Sharing Struggles and Successes

18-Nov-2015

Sharing struggles & successes online for entrepreneurs

As creative entrepreneurs, so many of us share content to advise, inspire (or simply share what we’re going through) with people who might find it useful, thought-provoking, comfortably relatable, or freaking inspiring! So here’s a question that came up for us around sharing yourself online in our Braid ECourse masterclass webinar last week, and it may be one you’ve asked yourself as well:

“I struggle a bit between sharing struggles and sharing successes online. I feel like when I share struggles, people aren’t going to want to hire me, as if I don’t know what I’m talking about. When I share successes, I fear that I’ll sound a bit braggy. Does anyone else struggle with this?” – Julie | Braid ECourse Masterclasser

Tara here. Oh man, that’s a good one! You don’t want to sabotage your own put-togetherness—the “I got this” confidence that instills trust in those who want to pay you to help them and do right by them. On the flip-side, you don’t want to be off-putting to the followers, friends, and peers in your sharing circles by getting too braggy and boastful about your successes.

We hear you! We all want to be authentic, to get real about the good stuff, and the bad, in our blog posts, newsletters, social media, and other sharing places. So what are the boundaries? What is the balance between letting people in on your “behind-the-scenes” vs. inviting them into your “dear diary land?”

We talked about this very kind of boundary-defining in “Sharing Your Stories and Finding Your Boundaries” in last week’s blog post. But let’s dig into this even more specific “struggles vs. successes” question here.

what to share online for creative entrepreneurs

SHARING STRUGGLES & SUCCESSES:
Yes, you want to think about the boundaries of how much you will or won’t share online. Know your spectrum of sharing-a-little or sharing-a-ton, whether that’s in the realm of “I feel a bit like a fraud today,” or “I’m freaking awesome today!!”

But also think about the different platforms you’re sharing within, as a framework for the kind of content you’re sharing in the first place. A breakdown of your sharing places might include two, three, or even all (whoa!) of these platforms:

- your talk: if you’re a speaker
- your courses or classes: if you have a learning product
- your posts: if you blog or podcast
- your newsletter: if you have an email list
- your social media platforms: Instgram, Facebook, Twitter, etc.

There’s always a mix of the kind of content you share within each platform, but ask yourself these questions thinking about what kind of content you share the MOST (or want to share the most) in these different places:

What platform are you selling from the most?

What platform are you teaching from the most?

What platform are you sharing your own behind-the-scenes from the most?

Which one gives you the most confidence? You might consider ramping up how much you share from this platform, and really “own” it.

Which one are you the most afraid of judgement within? That’s okay, too! You might consider not sharing there if you’re already spread thin.

Think about the different platforms you’re sharing in as a framework for the kind of content you’re sharing in the first place. (click to tweet)

Your Selling Platform: is where you should be sharing more of your expert positioning and general put-togetherness—and not sharing so much of your struggles. Unless! You’ve already worked through the solution. In that case it then it becomes a relatable struggle that you’ve used to create a product, offering, or service people can buy... to solve it for them, too.

What about successes? If they are successes that directly helped shape your product or service, sure. But if it’s just “look what I won,” or “look how many enrollees I got,” it may just come off as self-serving and salesy. There’s still a place for successes though! We want you to celebrate those, too. So read on...

Your Teaching Platform:
is where you should be sharing advice, how-to’s, inspiration, those same relatable struggles (you’ve already solved) and your successes if they’ve contributed to how you’ve solved this problem. Usually if you’re using a platform to teach, you are able to give more context, depth and layers to what you’re talking about from your own point of view vs. your selling platform where you want to keep it short, sweet, confident and resonating with your dream client.

Your Behind-The-Scenes Platform:
is where you can get more struggle and successes for sure. But again, less Dear Diary and more like a candid peek behind the curtain into the journey you are on. The biggest thing we can say about this platform is this: “share the success and failure stuff in a place you feel ‘your people’ who support you, believe in you, learn from you, love you – already are.

“Where do you sell? share? teach? There’s always a mix, but if you can think of your blog, for example, as one kind of sharing, and your newsletter as another – you might feel more reassured that you aren’t over-sharing or boundary-crossing with your people!”

With Braid, our breakdown looks a bit like this, for example:

Our Blog: is more a teaching platform for us, it gives advice and inspiration and guides readers to some of our selling platforms if they want to learn more (like our Braid ECourse or How to Hire Us)

Our Newsletter: is more our behind the scenes platform, what we’re experimenting with along the way, struggles and successes included (to ‘our people,’ who have already opted in – i.e. chosen to come along on this journey with us!)

Podcasting: for Kathleen is a mix of all these kinds of content, because she lives more on the “robust” end of the online sharing spectrum (ha!)

One-On-One Conversations: for me, I might only share a mix of this kind of content Kathleen is sharing in one-to-many platforms in one-on-one sharing conversations like at a retreat, conference or with our clients in more personal settings, as I land on the more “introverted” end of the online sharing spectrum (and that’s ok if you do, too!)

I hope this post can help you continue to share your struggles and successes – and still get hired for what you love and what you do best!

If you like the kind of breakdowns we share here, if “chunking it out” helps you make decisions you’ve been struggling with as a creative entrepreneur doing it on your own, you might check out our Braid Branding ECourse for Creative Entrepreneurs.

Or if you are starting to feel the inkling to invest in your brand and business vision, turn into a serious itch – contact me here, and let’s see if we’re a fit!

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