Sharing Your Stories

11-Nov-2015

sharing personal branding online

We’ve posted in the past about sharing yourself online and blending personal and professional on your online sharing space, but when we talk about our specialty: blending YOU into what you do—or creating a business around your personal brand, we often get questions about where to set your boundaries:

How do I bring more of me into my branding and work by sharing more than just the curated highlights of my life, but also have boundaries so I don’t end up Instagramming every aspect of my life? And what’s more: How will I know which details of my life are and are not interesting to my followers?

Kathleen here. I used to be an open book when it comes to sharing online – so it was easy for me to tell my clients and audience “You do you! Put it out there and don’t apologize for it!” … and then I became a mom. My boundaries shifted big time but I had no idea where the lines were drawn. Was I sharing too much? Not enough? Pre-baby I was totally cool fumbling through life in plain view of the whole world. But now? Not so much. Through this experience I developed compassion for creatives who were asking me where to draw the line when it comes to their own sharing boundaries. So this post isn’t just for you – it’s for me too. My boundaries have changed but I still very much have a story to tell. Here are five ways you can “keep it real” while also respecting your ever-evolving boundaries.

1. USE YOUR WORDS
I always tell folks to start by using words they actually use in real life. For example, you say "horseshit!" a lot? Say it online too. You say "rad" or "word" in real life? Say it online. If you don't say things like "lovely" or "delightful" or "effing" then DON'T say those online. Make sense? For example, I never say “folks” in real life, but have been hearing other people say it a lot so I thought I’d try it on for size. It doesn’t feel entirely authentic so I was going to change it – but instead I decided to leave it in so I could prove this point.

2. BE TRANSPARENT ABOUT WHAT’S CHANGING
When people come to know you for something it can be uncomfortable or even embarrassing to share something new with them. They’ve come to expect one thing from you and you’ve gotten used to delivering on that promise. So if something has changed … then literally acknowledge the change itself. For example, you might post something like "You already know me for my outfits. And you know I like to cook. But here's what I want to share with you about who I am today... " And then fill in the rest with your honest truth.

Another trick up my sleeve is that I'll often start a post by typing out "What I really want to say is..." and start typing. THEN after I'm finished I'll erase that first "What I really want to say is...". But what typing “what I really want to say” does for me is trigger my authentic self to shine. It just helps me get to the point.

3. SHARE THE STORIES YOU TELL AT PARTIES
We all have our stories. The embarrassing ones, the sweet ones, the hilarious observations ... start sharing the kinds of stories you would tell friends at a party (but with acquaintances) overhearing too.

4. FIND YOUR BOUNDARIES BY BUMPING UP AGAINST THEM

boundaries for sharing online creative entrepreneurs

Sometimes the only way you can know what your boundaries are is to get right up to the edge of them – and sometimes even cross the line. (click to tweet)

Sometimes I'll post something and know I could've gone further. Other times I'll post something and a day later feel as if I went just a little too far. This is the part of sharing who you are that takes a little bit of courage, trust, and curiosity. The point is… testing your boundaries is sometimes the best way to figure out what your boundaries are. It’s not always easy and it might give you a vulnerability hangover from time-to-time but it’s a part of the process.

5. IS IT HONEST?
One tool I use, specifically when writing, is asking myself "Is that true?" – from the words I use to the way I describe an experience.

honesty in sharing online for creative entrepreneurs

Getting to the honest truth is what resonates authenticity. (click to tweet)

My writing is a constant test in getting more honest. Not in a "I'm making this up" or straight up lying ... but getting what I'm thinking and feeling to translate on the page can be tricky. I found that getting what I really want to say across is easiest when I ask myself "Is this true? How could I say it in a more honest way?" – it's a bit like mining gold. Not that I know what mining gold is like at all (see, there's that honest part!)

Now go write! Share!

If this was helpful for you, make sure you check out our Braid Method Branding ECourse. Not only does this course help you gain some clarity about what your offerings are and how to tell people to hire you, but it can also help you organize your ideas and your branding voice so that when it comes to sharing online, you have a better idea of what your audience wants to know versus what you should save just for you.

Braid Method Branding for Creatives ECourse

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