When I first started documenting my life online via blog posts and social media, I found it a little… awkward “showing up” all the time. I felt like people would judge me harshly and pick apart all the “flaws” I saw within myself.

Maybe I wasn’t relatable enough, maybe I rambled too much… maybe I’m not as “good” as I needed to be. Maybe I didn’t actually know what I was talking about at all – what if someone called me out and proved me wrong? Then we jump to the physical insecurities, like my giant front teeth, my not-flat stomach and my large bumpy nose. There’s a thousand reasons I could come up with to never show my face online again.

But the more I showed up, the more I realised how much it didn’t matter. And then, how empowering it was to have a voice, to be able to talk to people around the world and make connections with people I’d never have met otherwise. I watched other people showing up without fear, and being accepted no matter what they looked like or how they talked and thought “well, why can’t I do that?”

The thing is, if you’re planning on building a personal brand, you need to have the person part in there. So while it doesn’t always feel natural, it really is something worth getting used to. But you can definitely ease yourself into it!

Show up without showing up

If you want to start posting photos of yourself, you can start by just showing parts of yourself. Do the old POV style photo holding a cup of coffee or allow the viewer to see over your shoulder to what you’re looking at. Overhead shots work well too, and let you ease into showing more of yourself.

Find your security blanket

Sometimes when I’m not feeling super confident, I’ll wear sunglasses or throw on a hat or just do the classic “looking at something interesting in the distance while playing with my hair” pose! 

Do your research

While you’re building up your confidence, take a look at what other people are doing. Look for people you relate to either emotionally or physically, and save their posed photos to a collection on Instagram. I even have a Poses board on Pinterest I refer back to whenever I need inspiration.

Practice, practice, practice

If you’re feeling ready to do your first talk-to-camera, practice what you’re saying in front of a mirror. Write out the cliff notes of what you’re going to say so you don’t get flustered or too off topic. Definitely throw on a bit of makeup if it’ll help you feel better or put on some nice earrings; I like to put my reading glasses on because it feels like a little barrier between me and the audience. Feel free to film it a couple of times until you’re happy with what you’ve said. If you want to film a couple of different talk-to-cameras at once while you’re feeling confident, just change your shirt or put your hair up and keep going. This is a good way to batch content!

Everyone feels this way sometimes

Finally, I think it’s worth remembering that everyone has things they’re self-conscious about. Some people hate the sound of their own voice, or they think their eyes are too squinty. I’ve already talked about my big 3 insecurities, but believe me, I could keep going.

The secret is, the more you do it, the more comfortable you’ll be. Plus it’s never going to be as bad as you expect it to be. People are generally pretty nice, and if they aren’t? Well that’s what our good friend, the ‘block’ button is for!

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Laura x

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