimes where I meet people offline for the first time. And they say, “You’re so much more funnier in real life.” Is something that people say to me sometimes. And I totally get it. I still know that I’ve got this part of me that I keep separate, I guess, it’s from my corporate days.
So, anyone that is wanting to lean into being more authentically then, even if it’s a little strange. The real me is a little… I’ve got a bit of a sarcastic sense of humor. And I see you do this so authentically and you’re hilarious. And it does help too, that you’re a fantastic singer because that’s always a great way to bring it in. But if someone’s wanting to lean in more and go, “I want to be more of me.” How do they go about doing that?
How to be authentically you on camera
I love this question. And this is like my life’s purpose now. So, I love it. Yeah. Again, easier said than done. But once you really let the mask off, right? Except when you’re around people and it’s COVID, but when you let it go and you really take that facade down, and you’re confident with it, it is the most freeing feeling you will feel. You never feel like you’re putting on a face. You never have to ask, “Is this authentic?” Because you just are naturally. So, it is so worth it. Just stick with it, I promise you’ll get there. Like you said, it might take some time.
But one of the biggest things is… I’m going to use a client example because she had this transformation, it was mind blowing. It was so cool. So, she had this version of herself and she would call it launch version. Right? She had the launch version of herself and then the real version of herself. And we had a call in person in New York City right before COVID actually, it was like a month before. And we got to meet in person for the first time. And I met her and I was like, “You are so similar.” What you just said, Clare. I was like, “You’re so sassy.” She was sassy. She was sexy. She was so edgy and just fun, and on Instagram. And when she was launching specifically, she had this very girl next door, innocent, like sweet vibe. Right? I’m not sure if you’ve seen Gossip Girl, but she’s like Blair Waldorf in real life, but not as mean. She is very sweet. But she’s got that vibe, but she was so presenting this like super sweet, innocent vibe. And I was like, “What is this? Why don’t I see this ever?” And we sat down and that’s pretty much what we talked about the whole time, created a whole new content plan for her. And we busted through this belief that she thought she had to be professional to get clients. Well, what does professional mean to you? What does professional look like to you? What does that feel like to you? How do you know someone is being professional? Right? And that really stumped her because she was like, “I don’t even know.” Because I said, “Do you think I’m professional?” She said, “Well, yeah, I hired you.” And I was like, “Yeah, you see me doing weird things all the time.” She goes, “Yeah. That’s one of the reasons I hired you.” I said, “Cool. So, does professional equal suit and tied? Does professional equal…”
And so, in the beginning, start to look for evidence to bust that. I hate the word professional because I think it’s just so ridiculous. It’s like, what does it even mean? Professional to me means showing up on time for your client calls and actually delivering on what you promise. That’s professional. Right? But when it comes to really standing out, this is how you’re going to stand out on social media. Is because so many people are really putting out this watered down version of themselves. They really are. They’re dipping their toe instead of saying, “Hey, I’m going to jump in. This is who I am.”
And again, let’s start with a 10% because it’s easier said than done. So, I want you to write out, this is an exercise I do with clients, write out two lists. One list is going to be, what are all the things, it’s a being list and a doing list. When someone says, “Hey, who is Clare in three words?” What are the words that come to their mind? Right? What are the sentences? What do they think of when they think of you? Someone who knows you in real life, not on social media. And interview those, your friends, your family, anyone you’re super, super close to, clients you already have because they get to see the real you. And actually get that information and go, “Okay, cool. How can I actually start to show this more on social?” 10%?.
So, for me, it was actually really nerve-wracking doing those first few singing videos. I’ve been a singer my whole life. I was professional performer for two years, yet I was terrified to do it because I was like, “I’m a business coach. I can’t sing. Right? That’s not part of this.”
And so, I just started to do it to my stories a little bit. I started to share karaoke nights. And people started loving it. And I was like, “Okay, these are leads. These are actual leads for my programs.” And then we got to talking. And they’re like, “I didn’t know you sing. This is so cool.” And we start talking, talking, talking. And I got to know them as like more of a friend. And they signed up for my programs. They didn’t go, “Oh, she’s singing on her story. She can’t do that because she’s a business coach. And all she can be as a robotic business coach who only ever talks about business.” Right? When I started to notice, “Wow, just from sharing some karaoke clips, I’m getting way more traction. I’m actually having better conversations. And I’m signing more clients. I’m not selling, singing, I’m selling business.” And so, it just made me realize people want to hire humans that they’re interested in, that they have connections with. A lot of people who hired me are either in the industry or love music, or love theater. Even if they don’t sing or perform, they just love it. Right? And so, it became such a connection point. And so, that’s where I started.
So, what is, again, 10%? And we’ll do this theme. What is a little bit more of one of those being lists things that your friends, your family are going to give to you, take that and go, “How can I show that a little bit more?” Dip your toe, dip your toe, dip your toe. And then you can even start creating what I like to call episodic content, regular scheduled content that has to do with that. So, I do these singing videos. I try to do them once a month. I’m going to get better at them. I have two ready to go. And so, I do those. And people look forward to them and they get ready for them. And the more and more you do that, you’ll be able to do the next level of stuff that you want to do. And this is how you will stand out too. You’re going to totally stand out in your industry. So, I hope that made sense.
