The world of digital marketing and online marketing is so fast-paced that it can be scary to put yourself out there. You don’t want to try something new and fail. You don’t want to make a mistake that could cost you your reputation or brand.
I understand your trepidation. As a coach or consultant, it is easy to avoid diving in. There are constant changes, new trends, hot new reports that say what you’ve been doing is so outdated and now you must do this new wiz-bang thing.
But what if you decided to start small?
What if you set a goal of trying one new thing each day?
What if you could hear what current digital influencers had to say?
I’ve rounded up advice from influencers within their industry; all of whom have made their online presence into more than just a hobby, but an income generating business.
They are all coaches or consultants in some way, perhaps not the traditional sense, but they influence, they are paid for their opinion, they carry clout.
They’re like you.
Here, they share what they wish they knew about online marketing when they launched their brands:
I wish I knew not to listen to anyone who told me social media wasn’t a real job! I doubted myself more than I should have. Now I know that if you work hard at it, anything can turn into your full-time job! Also, just be patient with the process of learning how to create content, edit, shoot, etc. Over time, you will learn the ropes and get better and better at it, just like anything else. Looking back at my old photos, I see how far I’ve come with creating content and building an audience, and it’s amazing to go through that learning process.Alyssa Bossio
My advice to aspiring influencers is to put out amazing content but be real and honest. Perfect personas won’t do anyone any good in the long run. The truth is liberating. I also wished I didn’t care so much about appearing prim and proper. I am still polite, but I definitely speak more freely now, and it has really helped increase my engagement with my followers. I also wish that I had connected with more bloggers when I started out. It wasn’t that I didn’t want to, but I was so busy building content that I sort of just did it my way. Having friends who were also in my industry would have helped me avoid some mistakes.Heidi Nazarudin
I wish someone had told me when I started that it’s okay to not have everything figured out in the beginning. I used to think I had to have it all mapped out. The truth is, you have to find comfort in discomfort in this space, knowing that it’s fast-paced and always changing. Change is good, and you can’t let it slow you down from your “end game” goal. Embrace change and all the growing pains that will come with it.Sazan Hendrix
The journey, the trials, the hardships—those make the experience sweeter and the reward greater. I don’t know that I would change anything about the beginning or avoid some of the tough times, because they made me into the woman and wife and mother and business owner that I am. Experience (good and bad) is necessary for success, so I don’t want to shy away from that. While social media is definitely essential to the success of a business these days, the most important thing? YOU BE YOU. Because social media allows us to see so much (maybe sometimes too much) of what everyone else is doing, it also makes us compare ourselves to others more than ever. So stick to who you are—your style, your voice, and what you believe in.Joy Cho
I wish I had the confidence to fully immerse myself in the digital space without hesitation. I hesitated a lot, but I would tell aspiring influencers to confidently take a step forward knowing you have something unique to offer that no one else has.Teni Panosian
I would have loved to have a mentor when I first started—someone from this industry to talk to about the issues I faced and that would actually understand and guide me in my choices and on how to maintain the right lifework balance. Social interaction is also very important, and our lifestyle can also come at the cost of our relationships. As far as aspiring influencers are concerned, I would say that most importantly, you should believe in yourself. If you do it right, you can achieve success. This will come with hard work and by making sacrifices along the way. But nothing good ever comes for free. Most importantly, I recommend you embrace what makes you different, for it is what will eventually make your brand.Alexandra Pereira
Looking back, I would tell my younger self, “Don’t compare yourself, don’t judge yourself—be yourself!Cara Santana
Early on, I wish I knew to be myself and open up more to my viewers. Also, I wish I was more consistent with my content. The market is so saturated now that you have to be consistent and set yourself apart from everyone. The advice I have for aspiring influencers is to not overthink things. Although I think equipment (camera, lighting, microphone, etc.) is important, there are many other things that play a role in the success of your channel. You really need to find what you can offer to your viewers that is different. It can be something small, like creating a channel in a different language or having a unique intro. Be yourself and make connections with people.Sona Gasparian
Here is what I took from of their quotes:
- They wish they started sooner
- They wish they had a mentor
- They wish they overcame their self-doubt / limiting beliefs
- They wish they found their niche / found their voice
- They wish they knew “Published” was better than “Perfect”
If you can relate, you’re in the right place. Now is the time to take the next step. And we can do it together.