3 Tips to Sharing Your New Business with Friends + Family
In February of last year, my own business coach challenged me to share that I was now a consultant...ON MY FACEBOOK PAGE.
“You need the support of people who love you,” she said. “And,” she added, “referrals are the number one way to grow your clientele.”
I knew she was right. But telling THE WORLD that I was trading in my job at Google to work for myself — let alone doing something they would never understand — was the most unimaginable part of my business plan. I left my session with one piece of homework, which I agreed to do… but knew in my heart I couldn’t stomach.
That’s it, I thought. My entrepreneurial journey ends here. I can’t come back to my coach and admit I failed at putting my business out into the world. If I can’t admit it to my friends and family, how am I going to sell myself to strangers?!
I dreaded my next coaching session. I even considered lying to my coach and telling her I’d followed through with the FB share.
Yep. In this moment, I believed paying $300/hour to lie to someone was a better alternative than posting about my new business on Facebook.
Fast-forward 18 months, I am reliving this fearful moment on a weekly basis with my clients who are just as embarrassed to “confess” their big plans to the Internet. Here’s what I’ve learned:
Sharing your “new idea” with friends and family can actually be much more difficult than launching to people who don’t know you. We fear disappointing those we love, judgment from our peers, and scrutiny from other experts in our field.
If sharing your new venture is what’s holding you back from moving forward today, here are a few tips from me (and my clients) to help you survive the BIG REVEAL:
Appreciate where naysayers are coming from.
- There are good people in our lives who feel it’s their duty to protect us from getting hurt or from going down a wrong path. Hear them out, thank them, then move on.
- Older generations who just don’t understand some of our “new-fangled” careers. That’s okay. In our parents’ and grandparents’ generation, changing careers was uncommon, let alone inventing your own job! Expect that some people in your circle won’t understand what you’re doing. Resist the urge to explain it on Facebook and then move on.
- Some will be jealous and will try to talk you out of living your dream because a) misery loves company and b) it forces them to confront their own lives and ambition. You’ll know who these people are. Kill them with kindness and then move on.
Give your supporters an EASY WAY to support you
Instead of just “announcing,” give friends and family something specific they can do to help you! When I finally worked up the courage to post to my real friends and fam, I actually buried my announcement in a request to go engage with a blog post I wrote on Medium.com. It distracted the naysayers from commenting ;) and gave those who didn’t understand what I was doing an easy way to show support. Bonus: the engagement helped my post be seen by hundreds of others!
Consider teasing a few posts leading up to your big news. Often, when I’m working on something special, I’ll drop a few hints in Stories, or post a status update simply stating, “working on something I’m soo excited about! Can’t wait to share more soon!” Doing this creates intrigue and emotional investment in your news. Plus, people are less likely to doubt your legitimacy if they’ve seen you put in the hard work over a period of time.
Whether you’re on the publishing or the supporting side of a business announcement post, I hope these tips were helpful! See you again in two weeks with more hot stuff to forward along to your bestie who should really be starting her business right now. ;)