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Are you over sharing? When to be vulnerable on social media…

How much is ‘too much’? What if it makes me seem incompetent or unprofessional?

“Is it really necessary?”

Do these thoughts sound familiar? Do you resist sharing your personal life with your potential clients on social media, or in your website? These are common questions and concerns from coaches, counsellors and therapists.

SO LET’S TALK ABOUT THIS….

Let’s talk about WHY we would share our personal lives, and HOW to share in a way that feels comfortable for us, and ethical and professional for our businesses.

WHY?…

Your stories, experiences, struggles and fears are powerful… and when you share them, people will connect more with you emotionally… especially if they, themselves, have gone through something similar.

It shows that you are human and gives hope to your potential clients that they too can ‘achieve this’. It allows them to connect with you as someone that is not “better than them” but someone that has personal experience having “walked the walk”. It is important that they experience you as human as well as an expert. Because too much expertise, without the humanity, often leaves people feeling like they can’t connect with you and can’t achieve the same as you.

AND…

Too much of the personal in a non-expertise way can leave them feeling like you would make a good friend but doesn’t instill the confidence they need to believe that you can help get them to where they want to be.

SO…

When doing personal experience posts on your business page you do need to think “Why am I sharing this?”. “How does this relate to my clients?” and “Is it an overshare, or am I sharing for the greater good – building a connection with my ideal potential clients?”

It’s important to not only share the GOOD.

Have you ever noticed how lots of social media makes it appear as though everyone ALWAYS has their “sh*t together”? A lot of business pages (as well as personal profiles) on social media are more surface-level posts and pictures. Meaning… they only post pictures where everyone is smiling, everyone is happy, or even stock images that just look picture perfect.

It just doesn’t feel real. It feels fake if there’s only happy, and no one ever talks about the challenges or the struggles.

And, boy, is it ever refreshing when someone actually speaks form their heart or tells it ‘like it is’ without a filter. This gets my attention! And I’m guessing that’s the stuff that grabs your attention as well.

Because we all know that life is not a Hallmark card.

We all know life is not all ups, so we want to share that there are downs and how we can navigate through different situations. We want to portray that this is real life, and that change is possible. And that there is a way out from the struggles they may be experiencing.

When you share the ‘real’ YOU on social media and show up authentically to your audience… people will be able to relate to you more. It gives people a chance to get to know you and build the like, know and trust factor that is so crucial in wanting to work with you.

Now for THE HOW…

How you show up is important.

Timing is everything. Knowing when to be vulnerable on social media, and when to post about your experience is key to maintaining connection with your audience and building KNOW, LIKE, and TRUST.

I believe that you can never share too much BUT how we share our experience is important.

My advice….

Don’t share your struggle, experience etc. when you are in the thick of it, and still working through it!

Sharing when it is still fresh, and raw, can be powerful in connecting with potential clients BUT you want to make sure that you are able to share from a place of experience, strength and hope. Basically, don’t share while you are still in the “sh*it storm”, but as soon as you have seen some of the light, or the path out of the storm. Share once you have accomplished at least one leg of the journey towards the solution..

You don’t need to have it perfect, but you should be able to reflect back on a few key things.

Here are a few questions to ask yourself before sharing…

  • How did I help myself out of it?
  • What was the lesson I learned going through it?
  • How does this relate to my clients?
  • How can I provide hope, encouragement and inspiration from what I’ve learned?

By waiting until you have ‘come out the other side’, or traveled at least part of the journey, you’ll be able to share your story powerfully, and bring it ‘full circle’ so that you can relate it back to your clients and what your need to hear that will help them in their journey.

Also to note…

You don’t need to share the entire story, only share what you are comfortable with. Give the audience a glimpse of who you are, what it’s like behind the scenes, and tell them what you are about.
That is what takes a vulnerable post and make it powerful for your clients, and not take away from professionalism- but actually adds to it.

It shows the journey and shows the stuff that helps your clients achieve success.

THEN…

At the end of the post I encourage you to invite your potential clients to continue this journey through a Call to Action, that will help open up the conversation and encourage them to think about their next steps.

You might ask, “Can you relate? How did you step it out it?” and ask people to comment below. Then follow up with comments people post. Again, this helps build the like, know and trust factor.

Another suggestion is inviting people into your Facebook Group for more information. By adding a Call to Action at the bottom of the post it is allowing people to take the next step with you.

Remember that being vulnerable with your potential clients and audience is powerful but first know that you have “cleared the storm” and can come from a place of ‘learning from the experience’ or sharing inspiration and hope, encouraging clients in their own journey.

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