Are you someone that cringes when you see some of the stuff that people share on social media? I have to admit that I hide a little bit to avoid being ‘that person’ – the classic over-sharer, the one that makes you gasp, scroll quickly and silently vow to never do something so offensive.

I sometimes stare in disbelief, like the time I saw someone document their entire surgery, including pre-op and post-op. The bandage changing photos were particularly delightful. And then there was the highly-regarded business coach that went on a huge rant about her estranged husband regarding their messy divorce.

I feel embarrassed for some people because I wonder if they know where to draw the line. While it is true that controversy can sometimes be a good thing, consistently being a trainwreck can hurt your business. I guess it depends on what type of client you are trying to attract.

On the other hand, sharing appropriately and authentically can help you build an amazing community of like-minded people. Those people can turn into raving fans and long term clients.

I have a confession to make – I have been hiding. You might think that sounds a bit odd coming from a social media consultant – after all, I spend my days posting and sharing on social media. My own voice is largely absent mainly for two reasons:

  1. Fear. We all fear being judged. The fact is that we cannot please everyone. Some people will love your content, while others will think it sucks.
  2. Reputation. Because much of my time is spent on client work, I am aware of how my reputation might affect not only my own business, but their businesses as well.

I’ve come to realize that these are excuses. I have been told that my content is good and that in general most people like it. Sounds a bit boring. Do I take a stand for anything? Hardly ever. Do I put my feelings or opinions into my posts? Rarely. But here’s the thing –

Are you hiding? We are all publishers these days. We create, produce and publish content. It is a wonderful privilege to be able to speak our minds and put our personality into our work. It’s what makes us different than the next guy. Staying silent in the age of technology is the kiss of death for many talented people that have a great message to share.

Social media can help you:

  • Connect more deeply with your audience – building relationships through social media is one of the best ways to solidify your position as a leader in your field.
  • Improve your visibility – Social media almost doubles the leads you can get from a tradeshow, telemarketing, daily mail or pay-per-click. It’s great exposure for your brand and it humanizes your company.
  • Put a steady stream of potential clients in your pipeline – Social Media Examiner, a very large blog that I follow, says that business owners that utilize social media correctly record at least a 50% gain in new customers through social media.

If your business is not yet on social media, or you are dipping your toe in the water, but haven’t fully embraced the modern way of doing business, it’s time to dive into the pool. Your clients and competitors are already there. It’s no longer an option to be a bystander, lurking on the platforms. It’s a bit like going to a networking meeting but not getting out of your car.

I’d love it if you introduced yourself. Tell us something about yourself that most people don’t know – let’s get a conversation going! I’ll go first… Hi. My name is Debbie Peck and I only have one kidney. OK, your turn – dive in, the water’s pretty warm.

Debbie Peck Digital