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How to get over yourself and show up on LinkedIn

Feb 13, 2023

Do you want to get visible on LinkedIn but you’d rather step barefoot on a snail?

The idea of putting yourself out there makes you feel jittery and tense?

I get it. Showing up is HARD.

You worry what people will think of you. Especially that dickhead ex-colleague who loves to criticise your every move. (Piss off, Kevin.)

You might be thinking things like:

  • Why would anyone listen to me?
  • I’m just adding to the noise, everything’s already been said
  • What if I say the wrong thing?
  • What if I get trolled?
  • What if I get ignored?

But if you suspect deep down that there is potential on LinkedIn, it’s time to take action. If you are ready to give LinkedIn another chance, it could be magical. Imagine raising your profile, having ideal clients coming to you and selling out your programs easily. It’s all possible with LinkedIn.

If you don’t feel confident, showing up takes courage. 

It means ignoring those voices in your head and taking imperfect action. And finding a way to repeat those actions, showing up consistently and getting visible in a way that:

  • feels comfortable to you
  • works with the LinkedIn algorithm 
  • gives your audience what they want 
  • makes you memorable
  • brings leads to your business 
Understand your brain 

If you have FOSU: fear of showing up, it’s your brain trying to protect you. 


I’m no psychologist. But what I’ve learned for myself is that my brain wants to keep me safe. I bet yours does too. 

So there’s a bit of fear around getting visible and your subconscious brain is wired to protect you. It does so by sending you all those fearful thoughts, trying to persuade you against being seen on LinkedIn. (Or anywhere else, usually). 

This is even worse if you’ve had prior experience of getting visible that went badly. Perhaps you flubbed your line in the school play and the teacher yelled at you. Or presented a big pitch at work and the boss told you it was crap in front of your whole team. Your brain thinks: ‘jeez, that didn’t work out. I won’t be doing that again.’ 

And now here you are, trying to grow your business on LinkedIn, but your brain isn’t having it. 

So you’re in the weird position of having to be courageous, ignoring those unwanted negative thoughts and doing it anyway. 

A big problem with the way many people show up on LinkedIn? 

They dip their toe in the water. And then stop. 

It’s all-in for a few weeks and then…crickets. 

This is very confusing for your audience. 

But why do we do this? It’s likely one of these things: 

1. Your strategy didn’t fit with your schedule. Suddenly, you got busy and ran out of time for content creation. It was unsustainable. 

2. You got a bit of criticism, or a reaction you didn’t expect. Perhaps bloody Kevin piped up about your cute selfie, saying ‘This isn’t Facebook.’ Or you got ignored, or asked a question you couldn’t answer. Or you published a post about ‘pubic relations’ instead of ‘public relations’ and everyone laughed and pointed. So you retreated back under your rock. You got scared.

3. You ran out of patience. You showed up week in, week out, and—nothing. You didn’t get enough (or any) leads. You didn’t grow your audience. You decided there was no point. You lacked patience (and probably, a growth strategy). 

So how do we get over all this, the unwanted fear, the stop/start routine?

Firstly, you create a LinkedIn strategy that is sustainable. And dare I say, enjoyable? If you’re not having fun with LinkedIn, it’s incredibly difficult to stay the course. This means being realistic about what you are capable of creating. Building a schedule and sticking to it. And repurposing your content like a badass (which saves you loads of time.) 

Secondly, you work on your resilience. If you put yourself out there, people will ignore you, disagree with you, challenge you. Shocking, but not everyone is nice on the internet. But your people who do like you? They become followers, then fans, then paying customers. Are you gonna let pesky Kevin stop you from showing up? Or you gonna show him what a bloody legend you are? (Kevin will be crying in his Coco Pops, when he sees how LinkedIn-famous you will get. Just wait and see.)

Thirdly, understand the value of consistency. It’s boring, but you do have to crap on about your thing. Your LinkedIn strategy should focus on repeatedly sharing your core message in new and creative ways. (Again, repurposing is the secret sauce.) 

One thing that really helps 

If you are struggling with FOSU, tart up your profile. Make it something you’re PROUD for people to check out. This means: 

  • having a great profile photo with your brand colours 
  • using strategic messaging in your cover image, not just a city skyline or your company logo
  • making your about section work as a landing page 
  • explaining why people should connect and follow
  • having a simple, clear headline so people immediately know who you are and how you can help them
  • taking advantage of the featured post section 

When people discover you on LinkedIn, you want your house in order. This means when they do land on your profile, they like what they see. In turn, this increases your network as more people will follow and connect with you. On the other hand, if you are embarrassed about your ho-hum profile, it stops you drumming up the courage you need to put yourself out there. 

Focus on your audience 

One thing I’ve learned about relentlessly showing up on LinkedIn for more than two years? My audience wants to hear from me. They like me. (Mostly, lol.)

And your audience is the same. Every time you hesitate and delete that post, you let your audience down. And worse, they don’t get to learn the lesson you’re teaching them. They follow others in your industry instead. 

Please, stop focusing inwardly. Consider your audience instead. Showing up isn’t vain or arrogant. It’s helpful. If you are a people pleaser, then get pleasing—by sharing free helpful stuff with your audience. 

Showing up isn’t selfish. It’s strategic. It’s serving. 

We’re all capable of doing amazing things, if we think there’s a benefit

There are people willing to risk utter and complete humiliation on reality television just for the chance to be on TV. They are willing to suffer the villain edit and potentially destroy their careers in return for a few thousand more Instagram followers. 

Why do they do it? They are willing to risk it for the potential gains. 

And LinkedIn is the same – you can risk a bit of a discomfort for the huge benefits on the table. Such as: 

  • growing your business
  • being able to choose the clients you work with 
  • hitting your income goals 
  • having a waitlist for your offers 
  • being your own boss and taking off Fridays to get your nails done
  • genuinely helping people
  • becoming a trusted voice in your industry
  • confidently rejecting clients who aren’t the right fit, because you know more are waiting to work with you (or will be soon) 

All those things are pretty cool, right? Are they enough to get you over the line? When you remind yourself of the benefits of showing up on LinkedIn, suddenly it doesn’t seem so hard. 

Creating a new normal

When you start showing up on LinkedIn regularly? You realise how unfounded those initial fears were. 

  • What will people think? Nothing. Or they’ll think you’re bloody awesome. 
  • Getting trolled? You can handle it.  Block them and move on. 
  • Someone not liking you? That’s cool. Not everyone likes you and you don’t like everyone either (quote from Kate Toon)
  • Disagreement? You will either defend your position or acknowledge what you’ve learned. Not. A. Big. Deal. 

It gets easy. If you keep at it, those unfounded fears go away. 

As you keep putting yourself out there, you start getting a few rewards — leads, useful comments, broader reach. Yipee! You think ‘what was I so worried about, this is no big deal.’ 

I promise. 

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