Getting Over The Fear Of Showing Up Online


the blog

by sarah elrod

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Do you have a fear of showing up online? Well, you are not alone! In fact I would bet to say that most people do! And yet the funny thing is, just about every business coach or online marketing will tell you that showing up is one of the most important aspects to growing online.

The idea of “showing up” can be scary when we don’t like to talk on video, be the center of attention or if we just feel like we got hit by a dump truck that day… I know you can all relate.

In episode 055 of The Branded Cowgirl Podcast, I want to try to approach this topic a little differently. I want to help guide you through some ways you can easily show up online without feeling like you are doing way too much too fast.

How Showing Up Has Helped My Business

These days, there are A LOT of western wedding photographers. A lot more now than there was when I got started. And 99% of the photographers I coach are all becoming western wedding photographers.

There is a lot more competition out there. And yeah yeah, we don’t have to compete blah blah blah…. theres’ truth in that but there’s also true in the fact that yes… to some degree, people within your same exact industry are your competition.

It doesn’t mean you can’t support each other or cheer each other on but it does mean that potential clients are probably going to be looking at both of you and trying to figure out who will best suit them.

I am not the greatest photographer there ever was. And there are a lot of photographers out there with styles VERY similar to mine.

So if all I am ever doing is hoping that someone takes a 50/50 shot to choose my work over sally sue’s – what am I even doing???

What if there was another way that I could attract or repel those dream clients? To make them fall in love with more than just my work… but ME.

Marketing is like dating.

You meet, maybe chat a little bit before going on a date, and then you date for a while before deciding to get married.

Well, it’s the same thing with booking clients. You have to woo them into booking with you.


Showing up on social media and infusing your personality into your business could be (and likely will be) the reason someone picks you over your competitors and visa versa.

I can’t even tell you how many times someone has come to me and said “omg I feel like I already know you” just because of how transparent I am online.

THIS IS WHAT I WANT FOR YOU. Because it feels good knowing that someone booked you because they like who you are, not just what you do.

How To Get Confident To Show Up Online

You need to decide that you are the type of person who is confident to show up online. Sounds simple, but it’s true.

I know for a fact that the mind is a really wild thing and can control us to do or not do a lot of things. But when we can take charge of our own minds incredible things happen.

So what would happen if you decided that from now on, you are the type of person who shows up online? What if you decided right now that YOU are the person people will watch and being inspired by, or motivated, or educated or whatever!

It’s funny the things that can actually hold us back from our full potential. I used to be afraid of talking on video because of like 2 people that followed me.

It could be the people I went to school with and I was worried what they would think if I started talking on my stories. Or that they would judge me.

I WAS OUT OF SCHOOL AT THIS POINT…. like what??? How could I have let them still have that power of me? People who i LITERALLY would never see again. People who do NOT pay my bills.

Why should I care what they think???

Newsflash: I shouldn’t and neither should you

I also want to bring up something else that can hold people back, and thats the fact that maybe you have not posted or shown up in a LONG time or maybe ever… give yourself grace for when you fall off the posting wagon and start fresh today

There is no shame in a fresh start!

Ways To Show Up Online

  1. Inspire
  2. Educate / Serve
  3. Entertain
  4. Be Transparent / Show Real Life
  5. Dig into your vault


You have a story, no matter what it is or however simple you may think it is, but the truth is, your story could inspire others.

Everyone loves an underdog story so tell it to the world. Share about the challenges you have faced and how it got you to where you are today.

Share about the trials and tribulations you or your family have gone through. Be as personal as you want or pick and choose the things you are comfortable sharing.

Your mess is your message!

Educate / Serving Others

This might be one of the most important things you can do to show up.

Bringing value or educating people on things within your industry or niche can be the most beneficial way to grow a following, build a trust factor and eventually boost sales.

By putting out free educational content, you are positioning yourself as an industry leader (I know scary word)

But it’s something that you need to do.

If you are wanting to be a western fashion influencer, you have to own it. Start putting out fashion tips. Or even if you are a boutique owner…. you need to be doing the same thing.

Don’t talk or think small. Because no one is going to want to buy from you if they can sense you are insecure about what you are talking about.

Photographers: give tips and trips for poses, choosing locations, the best time for photos, wedding tips, etc.


Apps like Tik Tok or Instagram REELS are key for this. We scroll mindlessly through these videos for HOURS…why? Because we want to be entertained.

Don’t be afraid to make content or videos that are purely for entertainment purposes only.

It may not be the thing that brings in all the business but it’s a great way to grow your following and establish your brand.

Transparency / Showing Real Life

Show up when it’s messy, when it doesn’t look pretty, or when times are hard. Instagram used to be a highlight reel but now people gravitate to the more authentic accounts. The ones that are sharing the messy middle.

If you are a mom and a business owner, get on your stories, hair in a bun, no makeup and own it babe.

If you are sitting at your desk hammering away at 2am because you work a side hustle and a full time job… talk about it.

People relate MORE to these things that they do the people that look or act perfect all the time.

Also by sharing your real life, it will allow people to get to know you and you will start to feel familiar to them. AKA this is when clients start to say things like “omg I already feel like I know you”

Dig into the vault

If you are feeling like you are lacking in the content area, or have nothing to talk about, dig into your vault AKA your camera role and share an old photo or video of yourself. Tell the story behind it and tie it into where you currently are in life.

You can also let other people speak for you. Share some testimonials from past clients and then share your heart on how it made you feel.

This will not only give social proof of how awesome you are to potential future customers, but also it will show that you genuinely appreciate the people that choose to hire or buy from you.

It makes you a REAL person.


Showing up is going to feel weird at first. But the more you do it the easier it will get. And if you do need a little extra boost or if you would prefer someone to walk alongside you as you begin to enter this new territory make sure to join my FREE CHALLENGE Called the Show Up Challenge where I will over the course of 5 days walk you through prompts and ideas for how to show up for your audience and serve them well.

Head to SarahElrod.Com/ShowUpChallenge to sign up and for all the information!

I hope this episode has brought you value and encourages you to get out there are starting showing that pretty face online. The world needs more of what you have!





Other Episodes you might enjoy:

054: Why video content is going to be a game changer in your business

021: Things I would do differently if I started over in business

029: The online marketing basic foundation


I'm Sarah Elrod

The Podcast

Rural Lifestyle



I'm a Cowgirl turned serial entrepreneur.
I'm a horse trainer, western wedding photographer, business coach and ranch wife.
I help women in the western industry grow thriving businesses from rural America.
When I am not strategizing new marketing tactics, you will find me riding my horses, cuddling my cattle dog, or kissing my hot husband.
There is also a good chance I am buying way too many outfits from western boutiques.

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