How to Overcome Obstacles So You Can Share Your Story — Anouk Pappers

4 min readOct 20, 2023

Given our capacity to access a wealth of information in mere seconds, a well-defined personal brand and supporting online content are increasingly crucial. They allow you to control the narrative about yourself and build trust with your audience. This in turn leads to new opportunities and enables you to reach your next goals. However, the path to content creation can present obstacles.

Many of our clients have expressed what keeps them from creating the proof points they need. As part of a “Share Your Story” podcast, I proposed solutions to the five challenges we hear the most.

1. “I’m not comfortable talking about myself.” This comes up a lot. Unfortunately, we are not socialized to talk about ourselves. We need to change this mindset. Instead of viewing this as “humble bragging,” view it as helping people on the other side of the screen/room understand who you are and why they should connect with you. Keep in mind that if we do not convey how we want to be perceived, people will still talk about us but maybe not in the way we want. This can lead to missed opportunities.

2. “I don’t know what to talk about.” People may not know their communication topics and therefore simply don’t create content. Identifying which areas you should focus on are a part of developing your personal brand, so when we work with our clients we address this issue. By drawing three circles around your expertise, passion, and target audience you find the overlap — the center of the Venn diagram. This is where you will find your subjects.

3. “I’m not comfortable in front of the camera.” The best way to overcome this obstacle is to practice being in front of the camera. Use your smart phone to record yourself. Since it is digital, you can delete whatever you don’t like. Start with a few seconds talking about your vision or sharing your insights on a certain topic. There are many different ways you can practice. For example, enlist a colleague in conversation or have someone interview you. The important thing is to practice, practice, practice.

4. “I’m not a good writer.” One solution is that there are many people who can write for you or edit what you produce. If you do want to improve your own writing, my advice is the same as for not being comfortable in front of a camera: practice. Remember, you are not writing a novel; just 200 words regarding your vision on a specific topic. Write a short piece that will position you as a thought leader.

5. “I have no time.” This is a common statement and a valid one. There are several organizations, including ours, which can help create, edit and publish articles and videos. Find the support that you need.

Recognizing the importance of accurately portraying your personal brand online should help you decide to overcome these obstacles. Once you get into the habit of creating and publishing content, you will not only have bolstered your online presence, but also organized your thoughts so that you are better able to present yourself in conversation.

A brand anthropologist who has been storytelling for brands since 2002, Anouk Pappers has interviewed over 1,000 CEOs, CMOs and business owners and published 15 books. Anouk’s primary focus is on working with women and diverse leaders to define their personal brands and pinpoint their narrative. Her company, Signitt, enables people to align their online presence with their personal brand, which positions them to achieve their next professional goal.

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