How to Share Your Humanness Online without Killing Your Brand
The side effects of being human:
★ inability to control circumstances,
★ proneness to errors,
★ bad hair days,
★ and more.
How to get rid of the side effects: Take a picture of your messy life, crop it so that it shows only the nice parts, photoshop away imperfections, add filters, and share it online.
Feels better, eh?
Well. In fact, it doesn’t. Because when you remove everything you feel vulnerable about, you also lose your humanness—together with the ability to connect with other humans, get into deep conversations, and build meaningful relationships.
Result: You become an alien in your own life.
This is the world we live in. And this is also the world we run businesses in.
Let’s talk about how to take your messy humanness online as a business owner in a way that builds trust. Because both inauthenticity and oversharing can kill your brand.
How to share your humanness online without killing your brandClick To Tweet
Let’s talk about boundaries
Making your humanness visible online doesn’t mean you need to share everything. Openness and oversharing are two different things.
You can be authentic, open, and honest, and still have boundaries in place.
In fact, as a business owner, you need boundaries. You can’t afford to be mindless about what you say online because every word you say is either earning you trust or costing you trust—and money.
The clearer the boundaries between your online business self and your real self, the more confident you’ll feel and sound when putting yourself out there online, and the more trustworthy you’ll become.
Here’s how to do it:
First, exclude things you don’t share
No one can tell you what these things should be; it depends on many factors, such as your and your brand’s personality, your values, and more.
If you’re ready to do some serious work here, get my Brand Manifesto Workbook. It includes exercises to help you define your brand’s personality (which isn’t the same as your personality) and draw the line between you and your brand.
But for now, here are some universal topics that are guaranteed to ruin your reputation:
★ Complaining about your clients. That’s just boorish.
★ Sharing confidential information without consent. This doesn’t apply only to your clients, but also your loved ones and IRL friends. Someone who takes other people’s privacy online without their consent can’t be trusted. Ever.
★ Complaining about your work. It’s the same as complaining about your clients.
★ Complaining about your private life. I don’t mean personal stories. What I mean is a constant stream of negativity about things you can do something about, but don’t. How are you supposed to help others when you can’t help yourself?
★ Anything that contradicts your values.
Need more clarity about your values? Read more here > How to Stay True to Your Business Vision
And here > Elena Mutonono: Why You Need to Align Your Business Values With Your Practices
After you draw the line between you and your brand, get clear about your brand’s personality, and work on your core values, it will get easier for you to draw up your sharing guidelines:
Should you share pictures of your kids? Should you talk about your religious beliefs and political views? Should you show your income reports? Should you use bad language?
Only you know the answers. What works well and feels comfortable for someone else can be harmful to your brand.
To be trustworthy online, you need to have clear boundaries in place.Click To Tweet
Second, don’t be a robot
Okay. Now that you have cropped out the things you don’t share, it’s time to become clear about what you do share.
To make sure that the picture you’re showing online depicts a human being and not a robot, an alien, or a shapeless and soulless entity, and to make people trust you, you need to share both:
1. Your struggles. Because where there’s no struggle, there’s no story, no empathy, and no human connection.
2. Your accomplishments. Because your Dream Client needs a damn good reason to choose you as their mentor/teacher/coach. It’s part of your job to help them trust you by giving them objective evidence.
Next week on the blog, we will talk about how to share your struggles without losing credibility and your accomplishments without boasting.
Here’s what to do now
✯ Get started drawing up your sharing guidelines: Make a list of things you don’t talk about online.
✯ Share some of the things in the comments below.
✯ Need help telling your brand story? The Brand Story Kit launches next week:
✯ If you liked the article, would you please share it on your favorite social media? Thank you!