I am not trying to get all new age and self-helpy with you. Instead, I am trying to find out whether you are presenting your “real self” to the world in your communications. In business lingo, this would translate into “are you being authentic?”
With social media, there is a blurring of lines between personal and professional. My Twitter feed, for example, features lots of political commentary. Some may not agree with my political viewpoint, but it is what it is. If you choose to not work with me because you disagree with me, so be it.
It turns out that people like authenticity. They like knowing who they are dealing with. And really, don’t you want to work with people who want to work with you, when they know your foibles, viewpoints, etc.?
I was inspired by the article “Best Social Media Tactic: Always be Authentic” in Inc. Magazine. Here, writer Christina DesMarais interviews J. C. Kendall, CEO of TekPersona. Kendall is known as being brutally honest in his customer/social media exchanges. He feels that it is part of his branding strategy. He says the following:
You simply cannot avoid offending some people. No brand should waste undue time trying to appeal to everyone. When you are developing and supporting your brand, you are creating an expectation of what will occur through a transaction with your company. Your messaging has to focus on your target customer.
Emphasis above is mine. I think that too many organizations and individuals work too hard to be “nice,” to appeal to everyone. They are AFRAID of being disliked. But the truth is that not everybody will like you and that is OK. You don’t want everybody to listen to what you have to say–just your target audience. Your target WANTS what you have to offer.
So, if you are afraid of being yourself, stop. Be who you are and forget about being nice to everyone. I am not saying be mean or nasty. Just be authentic.
Are you afraid of being yourself? Why or why not?