Put a thread through yourself

Don’t lose the essence when you go digital.

Be the person you want to be offline, the bestest version of yourself, and then, take that awesome-ness online! That’s it.

I often see people and businesses that are one thing in the “real world” and something totally different on their online platforms. The experience you derive from visiting your favourite clothing store then varies from what you experience when you log onto their Instagram profile.

It’s the same experience you get when you spend time with someone who is vastly different from what they are on their Facebook profile. It’s like you’re interacting with two different people that claim to be the same person.

When it comes to taking your story online, you need to ensure you have a thread that runs through it. Identify things that make you unique and make up your story. So that you don’t find yourself telling a distorted account without even realising it. Even worse, pandering to what the world may want you to be (think of all those people who break their backs to appear rich and somewhat perfect on Instagram).

To avoid that quagmire, ask yourself: What do I want to achieve with using social media platforms? What role are they going to play in say, my business, learning, professional life, social life, et cetera.

When I made the decision to build profiles on Twitter and Facebook (and later with the building of my website), I thought a lot about who I am, what I am good at and what I am comfortable and love speaking about. That gave me the basis on which to place my persona when making the transition to online media. It helped me ensure that I keep consistency when you meet me in person and when you go through my online presence.

I asked myself the following.

Why am I engaging; what are my reasons for engaging on social media? And the answers to that are:

  •  Create a body of work / portfolio
  •  Prove my skill and level of talent
  • Build relationships and keep connected to people
  • Read voraciously and learn from other people without geographical boundaries
  • Drive bookings / sales for my Writing and speaking work

What a lot of people seem to forget is what a friend, Brian Porter, once told me while we were in college, Boston Media House a few years back. “What you publish on Twitter or Facebook is a replica of your thoughts”.

What you publish gives away clues into your headspace, tells a story about your attitude. It becomes a much better experience when the two extremes — your offline and online personas if you will — are closer to each other, resemble and feed into each other. Instead of being divergent.

Think about it. It’s the act of being comfortable and authentic everywhere you find yourself that’s the basis of everything you do. What eventually becomes your reputation.