Uggghhhhh...the ONE post I've been dreading...
But before I drag my feet too far in...take a moment to catch up with the series if you're just checking in for the first time.
likeable business (part 1)
likeable business::listening (part 2)
likeable business::storytelling (part 3)
The subtitle of this charger is 'Be Yourself.' Not that I have a problem being myself...no disorder here...but when you use the word 'authenticity' with 'business' and a book about social media...there's gonna be some squirming goin' on in this household...
Before I discuss the hand wringin' and squirmies, let me get through the important chapter info. So essentially the chapter (in more words than I'll type) tells us to be ourselves, be who you say you are, be human, and if you do these things, your authenticity breeds trust with your customers. Makes sense right? Right. Got it. I am who I say I am (if you follow me on facebook, in person, etc). I don't go pinning all the cutesie stuff on pinterest because everyone else does and it will make me look like the super DIY mom...for real, I don't. My pinboards are probably b-o-r-i-n-g.
As for being human...I've messed up and had to profusely apologize to customers during their sessions. I usually blog about it because it was a lesson learned...and me being at fault. I wouldn't jeopardize my client base and bad talk clients...really, Golden Rule here! If you ask me how I stand on certain issue, I'll share....but I'm NOT debating. But you won't find me asking you about controversial issues. It isn't me. As for being myself and being who I say I am, the one best piece of advice I learned while growing up (and I honestly cannot remember who, where, what I got it from) is: If you tell the truth, you don't have to remember anything. If you live a life of lies you ALWAYS have to remember what you said to who and when. Yuck. I already have mommy brain, so I don't need to attempt to remember anything else.
One more thing on being 'human'....we're human. You make mistakes. I make mistakes. We all make mistakes. It makes us vulnerable. And that's just part of being authentic. Pardon me and I'll pardon you if the occasional shall arise.
So what about the squirms? Oh, did I forget to add 'social media' in that recipe of 'be yourself, be who you say you are...' Dave Kerpen, the author of this book discourages business leaders from having personal AND business social media accounts. He reasons, "There is no need for separate profiles because 'business you' and 'personal you' are the same exact person. Or they can be. Otherwise, you're dealing with split personalities and double lives, which are tiring, unnecessary, and ineffective." Well, totally agree with the split personality and double lives...hence, if you tell the truth you have nothing to remember...
But where this gets really squirmy for me is even mentioning social media to my husband. My husband and I view social media like right and left wing politicians. Obviously since I'm blogging and posting this to facebook, I'm the liberal one when it comes to social media. Hubs on the other hand, deleted his facebook account within 24 hours of activating it AND got off Linkedin. At least he lasted longer on Linkedin than facebook *snicker* *cheap shot*.
He's kindly asked that I don't post personal stuff on facebook...about the kids or him. He wants nothing to do with it. I can respect that...and sometimes I'm still finding my boundaries through trial and error. There are people out there (they already coming to your mind as I type this) who post e-v-e-r-y-t-h-i-n-g they do e-v-e-r-y-d-a-y (see, told ya...you have 2 names in your head right now). At a vendor event, I mentioned to a potential customer if she was on facebook she could connect with me that way...big mistake. She rolled her eyes, gasped and said, "I don't want to know when you're going to the grocery store and everything you do." Ok, potential customer lost because of the stereotypical facebook account holder.
Ok, so where do I fall into this spectrum with authenticity and social media...I do it for the business. Free advertising. Networking. And some of the out of state fam can keep up with the kiddos (THANK YOU privacy settings for pictures!) I don't believe you'll find out a ton of stuff about our day-to-day to lives, but enough for you to realize I am a real person. I am a mom. I have a 1 and 3 year old. I stay at home with them. Things get crazy. Especially when the 3 year old doesn't want/need a nap or when he doesn't think he needs to nap. Some of you can relate to status updates. ;)
So all in all. Yes, I'm on facebook. I don't initiate a friend request with clients, you send out the request and I'll honor it. Don't want me in your social media life? No prob, that's why I have a business facebook page...personally, I would rather you 'like' my page than friend me. Like I said before, I have nothing to hide. I'm just one more person to junk up your newsfeed.