Sharon Newsom is a brand and Squarespace web designer, who works with service-based female entrepreneurs and is an all-around awesome introvert.
You can read about Sharon’s work at thequriouseffect.com and watch her lovely FB lives here, here and here.
Enjoy the conversation!
Andrea: Welcome Sharon! Tell us a bit about yourself and what values you have in your business so we’ll get a feeling for who you are.
Sharon: I’ve been a graphic designer for over a decade, a business owner for 10 years and have worked with many nonprofits, busy mompreneurs, yogis as well as other business owners to help bring their brands to life.
Over the past couple years, I’ve been shifting the focus of my business towards female, soulful, service-based, online business owners. I want to help other women make a living for themselves in a way that works for them via my design skills.
Andrea: What inspires you to show up live?
Sharon: Community and engaging publicly in a way that feels doable for my introverted self. Working alone can feel isolating at times and I’ve found that going live lets me share my knowledge in a casual manner that feels a lot less intimidating than trying to speak live in a large group setting.
Facebook Live feels more intimate to me. More like I’m having a conversation with a few friends than speaking to an auditorium filled with strangers.
Andrea: How did you get over your nerves?
Sharon: A few things. On Facebook, there’s a way to record a live video that is private and only you can see it. So I’ve practiced going live that way. I’ve also used the video cameras on my laptop and phone to practice speaking while being recorded.
I was also able to practice a couple times in a really supportive Facebook group, where I got to experience people watching live and commenting.
Lastly, it also helps to remember that at first, you likely won’t have a lot of people tuning in Live so you can always delete the recording and try it again if you hate it. 🙂
Andrea: Are you still nervous before you hit the live button or are you super cool now that you’ve done it several times?
Sharon: I’m still nervous! I try to physically move a bit – shake out my nervous energy – before I sit down and record. My dog probably thinks I’m a bit silly but I like to get up and talk and play with him for a few moments.
He always makes my nerves settle! It also helps me to put a little bit of makeup on and wear some of my favorite clothes. I always feel more confident when I love what I have on.
Andrea: What is your secret to speaking naturally and freely without forgetting what you want to say?
Sharon: Basing my videos on blog posts. This helps because I’ve already spent the time writing the blog post, so I’m familiar with the content. Then I write an outline for the video and have both up on my screen while going live. This alleviates any worry about possibly going blank/forgetting what I was going to say.
One day I’d love to be able to do the reverse, where I’m able to freely speak about a topic and then transcribe it into a blog post. To me, it feels like that goal could come after more time going live.
I’ve found that as I’ve become more comfortable, I’m able to relax and allow my mind to improvise a bit, adding in extra details that weren’t in either the outline or blog post.
Andrea: Do you find your speaking topics intuitively or do you have a system?
Sharon: I’ve started with a system – blog posts – but would love to become more intuitive about it.
Andrea: What was your biggest blooper and how did you deal with it?
Sharon: Tech issues! One of the video links listed above was recorded on a day where there was a bad fire nearby and all my utilities were being affected. I had no idea if I was going to make it through the recording without losing power or my internet connection, so I just said what was going on right at the beginning of the recording. I ended up making it through but I was a bit nervous the whole time.
More common is when I misspeak – when a word I don’t mean to say – just pops right out of my mouth. When that happens on live video, I find it can be harder to catch but I just try to catch it, correct it and move on.
The other thing I’ve had happen is getting text message alerts from my laptop and phone while being live. These, I’ve just ignored and kept talking like they didn’t happen. Since then, I’ve been sure to double check all my devices are silenced and I’ve totally turned off notifications on my laptop.
Oh and I also try to be really, really kind to myself about the whole thing. To remember to be grateful that I took the chance and didn’t let my fear stop me. To remember that I’m still a beginner and it’s okay not to be ‘perfect’ and that I’m my worst critic – most people aren’t paying such close attention to me that they’re noticing the little things I think are mistakes. 😉
Andrea: What are three tips that you’d give to introverted women that are still not sure how to get started?
Sharon: It will likely be only you when you go live. Let that take the pressure off. Most of my videos have been just me – even though I say “Hi Everyone” and speak like I do have a live audience. My videos get watched after they’re recorded when I share them and I’m totally fine with that.
From other women I’ve talked to about their Lives, they experience this as well. So if you’re really unhappy with the way your recording went, you can delete it and try again. I figure by the time I’ve got multiple people watching Live, I’ll have practiced lots so my confidence will make it easier. Also, refer to the last sentence of my last answer about being kind to yourself!
Andrea: How has boldly sharing your message from the heart improved your business success?
Sharon: Practice speaking aloud about what I do and how I can help clients has helped build my confidence in my business. I think it’s helped me speak with more confidence to potential clients. Being able to speak about my business out loud helps get my message across in a way that may not come through via just written words.
It also helps me engage with people who are more auditory learners.
I’d also like to share that as an introvert, I struggle at times with feeling confident and whenever I’ve finished recording a Live, I feel such a rush of positive energy as well as a sense of confidence and feel proud that I just faced a fear and made it through to the other side. It makes it easier to do want to do it again.
THANK YOU SHARON!
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