In the summer of 2012, I celebrated my two-year anniversary in business. It seemed like a great milestone to write a blog post about all of the things I’ve learned and how much I’ve grown from the experience. I wanted to give some sage advice that would help other budding business owners navigate entrepreneurship. Realistically, though, I was still struggling with a lot of things. My business growth was stagnant in the previous months and I couldn’t find a balance between work and anything else in life.
I considered polishing the post by only highlighting the good stuff. But, it just didn’t feel right. I started talking to other people to gain some perspective and I recall someone advised me to write about the challenges I was experiencing. I was a little nervous because I didn’t want anyone to think I was a fraud. But, I found the courage to put myself out there in a way that was comfortable for me.
I was pleasantly surprised to discover how much the post resonated with other business owners and entrepreneurs. They could relate to my struggles. Several even several shared their personal stories with me.
It was in that moment that I made the decision to stop trying to have all of the answers and start getting real. It became my blogging mantra and it’s served me well. Some of my posts are raw, sharing a glimpse into my perfectly imperfect world. I’ve written about vulnerability, introversion, overwhelm, and – my personal favorite – sh** happens! And, I have loved every minute of it.
While I am a social media professional with over a decade of experience, that doesn’t mean I have to write about the latest Facebook updates. That’s boring. The people who want that kind of information can go to Google. Readers come to my blog because I offer something different. Blogging has put me on the map, but not because I share Instagram hacks. It’s because I infuse my personality and voice into my posts. My readers feel more connected to me and are more willing to engage with me on a deeper level.
Tell A Story.
Some of the best posts tell a personal story. I’ve had my fair share of personal stories including the top post of all-time about my involvement in a car accident in 2000.
Our client, Chad Harvey, is a great example of how an industry professional can build a relationship with his audience while showcasing his expertise. His most recent post shares a story about his great grandfather who made a risky investment during an uncertain time, which gave Chad a compelling segue into his post.
Another client, Lennie, an elder law attorney, offers unique insights within his content. While many in his field cover the standard stuff like “10 things to put in your will,” Lennie writes about how smart seniors do dumb things, and he infuses his perspective into his content.
I’ve found that the biggest hurdle is simply getting started. We have a tendency to believe that we must have a perfect finished product. While I don’t recommend writing a post riddled with typos or filming a video in your pajamas, you should not let perfectionism hold you back. Allow yourself to grow into the experience. Laugh at the goofs. Learn from the audience. I personally dislike filming videos, but I still do it. In fact, in this video, I share advice for those of you who struggle with establishing a source of rich content to enhance your personal brand. If you take anything away from this post, I hope you’ll embrace the perfectly imperfect and let your personality shine!