The Journey To Influencer
I've been interested in business since I started selling beaded earrings when I was around 12 years old, and have been doing graphic design since I started designing album covers, flyers, and a website for the band I was in when I was 17 (yay, keyboardists!).
The problem is, I never really was brave enough to stand in the spotlight about it until recently. I always used my skills from behind the scenes, or as a part of a group effort, or in support for someone or something that I perceived to be "bigger" than I was.
I also constantly doubted both my abilities and the overall importance or value of what I was good at creating. For instance, I feel like I'm a good graphic designer, but when I compared my skill set to, say, a website designer or a doctor or a teacher, my skills felt petty and fluffy.
I would still pursue my passions, but I didn't feel like they made much of a difference in the world.
In my "search for meaning," I picked up a lot of really valuable skills, from copywriting, to creating books to sell on Amazon, to learning how to use most of the major website creation platforms (like Squarespace, Shopify, Wordpress, and Wix), to creating courses, to crafting ads that convert, to studying Messenger bots, social media, and more.
None of this skills individually brought me the joy and success that I was seeking, mostly because they were denying my ultimate passions- design and the startup phases of business.
For the past two years, while the name of my business was "Mind Her Business," I got a chance to really step out and craft a business that catered to my multipotentialite tendencies. Instead of trying to "find a niche," I created a niche- one that combined everything I loved into one business.
I created a situation where I could help women with figuring out their direction, their branding, their marketing, and more- and it was a situation where I could love just about every minute of my day! That's the dream, right?
But I was still playing small. Not that I didn't have big dreams and big plans- but I was still hiding behind a name that wasn't mine, and was still trying to create situations to where I was supporting someone else who was being the "face" of the operation so I could work quietly behind the scenes.
The problem with this was that I was holding back. I still didn't feel like what I had to offer (myself included) was of great value.
Can you relate?
I want to share with you some of my process for overcoming all of that Imposter Syndrome and all of that self-doubt.
First of all, I started helping more people. I decided to start giving more of my time and sharing as much knowledge as possible with as many people as possible. I jumped on a lot of calls. I answered a lot of questions. And, by doing those things, I heard a lot of people thanking me, and telling me how much I had helped them in the 30 minutes or so that we chatted.
I ran beta programs and created really inexpensive versions of the packages that I hoped to someday offer. I even did a lot of work for free. And I listened to people's feedback, and wrote down their praise (mostly so that, when I felt like I wasn't very valuable, I could go back and read the testimonials and be reminded that, at least for those people, I actually was valuable and helpful).
And I didn't just hear those things and brush them off like they were no big deal (liked I used to do). No- this time I actually listened. If enough people are saying the same thing, then they must be touching upon some sort of truth, right?
It turns out, the more people I spoke to, and the more people I designed for and worked with, the more people were actually being helped towards achieving their goals. This was what I wanted to do with my life, and it was actually happening!
So I decided that I was done playing small and hiding. If people found value in my work and knowledge, then wasn't it doing them a disservice to keep it quiet and hidden? And how could I actually accomplish my goals in life if I didn't fully embrace who I was, and honor my unique talents?
Thus, Mind Her Business faded away, and JenCochrane.com was born. This is a place where I can share my wisdom and experience with anyone who needs it. It is a place for me to hold my head up high and sing the song that only I can sing. It is my platform.
I have decided that it is time that I start working towards becoming an influencer in my space. Sure, there are already a few big ones in my niche- Marie Forleo, Amy Porterfield, Amanda Frances, Emily Williams, and many others... but I have something to offer that they do not. My skill set, style, tone, and message are purely unique to me. There is no saturation when there is only one of you in the market!
It is my goal to share with you my journey towards becoming an influencer in my space. Share with you what works and what doesn't, what platforms helped me and which ones barely moved the needle, and what kind of effort was required in order to attain the results I hope to have shortly.
In the same way that many entrepreneurs share their income reports, I plan to share my social media numbers (views, shares, follows, and the like)- not to brag, but to instruct. I will be completely transparent, and won't hold back.
So, to get things started, let me share with you my current numbers.
Pinterest (www.pinterest.com/BusinessWithJen): 4.2k monthly viewers
(this is a Pinterest account that I have had for a number of years- at least 4-5 as I recall. I made some efforts about 4 months ago to start growing it from just a place where I pinned things that I liked to a branded business channel. I use Tailwind (affiliate link), but haven't been keeping up on maintaining Tailwind since I stopped using my intern)
Instagram (https://www.instagram.com/jencochrane/): 10 posts, 98 followers
(I started this account about 11 days ago, and have been trying to post to it on a daily basis since. I haven't yet integrated this with my Tailwind account, although I know that is possible. I plan to work on automating this account more throughout this week)
Facebook Group: (https://www.facebook.com/groups/mindherbusiness/) 166 members
(This group was started maybe 1 year ago, and, once again, my efforts have been fairly inconsistent)
Facebook Business Page: 2 page likes, 9 page views
(I just started this page less than 10 days ago, and have only made a few posts)
(I haven't actually started filming videos or uploading them to YouTube yet, but I just ordered my camera last night, and so hope to get started later on this week if everything gets delivered on schedule!)
I don't do Twitter or Snap chat, and I don't really count my LinkedIn profile because I never ever go on there.
My plan is to start doing monthly reports with the changes in my numbers, letting you know what I did (and didn't!) do to increase my reach.
I'm glad to have you on this journey, and if you have any questions, thoughts, comments, or suggestions, I'd love to chat with you in the comments!