When you’re on social media, be yourself. #vatip Gotta Tweet!
You don’t want to present a fake version of you that you have to keep up. #vatipGotta Tweet!
Be your wonderful self and you will attract the people that you want. #vatip Gotta Tweet!
Hi, virtual assistant business owner. Today, we are going to talk about your social media presence. This is episode number 60.
I take notes on different topics for what we’ll do in our podcast, but every now and then something will happen spontaneously in the week and I feel like it is the perfect opportunity to share and talk to you about it and give you my insight, and also get your feedback through comments posted on my Facebook page, wherever, and what your thoughts are in relation to it as well.
Your social media presence – think about how we are in the corporate world where you’re expected to be really professional – that’s the one extreme. The other extreme is really casual.
Somewhere between the really professional and the really casual is you, and that is the sweet spot for your social media presence.
Recently, there was a discussion in one of the groups I’m in for a direct sales company that I’m a part of, and the discussion was about social media presence. The young lady was saying how on social media she likes to present things really professional so she’s making sure that she shows respect to strangers.
Whenever something – the phrase the people use is “gets my blood boiling.” That’s a hot topic. This is why I wanted to bring it to you guys because, I don’t know, you may be thinking the same way because we serve clients and we want to get more clients, and how we present ourselves is the representation of who we are.
My theory on that is that your representation should be actually who you are. If you were to come home with me, if you were to be at church with me, if we were at the mall, at Panera, just hanging out, I’m the same person. I know it can seem weird at first on social media because we’re not getting the immediate feedback or that immediate conversation back on Facebook.
I’m focusing on Facebook specifically right now, and I’m thinking about your Facebook business page because that is where you want to do business. Personal profile is personal, so that doesn’t even apply here on the show when I talk about Facebook. I’m specifically talking about your Facebook business page. Just because it’s a business page does not mean you eliminate personal, so it should be both.
When I first got on social media, it was a struggle, and even sometimes now it’s like you wonder what to post, what would people be interested in. At some point you have to set that down and think about this: okay, if we were co-workers in an office, even if it’s a place where you have to be super professional, but if we’re friend co-workers we’re not going to be super professional with each other even if we’re both dressed in suits. If we are friends and we’re co-workers, we are going to be ourselves with each other.
I would hope you’re not faking it with your friends, whether they’re at work or friends at home or whatever. I would hope that you’re just being yourself. That’s what you want to bring to Facebook. That’s what you want to bring to Twitter. That’s what you want to bring to Instagram, and wherever you are online, just be yourself.
At some point, your client is going to end up talking to you. Whether it be through email or over the phone or whatever, they’re going to end up communicating with you. Over time, they’re going to get to know you. You don’t want to present a fake version of you because that means you’ve got to keep up with this fake version of you.
If you think that you have to be so professional on Facebook, this is a mistake.
Who comes to Facebook for that? Don’t we all come to Facebook for fun to see what’s going on, to get updates? Even when we’re getting information, when we’re getting news, when we’re watching videos, we’re looking for something to take us away from whatever it is we were doing before we landed on Facebook. Is it going to make me laugh? Is it going to give me some important information? Is it going to give me some inspiration? Is it going to motivate me? Am I going to be encouraged?
Sometimes, there are things on there that make us the total opposite. You were in a great mood, but you hop on Facebook and you’re not in a great mood anymore because of what gets shared. Well, you don’t want to be the Debbie Downer to someone else’s day. You want to present positive things. Maybe people mistake the fact that bringing positivity means you have to all of a sudden turn on this professionalism that shouldn’t even be there.
This is why it’s not good to use logos as your picture for the business page. How many logos do you like talking to in a day? You don’t. You don’t want to talk to a logo. Even when you’re handling business – say you have to call the cable company. When you’re calling the cable company, you’re not talking to Time Warner the logo. You’re speaking to whoever the person is on the other end that answers the customer service line. At that moment, they are Time Warner to you, and they’re just another person on the other end communicating information to you.
When you’re on social media, be yourself.
It makes it so much easier when it’s time to post something, or time to schedule something, or creating your content. Just be yourself. What do you like? If you’re not big into motivational quotes, don’t feel pressured like you’ve got to post motivational quotes if that’s not your thing. If you’re not into scripture, don’t feel like you’ve got to post scripture. Be yourself. As I said before, between the very professional and the very casual, you are somewhere in-between.
Yes, there are things that you don’t want to let all out on Facebook. There are some things that you’ll never see on my Facebook page that you may see on somebody else’s. Like you’re not going to see me posting a sweaty gym picture of myself. If I’m posting a picture of me at the gym, it’s before my class starts. You’re not going to see a picture after my class starts because there’s sweat, my hair is looking crazy, and that’s just not what I want to put on Facebook. That’s exclusive for those who were in the class with me. [Laughs]
You know, that to me is too casual. I’m not going to have a picture of myself in my pajamas on Facebook. That’s too casual. I’m not going to have a picture of me in a bathing suit on Facebook. That is too casual. You may have what is too casual for you.
The flipside of that is the whole very professional thing. I left that way back. It’s in the vault. I don’t even know. It probably has left the vault. The whole navy blue suit and medium heels because you can’t wear high heels and you shouldn’t wear flats. It should be a certain, you know, medium length. All of that is left way, way in the archives. Between all that, is you.
