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Building A Personal Brand? Don’t Be Afraid to Post Real Personal Moments

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Apr. 8 2015, Published 3:30 a.m. ET

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I have this theory around the iPhone and its features – I believe that they were created by a woman scorned. Think about it. Location Sharing allows you to track someone’s movements throughout the day, by dropping a pin you can verify a location, and Recent Places keeps a list of where you’ve been and how often you’ve been there. Sounds like a crazy girlfriend’s toolbox to me, but I digress. As I was having this conversation, I was reminded how much of our privacy we give up to technology and social media. This concern is common, and after every personal branding workshop I am often asked:

“How do you build a personal brand while still keeping your personal life private?”

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The short answer is: you don’t. Our lives are made up of personal, professional and private aspects that we pick and choose from when sharing information with others. When you are building a personal brand, however, the lines get blurred. It says it right in the phrase personal brand. You can’t have a brand without the personal. The moment you choose to elevate your visibility is the same moment you forfeit the ability to be completely private and guarded in your daily life. You must become comfortable sharing your thought process and lifestyle, in order to build authentic relationships with your audience as a thought leader and expert. Transparency helps you build your credibility, boost your reputation and gain trust.

Unfortunately, many people struggle with this idea. They want to build a community without being vulnerable. Connection is critical in both our personal and professional lives, but with connection comes shame and the paralyzing thoughts of not being _____ enough. You can fill in the blank with various adjectives. Take your pick. We struggle with the idea of worthiness and don’t allow ourselves to be truly seen. We don’t want to let people into our lives because it causes us to experience this gut-wrenching form of vulnerability, and we don’t want to be judged. The problem isn’t social networking or technology. The problem is the discomfort that we have with others’ opinions of us, building relationships and wanting others to invest in us.

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Many of my clients try to avoid social media altogether because they don’t want to share too much, or because they feel they have nothing to say. Here are some of the tips that I share during our consultations.

Tips for posting on social media:

Establish the tone in your profile bio. Is this truly a personal account or are you seeking to increase awareness around your skills, business or product with it? If it’s the latter, how are you using your bio as an elevator pitch to establish your expertise?

Similarly, make sure your content reflects your skill set and humanizes your brand. Don’t you dare say you are a finance expert, but never once share any articles, personal stories or insight about finance. The bio tells people what they can expect from you, so make sure you are giving them what they came for.

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Share your lifestyle. Nothing looks tackier than a page full of other people’s content, reposted quotes, and poor quality images. Whether it’s Instagram, Twitter or any other social media network, make sure you post with purpose. Be deliberate about what you share and what you want people to take away from each post.

Be more like Kanye, the king of shameless self-promotion and arrogance. Kanye will say outlandish things like “I am the most influential person in footwear today,” but there is a lot to learn from that kind of unwavering self-confidence. If you don’t put yourself on a pedestal, who will?

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The real lesson here is: we must stop numbing the feeling of vulnerability. Stop overthinking every post and status update and share from a place of passion and purpose. Share because you have something important to say to the world. Share because you are worthy – worthy of belonging, of success, of love and of trust. Don’t hide in the shadows of doubt, when you can feel in the depths of your soul that you were destined for more. Got real deep for a post about social media and branding right? Hope you are feeling a little more motivated today.

Turning your passions into paychecks,

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