Sharing Authentically (Without Over-Sharing)

August 5, 2015

If you’re a longtime follower of my business, you probably have a pretty good idea of who I am as the face of my brand. You know that I’m a pink-loving-joy-chasing-coffee-drinking Texan who is passionate about giving grace freely and lovely others fiercely. You probably know how head over heels I am for my college sweetheart, who I am so blessed to share life with. You also probably know that this year has involved a lot of change for us: moving from South Carolina back to Texas, losing our beloved golden retriever, Rascal, and then losing my father-in-law just one month later.

sharing authentically without over-sharing | tips on how to speak from the heart and represent your brand in the best light via b is for bonnie design

And very few of those facts have anything to do with my services or products. I didn’t once mention branding, or coaching, or the shop, or any of the other facets of my business. In fact, all those things I just listed are quite personal in nature. And I have yet to discover that sharing so openly with my audience hurts my credibility or my online presence one bit!

You see, friends, I share fairly openly about some details of my personal life in order to better create a connection and a sense of community throughout my online presence. I share little glimpses into my home, my marriage and my relationships in order to give y’all a better depiction of who I am as the face of the b is for bonnie brand. Although I strive to share pretty pictures on Instagram or here on the blog, I also am strongly committed to being real with y’all. I share the good, the bad and the just plain embarrassing to encourage you, to help you learn from my mistakes, or just to give you a good laugh when you need it most! And because I share so openly, I’ve been fortunate enough to attract the right kind of online tribe that just gets me and this sweet little business of mine.

But there’s a fine line between sharing authentically and over-sharing. I’m a big believer that sharing authentically can transform your relationships, your online presence, and your business as a whole. I believe that so strongly, in fact, that I lead a class on it! When we share authentic content and messages with our audiences, whether that’s face-to-face or online, we lay the foundation for a real, honest conversation to take place. We also humanize our brands by sharing a look into the life of the person behind the business, but more importantly, we create a little corner of the internet where commonalities are found. Your heartfelt story, shared in an effort to invite your audience into a little part of your life, turns into an instance of, “Oh, you too? I thought I was the only one!” Authentic sharing enables us to find common ground with our audiences, and build relationships that extend far beyond the boundaries of customer and business owner.

But authentic sharing can easily go over the top if we’re not careful. Although I don’t share perfectly every time, you won’t find me writing a blog post about what I had for lunch yesterday, or sharing on social media about what I bought at Target. Although those topics may be a really great fit for a food or fashion blogger, they’re truly not in line with any part of the b is for bonnie brand. It’s important to scrutinize what you want to share under the lens of relevancy, so ask yourself how that topic you’re thinking of sharing pertains to your brand or business? Does it organically relate to one of your brand’s core values or mission? Does it help position you as an expert, or provide any sort of additional credibility to your brand? Does it give your audience a better glimpse into who you are as the head of your company, in such a way that it will convey value or enhance their experience? Is what you hope to share educational, encouraging or inspirational? If it’s not one of the aforementioned categories, then maybe pump the brakes on that post.

If you can definitively pinpoint how your post will ultimately relate back to the brand you’re working so hard to create, then post away! With so many ads, businesses, bloggers and adorable kittens vying for our time on the internet, it can be absolutely overwhelming to determine where we should give our attention. So as a business owner who is vying for your audience’s time on the internet, and who is competing with a million other channels and distractions, shouldn’t we do our audience the service of ensuring anything we put before them in valuable, pertinent and worth reading?

It’s a delicate balance to be sure, but finding that perfect harmony between sharing in an authentic, relatable way, and sharing only the most worthy of posts is so worth the effort. And even if you’re a business owner or brand who suffers from chronic over-sharing, there’s plenty of time to turn things around, friend!

I’d love to hear how you strike a balance between sharing authentically online and not sharing too much with your audience! Sound off in the comments below with your methods. 

 

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I'm Bonnie -- a designer, brand designer + strategist, writer, wife, and pet parent to the most rambunctious golden retriever this side of the Mason-Dixon! I'm passionate about building authentic brands, encouraging small business owners to chase their dreams, and spreading joy through design. It's a delight to have you here, lovely! Grab a cup of coffee, pull up a comfy chair and stay a while, won't you?

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