Now, if you naturally lean on the more professional end, that’s fine. Remember when you’re posting that there’s another person on the other end and we attract people who are attracted to us. There will be a different type of person attracted to you versus someone who is more on the casual end of the spectrum. There will be a different type of person that is attracted to them. Think about the dressy slacks versus jeans. There will be a different person attracted to you.
When you are thinking on your ideal client and your niche, this plays into that as well.
If the audience that you want to serve leans more on the professional end, then you know there are certain things that are going to work for them if it’s on a more professional end. Then if you’re more casual, it’s not going to be an initial fit. I would even go so far to say – I won’t say that’s not your crowd, but I don’t want you to change who you are because you think, oh, this crowd will pay more money. They’ll be quicker to respond. They need virtual assistants more. No, don’t change who you are. It’s better if you are you. Even if you’re in the more casual end, it’s better if you are you and let that more professional person come to you versus you trying to manipulate yourself and reconfigure who you are for them.
How long is that going to last long-term? It won’t last very long. It’s like trying to talk in a fake voice. It won’t last very long. There are a lot of people that won’t do audio because of how they sound. They’re not comfortable with how they sound. There are a lot of people that won’t do video because they’re not comfortable with how they look, and that’s something that we all have to overcome individually if we’re interested in doing audio and if we’re interested in doing video.
The funny thing is with these hang-ups, if that’s you, do you think about that when you’re talking to somebody on the phone, or when you’re talking to somebody in person and they hear you and they’re looking at you? Do you think about it then? Probably not. You probably don’t.
The point of this particular episode is about how we present ourselves online. When people are coming to social media, even if they’re looking for somebody for business, they’re looking for you as a VA, they do want to work with somebody that they like, that they can respect, who is knowledgeable and has the skill. All that stuff, but it all goes together because you could know it, you could be skilled at it, you could have all the experience in the world, but if you’re a jerk nobody’s going to come to you if you’re a jerk.
Be your wonderful self and you will attract the people that you want.
When you’re posting on your Facebook business page, give it a mix of stuff related to your business as well as just random things that you’re interested in. I recently did – I think it was a week or so ago – a video on a little tip for tying your ponytail and stuff that just was, I thought, the coolest thing and I shared that on my Facebook page.
It was fun doing the video. It also gave me a chance to practice on Facebook Live to get some experience doing that, and got people engaged. It’s a way for people to see you. It’s also part of the reason why I do this podcast too because when people hear your voice they feel like they know who you are.
That will help your client as well to see a video of you. It doesn’t have to be, you know, I’m going back to my spectrum of very professional polished video. I’m interested in being your virtual assistant, dah, dah, dah. No, be yourself.
If you’re genuinely interested in the services that you provide, you could easily talk about it over a cup of coffee. If you’re going to experiment with Facebook Live, pretend like you’re having coffee with somebody and they asked you about your virtual assistant business. They asked you your service, and you just talk about it. Not that you’re trying to sell anything, but sharing information with a friend.
Oh, lastly, something else I did want to point out that was said about showing respect for strangers. I don’t think about anybody that I don’t know in person that’s on social media or even that comes through my email – I don’t think about anybody as strangers. If there’s somebody that I interact with frequently online, and once I know their name, I feel like I know them. Granted, we haven’t had a whole conversation or anything like that, but they’re not strangers to me anymore.
When you comment on my Facebook page, when you like something, when you retweet, you’re not a stranger to me. A stranger, I don’t know their name. A stranger, I don’t know what they look like. For me, once I’ve got your name and I know what you look like, we aren’t strangers.
When you’re doing things on social media and your goal is to get people interested in your business, whether you’re posting something related to business or just something of personal interest, they’re not strangers on your page. They chose to like your page. They chose to read what you posted. They chose to interact with you and they’re not a stranger. You’re not a stranger to them, and they certainly shouldn’t be a stranger to you.
Now, I may be preaching to the choir. I don’t know. But I thought that was a whole interesting discussion about social media. Everybody doesn’t know. We’re all learning together. Part of it could be because I’m in it all day every single day.
When I send an email, when I’m responding, when I’m helping out in different groups for clients, when I talk to people I am talking to them as though they were right in front of me. Sometimes I’ll even be saying what I’m typing, and I’m saying it out loud so I can hear myself say it and get my words straight and all that stuff, but I’m literally imagining that they are in front of me. Just like right now talking to you, I’m imagining that you’re sitting right here at the table with me and we’re having this discussion.
That may take practice. That may not. It may just be a matter of doing it and just realizing there is somebody at the other end. No different than when you used to write letters a long time ago or you leave a voicemail message, you imagine that person is hearing what you’re saying.
Same thing when it comes to social media. We are not strangers. People on the other end are not strangers. Remember, they chose to participate in whatever it is that you’re posting and sharing online.
Thanks so much for tuning in. If you like what you heard, stay tuned. We’ll be back. Tell me what’s going on with you. Come on over the Facebook page: facebook.com/tiffanyparsonbiz, or if you prefer a little shorter message, come on over to Twitter: @tiffanydparson.
See you next time!