You know you see those people in life. They just seem to effortlessly ooze confidence.
Not in an overbearing way, but in a cool, calm, collected (and wholly envious) way.
They make it look so easy!
How can they be so confident? What’s their secret?
Confidence is a key part of being successful with your brand and your business.
People are drawn to confidence. They respect it. They see it as a sign of quality and stability.
And that’s because the majority of people aren’t confident in themselves, their business and their abilities. They may show a rather irritating false bravado. But that’s just a cover up. To compensate for a lack of true confidence.
None of us are born confident. We all have our insecurities. But there are ways to build confidence and turn it into a habit. So I’m gonna take you through the 10 best ways I’ve found to really boost your belief in yourself and what you do.
To make sure your business and brand are the best they can be.
That little voice inside your head that whispers little negative thoughts at everything you do.
“Hmmmm. I don’t think they’ll pay that much for this.”
“That’s just boring, nobody will read that.”
“That looks awful, they won’t take you seriously.”
The fear of disapproval, rejection, failure can weigh heavy on our minds. Even if we’re top professionals. We know deep down that we’re amazing at what we do. People actually tell us that we do excellent work!
We still get impostor syndrome. We still think it’s luck that’s got us where we are. That we’re just on the verge of being found out as a fraud.
Fear is completely irrational, but somehow seems to trump the good thoughts!
But think about this…
If you aren’t able to talk about yourself and what you do in a positive light, no-one will.
YOU need to start it. Others will then follow. You’ve done all of the hard work getting to where you are now. You just need to shout about it!
Confident self-promotion is not about being an arrogant twat! It’s not about hammering people with barrage of thoroughly annoying sales pitches.
It’s about informing people and letting them know that you have something of value that can help them.
You need to constantly tell people about your business. If it’s valuable to them, they won’t mind how many times they hear it.
If you got a dollar every time you received an email from me, you wouldn’t mind a million of them right? (small caveat – this is not part of my business plan, however much I would like to do that. It would break me!)
You will eventually become sick of the sound of your own voice. Sick of writing the same emails, the same content over and over again. But you need to keep to it. Remember that you may have seen everything over 1000 times, but your audience may have only heard it a few times.
Repetitively put one message out there. You won’t see results from saying something just once. And if you don’t feel comfortable doing it, then do you really believe in what you’re saying?
The more someone hears you talk about something, the more you’ll be perceived as an expert in that topic.
Don’t worry what your message is. As long as it’s tailored to your audience and they like it, it’s all good!
Having confidence in you, your brand, your business and what you offer is vital.
If you truly believe you’ll help people, that’s a great foundation for epic levels of confidence.
How can you expect others to love what you can’t explain yourself?
You need to know why you exist. What your values are. What you believe in. What you’re willing to do (and not do). What your vision is.
You need to be clear on your story and your personality. What sort of character you are.
Keep in mind that you and your brand are two separate entities. Elements of you may cross over into your brand, but you need to make sure they have a place being there. That they resonate with your audience.
You may be a photographer that loves travel and baking. Your audience, love travel also, but could care less about baking. Leave that bit out of your brand.
Know what you’re willing to let people know about you.
When you’re clear on everything that makes up you and your brand, it’s time to…
You need to know where you’re going. You need to have direction and purpose.
Having goals and a route to achieve them are huge boosts to overall confidence levels.
Don’t be afraid to commit to things, it’s the only way you’ll ever see progress. Once you have a plan, and you have valid reasons backing it up, stick to it!
Consistency is the key to success.
Doing the same work over and over, constantly repeating the same message will be boring, but seeing results come step by step off the back of it will build your confidence and your brand.
Make sure you’re always building momentum. Always building habit. Regularly do until it’s ingrained in you.
Don’t leave anything to chance. Don’t chase silver bullets. Misplaced hope and loss of control are two major barriers to building confidence.
Do you know what you’re gonna be doing in 12 months time?
No-one should. That’s a stupidly long time and very difficult to plan for.
Break your plans down into smaller, more achievable chunks.
We work best in 90 day segments. Much easier to picture, plan for, keep track of and evaluate.
Think of the big goal you’d like to achieve at the end of 90 days and write down all the tasks you need to do to get there. Then choose the most important task and break that down into sub-tasks.
Once you’ve done that, list the sub-tasks that you want to complete by the end of the first month. And finally, break it down one step further to the most important sub-task and the actions you need to complete by the end of the first week.
At the beginning of each new week and each new month, you can look over it, see where you are with your tasks and prioritize new ones. If everything goes to plan, you’ll reach your 90 day goal and then start a new 90 day goal. Simple!
Keep you goals small but steady. Make sure they’re achievable. And always build on them every day.
Running up a slippery mountain slope will may keep you going for a while, but you’ll soon get tired and slide down. Carving out a small step each day might seem slower, but you WILL get to the top. And that’s where you ultimately want to be.
