When I first started working with writers, actors, coaches, and entrepreneurs on their brand and marketing strategy, my clients were worried about being too nice, too boring, too scattered, too cookie-cutter, too negative, too positive. I was met with simultaneous relief and speculation when I insisted, “All you need to do is be all of who you are. Nothing more, nothing less.”
Back then, authenticity was not yet jargon, an empty buzzword (which, as a sidenote, I am very sad this has happened). It was a challenge, a one-up on the competition, a chance to really shine.
The good news is, jargon or not, this is still true.
Nobody can be you. Period.
You are your own unique blend of entrepreneur, dancer, math nerd, knitter, photographer, hiker, and baker. Or, you know, whatever makes up your own secret sauce.
So, how can you use this to your advantage?
1) Wherever you are active online, play up ALL your parts. On Instagram, post photos that represent everything you are and everything you love. Quotes, cats, your disastrous attempt at red velvet brownies (uh, that one is a personal example, can you tell?). Same deal on Pinterest – create boards that vary as much as your interests do. Be active on Facebook groups that actually feel good to you.
2) At networking events, conferences, parties, etc., engage with the people you’re drawn to and strike up conversations that actually interest you rather than the ones you think you’re supposed to have. Last year, I booked my then-highest-paying client from a Labor Day weekend party a mutual friend was hosting. I did not even have business cards on me, that’s how social the event; I showed up as myself, et voila.
3) I have said it so many times, I may as well get it tattooed: You can be negative online (wherein negative = real). You are human. Your followers are human. Somebody will appreciate this. People dig vulnerability and it makes everyone feel less alone. That is a win on so many levels.
4) Remember what social media is and isn’t. Community, real life, awesome, fun = yes. Monologues, endless self-promotion, a pain in the ass = no. If you're experiencing the latter, you're doin' it wrong.
5) Walk your talk. Short, simple, and sooooo important. This means you need to actually know who you want to be, how you want to show up in your life, what your unmuted expression and your unmuted style are, allllll that jazz. Need help with that? Meditate, journal, apply for a complimentary Unmuted You Discovery Session, or all of the above.
How much of your unmuted expression is in your biz and brand?
This post is part of the 13 Elm Streets Creatively 17: Elevating Your Creative Business Blog Tour. The tour is to launch Sierra Elmore of 13 Elm Streets' blog while helping other entrepreneurs who are ready to expand their businesses. 13 Elm Streets is a graphic design studio, shop, and blog.