I love this week’s question asking for social media advice on getting over inhibitions and giving yourself permission to be yourself online and overcome fears. I’ll give you my advice on how it can have a positive effect on your business!*
I really admire people who are just themselves online. I think it takes a vast amount of courage. I would love to be like that too, but I worry too much about what other people think and that they won’t like me being me. This makes me very reserved with my personality online. I really think this is holding me back and I’d love to get the confidence to get over this. Any advice please?!
First of all I’m going to put this bit of advice at the top of the bill.
Never, EVER, let anyone, real or imagined, stifle who you are or your personality. You cannot live like that, whether that’s online or offline. Be yourself.
So, you are worried people won’t like you.
Guess what? Not everyone is going to like you. Just as you are worried that people won’t like you being you, have you thought that some people might not like this ‘muted’ version that you are portraying? And what’s happened? Nothing! Just as you don’t like everyone you meet, not everyone will like you. And that’s OK!
What you are doing now is muting yourself, or turning down the volume on your personality. You are still being you in a way, but a timid version of yourself. Who wants a muted personality?!
By being reserved and self-conscious you are putting on an act.
You are worrying about what you say and how you say it for fear of offending anyone and that takes a lot of effort. You’ve got to trust yourself not to do anything really dumb that will turn people off. And you won’t. It’s not going to happen involuntarily. Trust yourself! Give yourself a break too. All that ‘acting’ is exhausting and you are putting extra pressure on yourself when you already have enough to do with running your business!
Besides, won’t people get a shock when they actually do meet you and get to know you? They are buying into one personality, and then you present yourself as someone else when you actually meet people. That’s going to be confusing and misleading for people.
You are your business!
It needs to reflect who you are. Your personality is going to differentiate you from your competition. Also, it’s going to help you to attract the people you want to. When they get to know you and see your personality, and they like you, that will draw them into doing business with you. And if they don’t like you? No worries! You’re not going to be a good business match for each other anyway.
Just to help you get started revealing more of yourself online and through your business, you could try coming up with some guidelines if it makes things easier. What I mean by that is a just a little reminder of where you boundaries are online, as it might just give you a security blanket. I bet you won’t even need it.
What could these guidelines be?
How about deciding what you will share on twitter and facebook? What are you comfortable with? Sharing movies you’ve watched, post photos of your day, tell a funny story? You get to decide what to talk about and what not to talk about. Experiment and see how it feels. You don’t have to throw yourself into the deep end.
This isn’t an either/or situation. You can be professional, build your business and be yourself online too! Talk to your audience. Get to know them and let them get to know you, the real you, as well as building your industry authority at the same time!
*Unless you are that guy! ;D
What do you think? What tips have you got about being yourself online to build your business?
One of the books that has had a huge impact on me is Indestructible Self Belief by Fiona Harrold (It was through Fiona’s college course that I trained a life coach!)
If you have a social media or business question feel free to send it to me here, or we can schedule some time to dig deeper if you would like to book a consultation with me.
See you next week for another Q & A! 🙂
[Tweet “The best way to build your business is by being yourself! “]