*** “Group Wisdom” is a new series where I reach out to members of the Moxie community for advice on best business practices. Members are chosen at random from our Moxie membership list — you might be hearing from me soon! ***
In my professional life (and in no particular order) I’ve been an ESL teacher, a newspaper reporter, a paid actor at the zoo, a bartender, and a writer — and those are just a few of the highlights!
Somewhere along the way, social media became a Thing and I embraced it. But I was also intensely self-conscious about it, often keeping my settings private. Depending on what job I was in or what job I was aspiring to, I worried about how my sense of humor would come across; I occasionally dip into mild sarcasm, like when I use social media platforms to voice my thoughts on pop culture. (Years ago I took over a fellow news reporter’s coverage area for him while he was on vacation…and he tweeted to his followers that they should follow me on my personal Twitter account, rather than the devoted newspaper handle I used for work. Panicked, I quickly texted him back: “Please take that down! I’ve expressed some strong opinions about a couple designers on Say Yes to the Dress & I don’t want our readers to think I’m biased!” (No pun intended.))
I felt that I needed to keep my “work self” and my “off-the-clock self” separated…but did I, really? That’s the question I’m putting out into the Moxie community this month: How do you make sure you’re presenting your best, most professional face to the world while also being your authentic (and memorable!) self? Specifically as a business-owner?
To see how successful business-owners strike that balance, I reached out to a few of our members at random. Here is some of the wisdom I received in response:
“I see my social media as an extension of my business, which is an extension of myself. Since I work so intimately with my clients as a residential designer, my personality is my biggest asset. Because of that, my posts must be my authentic voice. My potential clients need to know what that looks, feels, and sounds like before they commit to me. As such, I use language and writing style that reflects my light-hearted nature while ensuring the message speaks to something intelligent. In essence, my posts would ideally have a core of ‘intelligence,’ but wrapped up in light-hearted joy.”
– Lindsey Jones, Designer at Aligned Design, LLC
“When it comes to what I share on social media, it took a while for me to figure out what was my most authentic voice and on what platform. It made sense for me to share certain things on some platforms, but not others. For instance, my Instagram account is meant to be positive, uplifting and motivational. I’m more funny and authentic on Twitter, where I connect with most of my audience. On Facebook, I promote exciting projects for myself, but also amplify what other women are working on, which gives me a chance to share even more authentically, but stay passionate about my cause of supporting and uplifting women.”
– Maigen Thomas, Marketing Strategy and Business Coach, Maigen Thomas Enterprises, LLC
“As a business owner I have learned to have a professional voice that comes through from my personality. I feel my authenticity is measured by how I express my business ideas, thoughts, and projects. As a photographer, I communicate primarily with my images; with that being said, using language paired with imagery is extremely important. For example, sharing a new client headshot on Instagram is more impactful if I talk about the lighting, the location, and the client’s business. I talk about what I care about and what I experienced and I find my viewers enjoy the extra details.
“I believe cultivating a compelling, authentic social media presence can be accomplished with consistent
– Erica J Mitchell, Photographer
How do YOU approach social media? Please let us know in the comments!