28 Mar Lower the bar and show up anyway – lessons from Adele
Are you setting the bar too high for yourself on social media?
Are you holding yourself back from shooting videos or going live on Facebook, because you are worried about messing up or looking unprofessional?
Does any of this sound familiar?
- I want to lose 10 pounds before I schedule a photo shoot for my new brand images.
- I can’t go on Facebook Live because I look so tired today
- I’m afraid to pitch myself as a guest expert for a podcast interview, in case I get something wrong or make a mistake.
So instead you put it off, while wondering why it’s so hard to grow your audience and create the impact of which you know you are capable.
One of the biggest fears that prevents entrepreneurs showing up boldly online, is the fear of revealing our imperfections.
We’re afraid of looking like fools, making public mistakes, or giving anything less than a slick and polished performance.
And that’s where many entrepreneurs could learn a thing or two from Adele.
Last weekend I went to see Adele live in concert. The show was amazing, and not just for Adele’s soaring vocals and the phenomenal production values. It was her relaxed presence, her self-deprecating humour and her willingness to see the funny side in everything.
Between songs, she chatted away naturally in her broad London accent, making joke after joke at her own expense and keeping the audience in stitches.
One moment she was talking about the ‘man beard’ she developed in pregnancy, the next asking people to own up if they’d been ‘dragged along’ by a significant other.
She talked about the horror of the previous night’s performance when a beetle crept into her boot (she had to sit down on stage and take her boot off, risking flashing ‘me spanx, me tights, me knickers’). And she reminded everyone that as her songs are mostly about relationship break ups, ‘tonight we can all be miserable together.’
Each of these things could be used to mock Adele, or criticise her creative work. Instead, she takes ownership of it all.
She is the first to see the funny side, thus taking the sting out of any potential criticism. She’s real, she makes mistakes and she’s not afraid to say so. She may be a megastar but she makes her audience feel like they know her, like they could be sitting in a pub having a chat over a pint.
Some might accuse her of being unprofessional, but I get the feeling it wouldn’t worry her in the slightest. Because her audience LOVES her for it.
If you’re afraid to put yourself out there on video or social media, maybe you just need to lower the bar a little. Quit focusing on perfection, and show up as your natural self instead.
If you get inspired to shoot a video or a Facebook Live, go with it even if you are tired and your hair isn’t perfect. Don’t edit out the dog barking or the kid noise in the background, or the odd blooper – that’s just life. And it’s often much more relatable than a perfect studio shoot. (Remember how the kid-bombed interview that Professor Robert Kelly thought would end his media career, made the family an internet sensation instead?)
Sure there may be times when you want to go all out and shoot professional studio videos. But if you want to connect with your audience on an everyday basis, setting realistic expectations will make it simple and easy for you to show up as-is-where-is, rather than waiting for that mythical day you feel amazing and have the perfect backdrop. And before you know it, the off-the-cuff live broadcast will be your new normal.
How could you take ownership of your quirks and imperfections? How could you bring more of your natural presence into your online presence? Share your thoughts in the comment below.
If you’d like more tips to help you show up boldly online, come on over and join my free Facebook tribe, The Content Collective. I share content ideas, writing prompts and hold weekly copy clinics to help you workshop your words. Click here to get access