I was recently discussing a job interview with a friend, strongly encouraging them to ensure that they are themselves. You don’t want to pretend to be someone you’re not and then spend the entire time employed with this completely opposite persona. Or worse, go from one personality in the interview back to your wonderful self once you’re on the job and find that things aren’t really working. The same scenario applies when you are representing your brand online. Disclaimer: We ALWAYS recommend that you do retain a certain level of professionalism, being yourself with your friends and being yourself while representing your business might be two different versions of the same person.
There is something really interesting about seeing the person behind the business. I am constantly being encouraged to be more visual in my business, and analytics show that whenever I step in front of the camera, we get much better engagement. It can be really daunting though! I am a private person, we try not to share too much of our personal life online and I find it so difficult to not pick faults when I share an image or try to record a video of myself.
But there is no doubting the stats (can you tell I’m a data girl – Love it!). The people want what the people want, and it appears that IS ME. I’m a bit of a dag, I love a good joke and a pun, I’m a super nerd when it comes to my business and could talk your ear off about the importance of branding, website and marketing your business correctly online. I also swear a lot. A LOT, and my sense of fashion… not always on point.
I try and follow the “not in front of Grandma” rule when I am representing my business either online or in-person, with these standards:
- I dress in a way that feels comfortable to me, but that is also in line with my profession. We are a creative industry so we can be slightly more relaxed but we are dealing often with corporate types, I find neat casual works well.
- I speak more clearly, and with more thought, especially when I am in front of a camera. You will hear my Tassie twang breakthrough. My English, though I try, may not always be perfect, but I avoid saying anything that I wouldn’t say in front of… my friend’s Grandmother (my own can be a bit free with words herself!)
- I have done some public speaking so I am reasonably well practiced in this area, but if you are worried, write down some questions and have a friend ask you, practice what to say and how you say it.
You will get some businesses and brands that are completely out of the box which goes against everything I’ve said, such as businesses that sell inappropriate gifts; these are gifts with lots of swearing, nudity, very much adult products. Businesses like this speak with their customers and engage with their audience completely in line with their brand; no minding your p’s and q’s here, BUT these types of customers LOVE it. It fits the brand and personality perfectly.
As I said in the beginning, it is so important to be yourself. What version of yourself you make visible will depend on your business, your clients and how you want to be seen, and only you can make that decision.
Take a step back from your business and decide what message and feeling you want to spread to your audience, and then refine your brand so that message can be shared in a way that is still you. Need help refining your brand? Connect with customers in a way that gets you results in 2020 with our coaching packages.