Yeah. One thing that I’ve noticed as well, and you just touched on it then, but is when you try it, see what people’s response is. So, one thing about me too, I’m a big crier, which often surprises people because I’ve got a very direct, strong, solid front. But if my client is crying, I’m usually crying with them. And I’ve posted a real recently actually, which was of me bawling. I was crying about something that happened in my business and I just filmed it. I don’t know why I had this calling like, “Let’s just capture this moment.” And I shared a real. It went freaking nuts. I got so many messages, DMs about it like, “Oh my gosh, that’s totally me. That’s all the time. Thank you for sharing this.” And so, sometimes when you do share these things, it’s really interesting to observe how your audience responds.
And further to your point, I had two of my clients yesterday, actually one is a lawyer and one is a bookkeeper. And they were saying, “We can’t share that kind of content because people need to view us professionally.” And I said, “It’s really interesting that that’s your take.” And I said, because to me, I find like… No offense to lawyers listening, but sometimes that lawyers and bookkeepers can be a little bit intimidating. And I said, and to be honest, if I was seeing a little bit more of the softer side, because they’re both beautiful gentle humans, I’m like, it would make me feel a little bit less scared to ask silly questions when I’m working with them, because I know that they’re just normal everyday people who have that vulnerable side as well. And I definitely do think with vulnerability there is a line. I’m sure that if every single day I was bawling on my story saying, “My life is a disaster.” Which I’m not. So, that wouldn’t be authentically me pretending to be like that.
But in saying that, I definitely do think there’s this stuff that you don’t need to share. But I really, really love all of that advice, Megan. It’s so powerful. And yeah, when you look at the big business leaders that you love and follow, watch what they’re doing. And I know this was a big aha that I had watching Megan on Insta Stories, you go, it doesn’t make you think, if anything, it’s really magnetic watching someone who is just being authentically them and having fun. So, amazing, amazing advice.
Yeah. I’m so glad.
I cannot believe how quickly time has gone. I might have to get you back on again on the podcast.
I would love that. I have a quick, just literally a 30 second tip, because this might come up a lot for people as they do this, and I just thought of it. Just to warn them against, as they’re implementing this. Just so you know, I don’t want you to be nervous about what people are going to think. Right? We talked about that. You might get someone who doesn’t drive with that, right? They might be like, “I’m not into that.” That’s actually good. You want to draw your line in the sand, attract and repel, right?
I’ve built this business for, gosh, since 2012, I’ve had the brand Pretty Awkward since 2017. So, now we’re coming on four years. And out of all that time, I think I’ve had one person, one, and it was very recent. So, I’m thinking of it, say they didn’t want to sign up for the program because they don’t identify as being awkward. So, they don’t think it’s right for them. And I was dying. I was like, “Oh, you totally missed the point of this brand. That’s not it at all.” We all are awkward. It’s not… And if you look at my content, it’s like, she obviously didn’t really dive in. The whole definition of Pretty Awkward is leveraging what makes you different and unique to build your business, not hiding that. Right? And out of the four years I’ve done that, no one has ever misunderstood that. In fact, it’s exactly why people have signed up for me, signed up with my programs, and why we’ve had so much success. So, don’t let one negative review or one person change what you do, because I could let that totally derail me and change everything. And that would be such a disservice to the thousands of people who have bought my coaching. You know what I mean?
So, I just want to say that, because I think a lot of people change stuff for one complaint. And it’s like, no, no, no, no, no, no, don’t do that. You’re always going to get someone, right? So, I had to share that because it just happened.
No, I love that. And to be honest, even if it’s a hundred complaints, even if it’s 500 complaints, the more that you, I guess, do draw that line in the sand, the more you’re going to polarize your audience. And a lot of us are terrified to do that. I know it’s a big fear of mine.
But the truth is that when you look at a lot of the big leaders, they are doing things different, and that’s what makes them stand out. And not everyone’s going to vibe with it. And the more that you do step into that spotlight, yeah, people aren’t going to connect with it. But the people that do, make it so, so worth it. And they’re the people you’re helping. I’m so glad that you shared that message with us. So, to wrap up today, if people are listening, loving your vibe, how can they connect with you, Megan?
Yeah. You can find me a couple places. So, we’re actually on YouTube now, which is cool and new. So, I’m trying to dive into that. And I do a lot of business trainings, a lot of what we talked about today in more video form, short form. So, really short five to 10 minute video trainings. So, I’ll make sure to give you the link to that, if you want to link it in the show notes. As well as The Pretty Awkward, just look up the hashtag, Pretty Awkward Entrepreneur Podcast. I love podcasting. This is so fun. This is my jam. And then at @MeganYelaney, is my Instagram and you can find all the fun things there.
So amazing. I will definitely pop all of those links in the show notes for today. Megan, thank you so much for joining us today. I have loved this, and I know the listeners will have as well.
Thank you so much.
Thanks so much for listening. If you love this episode, please share it with your audience. And don’t forget to tag me on Instagram at @Clare_Wood_Coach. And also, make sure you hit subscribe, so you never miss an episode. Have an abundant week. And I look forward to talking to you again next week.
About your host
Hi, I’m Clare Wood – I’m a numbers geek, a travel lover, a reality tv addict, and a passionate business coach. I’m here to empower you to create an extraordinary business and an amazing life; because I believe you don’t have to choose between the two.