We’re all fickle creatures by nature. We pretend we’re not, but we are. It’s the way our brains have evolved over the last 6 million years.
We take in what we see and make a split second judgement call on it. Is it safe? Is it dangerous? Is it interesting or not? Is it something I should be using my efforts and brain power on or conserve for something else?
Since the dawn of time, this has helped us stay away from danger and expand our knowledge.
In the modern day however, it’s become even more refined. At first glance, we instantly make a subconscious decision on whether we can connect with something/someone. Whether we trust it. Believe in its quality and potential to add value to our lives. Whether we share the same values and outlook on life. Whether we can truly build a relationship with it.
It takes only 0.3 seconds for someone to like or be turned off by the way you and your brand looks.
That’s a hell of a lot of psychology going on in a short amount of time!
So you need to make the most of it.
By understanding the psychological traits behind the use of colour, fonts, imagery and design, you’ll be more confident in WHY you look a certain way and HOW it’s designed to attract your audience. Making sure the way you look truly reflects the essence of you and your brand is so important.
With understanding comes trust. With trust comes faith. And with faith comes pride.
Having pride in how you and your business looks will shine through to others. It’s a highly respected trait in people – and incredibly infectious.
The more experience and knowledge you have in something, the more confidence you’ll have around it.
Whatever it is you want to be known for, want to be seen as an expert in, keep learning about it.
Learn how to do something more. Learn how to do something better.
That’s why you need to be in a niche you love, because you need to learn for the love of it.
The more you know, the more you can help your audience. And the more they know that, the more they’ll keep coming to you for help.
It’s a rather delicious cycle. A cycle that goes a long way to building confidence, not only in yourself, but confidence from others in your brand.
This goes hand in hand with the previous point.
The more you learn, the more you give.
Be kind. Be generous. The more you give without asking in return, the more respect you’ll get from people. And the more respect you get, the more confident you’ll become.
Giving is the first step to reciprocity. And it’s a funny thing. The more you help your audience for free in the first place, the more they’ll feel obliged to return the kindness – through direct sales, word of mouth etc.
By helping people, by teaching them, you’ll in turn learn more. You’ll become more of an expert.
If you want to learn more about something, teach it!
These should be your rocket fuel.
Your wins are so important. You need to hold on to them.
Get a notebook and write down your wins for each day, week, month and year. No matter how small they are.
What this does is build up a habit of positivity. A change to your mentality.
The world can be filled with a lot of negativity. Especially negative people that don’t understand what you’re trying to achieve, or share your vision. Going out on your own as a freelance entrepreneur can be a very lonely place sometimes.
So don’t be ruled by negativity. Turn every win into trophy.
Read back over them when you’re feeling down and remind yourself of the great work you’re doing. Of how far you’ve come.
You’ll be surprised at how quickly you confidence levels will change from this.
Ask for feedback from those you trust and who understand what you’re trying to achieve.
The opinions of anyone else don’t matter.
I’ve had all manner of people throw their 2 cents in about launching my own branding business. Mainly from people that have never even thought about being their own boss or that even know what branding really is.
Choose the advice you act upon wisely.
But always ask for it.
Take the positives and run with them. Take the negatives and act on them.
Make sure you’re being the best you possibly can be to your audience. Helping them better than anyone else can or will.
At the end of the day, nothing is a better builder of confidence than seeing others love what you do.
I’ve failed. A lot.
Wasted money on things in my business. Gone down routes that weren’t progressing me to my goals etc.
There’s no shame in failing. There’s only shame in not trying.
Failing isn’t an ultimate result. Failing is the first step to improving.
We learn from our mistakes – never be afraid to learn.
And always build to be brilliant.
When you fail, find out what you’re not doing so well at and improve. Learn from it and make it better. Stay consistent and don’t give up.
No-one’s right 100% of the time. Just make sure that the next time is better than the last.
And finally, one that we all can forget sometimes – smile!
We all know the saying ‘smile and the world smiles with you’. And how true that is.
Smiling is infectious – we connect with a smile more than anything else. It’s a sign of safety, trust and friendliness. We’re instinctively programmed to react positively to a smiling face.
So the more happiness you show, the more happiness you’ll bring out in people. And that releases dopamine in the brain – the highly addictive feel-good chemical.
When we feel good, we feel confident.
So smiling is a highly overlooked, but extremely effective way of building confidence in others and ultimately in ourselves.
Confidence is not an inherent trait. It’s a skill we learn by putting in place habits and processes.
It’s a skill that underlies the most successful people and brands.
You can develop more of it and in turn make others have more of it toward you.
It just takes a few mindset changes, but the actionable tips in this article will go a long way to helping you get there.
And once you’re confident in who you are and what you do, anything’s possible. You just gotta make it happen!