You don’t have to tell people your bra size to be authentic online!
So I was chatting to a coaching client this week about being ‘authentic online’, the big buzz word of the last 12 months! And I realised that, often, people don’t know how much to share when posting under the banner of their personal brand.
Do you conduct yourself with a level of professionalism that’s so over the top it creates a barrier for your ideal client to connect with you? Or are you happy to show that photo of you with undercrackers on display that time you slipped up on the dance floor after too many yummy gin cocktails?
Being authentic online just involves you being unapologetically you, in whatever lovely package that arrives. But how much YOU should you put out there?
The truth is that this is different for every single one of us and only you can know if it’s hitting the mark with your tribe or if it’s just a massive, awkward overshare.
So what stuff should you think about when deciding how much is too much?
WHO ARE YOU?
Are you the kind of person who is a total open book who’s happy to gently nibble the hind leg off a donkey and who makes friends with random nutters at bus stops? Are you, like me, one step away from being the random nutter at the bus stop? Or are you more shy and reserved, someone who likes to observe before getting involved, maybe someone who likes to keep business and personal life very separate?
Me? I’m 100% an open book! Ask me anything! I’ll give you a long drawn out answer that includes a pearl of wisdom, several amusing (to me) anecdotes and plenty of inane, useless facts that can immediately be filed under ‘unimportant’ and deleted. Sometimes, I’m horribly intense and I always talk far, far too much. I’ve had so many life experiences that I’m more than happy to share.
Others are less open about their personal life experiences and that’s totally ok. It doesn’t mean you can’t have a personal brand.
The truth is that your personal brand is born of you so whoever you are, you must ‘do you’ because, well, everyone else is already taken! Love that saying! If you are anything less than your authentic self then people will see right through you, whether they realise it or not. We have a sixth sense for this type of thing.
So why share?
By sharing your passions, your interests and your lifestyle, you’re giving your audience tons of points to connect with you on. You’re showing them that you’re a real life human outside of your business. That you feel and laugh and cry and occasionally lose your shit, just like they do.
If you love rollerblading, share it! Then when your new visitor who also loves rollerblading sees that pic of you flailing crazy, out of control and laughing your butt off, it’ll raise a smile and they’ll give you a follow. And who knows, later down the line once they’ve gotten to know you, they may well become a client.
So ultimately when you’re deciding what to post the first thing to ask yourself is;
Do I feel comfortable sharing this?
One of my clients is a herbalist and suffered for many years with chronic fatigue. It had a deeply emotional effect on her, naturally.
She used her herbal medicines to find her way out of it and she is a glowing example of how her practice adds value and solves problems for her ideal clients. However, she struggles to talk about it within her business.
The truth is that her story would be a real inspiration to her patients and would set her apart from other hebalists because she’s had a deeply personal experience they could relate to. But, she’s not able to share her story publicly so we have found a way to hint at her personal experience within her copy so the suggestion is there without being brazen with it.
You must only share what you are comfortable with. The most relatable personal brands are the ones who show their vulnerabilities but only you can decide how much of yours you share.
What kind of business am I running?
Is it something that allows for a bit of craziness, one where vulnerability and failure (or rather overcoming them) are actually a really inspiring thing? Or are your audience looking to you as a responsible leader who has all their shit together? Although, even these personal brands should show that they are human every now and then.
Who is my target audience/ideal client?
Should you be posting the absolute carnage that goes on in your home with two small children and a business to run?
If your IC is a mumpreneur then chances are she’s going to relate to that hectic scene of tiny hand shaped chocolate smears all over your workspace because that’s what her house looks like. And relatability with your IC trumps everything else.
What is acceptable to my audience?
Does your audience like it when you post your epic brain farts and screw ups? Can they relate to that? Do they appreciate your absolute honesty or would this lessen your credibility? This depends on your business and your tribe.
IN CONCLUSION ‘N’ STUFF
Ultimately, how much of your life you share is a very personal choice and you should never feel like there are things you SHOULD be sharing. A personal brand is a powerful tool but it may not be for everyone. If it is for you and you don’t know where to start, book a complimentary consultation call with me and we’ll figure out how to get you there.