Using social media to blog or build a business does require you to be more vulnerable than you perhaps imagined when you first began your online adventures.
Growing a business using social media often takes us out of our comfort zone and we find ourselves sharing our personal stories on Facebook or Instagram. I’ve shared stories about my weight loss, my struggles with incontinence and my traumatic birth, and feeling lonely and vulnerable as an entrepreneur. These blog posts are possible because I’ve grown and learned from these challenges and feel strong enough to share these experiences with you. If they were still a “problem” I probably wouldn’t write about it so publicly.
There’s parts of me and my family that I don’t share, but I do share my entrepreneurial journey as I grow my business and I’m still a wife, mum to little one, and friend and sister and daughter.
I was reading an interview with the author of Lean In and Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg discussing how she coped and eventually thrived following the sudden and tragic loss of her husband and father to her two girls.
At the time of his passing, she wrote a public Facebook post about her grieving process in a brutally honest and beautiful way, and I remember crying at her strength and resilience. That post has over 70,000 likes and connected with women across the world. She talks about the strength we can show in our vulnerability.
Sharing aspects of your life can help you to build your business. Whether it’s blogging about your business successes and lessons from the bits that didn’t go so well, or telling your story. Every time you connect, you can help to grow your business. What stories are you willing to share to help you build your brand? How can you share stories and keep what’s important to you private?
Being honest and visible can grow your business and brand. This strategy has worked for Tom’s Shoes or one of the biggest UK bloggers, Honest Mum. When we feel like we “know” the person or the brand then we connect with them, and are prepared to pay more or do more… I pay far more for Tom’s shoes than I would for a regular pair of espadrilles, and I’m happy to pay that little extra became I feel that it’s changing lives and making a difference.
Sometimes we think that we couldn’t possibly share a story, and then when we start sharing, we realise how powerful our story is, and what an impact it can make on the world.
When I shared about my incontinence issues, it wasn’t because I enjoyed telling people about my embarrassing tales of wetting myself, it was because I wanted to help others, and make others believe they too could get help. When we are vulnerable it resonates and helps others connect.
If you’d like to develop your business, and build a brand then telling your story is vital to enable your audience to truly connect and feel like they “know” you.
WHAT’S YOUR WHY?
Telling your WHY is so powerful, and it’s what helps others connect.
I walked past a new shop on Camden High Street earlier today on my way to yoga. It’s called “Gandy’s”.
I live nearby, and I’d seen the shop being refitted and I’d instantly dismissed the shop as another shop that disappears after a few months.
This morning I saw the clothes on the models and the “story” being told through the models of backpacking, and adventure – even the lamps are made of globes.
The store is the brain child of two orphan brothers from the 2004 tsunami who have created a global brand that gives back. A book is proudly on display throughout the store, “Tsunami Kids.”
The founders of the store are using their tale of tragedy and gumption to inspire and sell… It certainly got me thinking about the store, and will certainly go and shop there (something I would not have done earlier in the week from looking in the window).
How can you connect people to your story, and build your business?