A lesson in being human on your social media
As much as possible I try to post inspiring or informative content on my social media. But at the end of last week, that changed. In Friday’s post, I had a bit of a moan. For various reasons it had been a bit of a crappy week and I felt the call to share.
The reaction to the post - both in the comments and my DMs - proved just why I felt it necessary to post. It opened the floodgates on an out-pour of business friends and peers sharing their equally crappy weeks and struggles. I felt like they had all just been given permission to undo the button on the collective tight jeans, sigh and relax.
If you’re anything like me, you’ll follow a lot of INCREDIBLE female business owners. You know the kind - always showing up on their social media, effortlessly effervescent, consistently smashing their goals, seemingly really busy and always showing their best selves. Occasionally they might pop up talking about a struggle retrospectively, but generally not putting a hair out of perfection’s place.
Also, if you’re anything like me when you’re having a bit of a crappy day, these accounts can make you feel like a failure, that you’re not good enough and obviously not handling being a freelance business owner well, inching closer to the vortex of imposter syndrome and comparison.
Don’t get me wrong, there is nothing inherently bad about following these sugar-coated accounts.They’re run by phenomenal women, spinning all sorts of plates and I genuinely find them inspiring and motivating. We all have the autonomy and agency to show up on our social however we want. But in a world where “authenticity” is sickeningly emphasised, shouldn’t that mean showing up with our sleeves rolled up and dirt on our faces too?
The truth is, even the picture perfect folk have bad days. We all do, and we know it. We’re human. And being human is messy, unpredictable, and a lot of stuff can happen out of our control knocking us off balance. I think there’s a beauty and strength in owning these messy moments. Showing up, talking about them and laughing them off. There’s also the potential opportunities for your moan helping someone in their mess, or someone else being able to help you because they were in a similar funk a few weeks before. How amazing would that be!?!
All of this might make some of you feel uncomfortable, questioning the professionalism of embracing our bad days. But I’d argue, as freelancers and small business owners our clients come to us for who we are; buying into us as people as much as our skill-set. They’ve chosen to work with us because they want that personal interaction and to have that human relationship. Not a faceless agency or big organisation. How you show to handle adversity and maintain a sense of humour during challenges could be the thing that makes a lead pick up the phone.
Now, before you go forth and get ranty, it’s really important to note - no-one likes a negative nancy online. We know the ones on Facebook who are ALWAYS moaning and we’ve probably got them muted. And yes, you do have to maintain some form of professional integrity. Believe it or not, I hold quite a bit back on my own social media!
My top tip? Craft a rant, and think about how to make it relevant to your audience in an inspiring, informative or entertaining way; the reasons people flock to social media. I spent about an hour on my Friday post. First getting the rage out of my system in a caption I furiously typed and instantly deleted to replace with a more business friendly version with a moral to my story.
Imagine a world where we broadcast our “bloopers reels” as much as our highlights. Our messy imperfections - the wobbles, the struggles, the cock-ups, the ridiculous “what the hell just happened” - are what bring us together and help us feel like we’re not struggling in silence. So let’s embrace them, own them, wear them like a badge of honour. Let’s BE HUMAN.
Find out how I can help breath some human into your online presence with my 1-1 consultation packages.