Your audience is the entire world, so show your entire self
Last week on the #u30pro Twitter chat, I remember someone mentioning that our audience in now global, and that really struck me. (SIDE NOTE: Does anyone remember who that was?)
We were talking about how much of yourself you should share online, and whether it’s appropriate to share facts about your personal life as well as professional when blogging or Tweeting. And we were all pretty much in agreement that there was a balance that needed to be struck between professional and personal.
And then someone said that it was silly to not show your whole self because your audience is essentially the whole world. In a time when anyone can use Google or Twitter or Facebook to find you and your thoughts, it seems silly not to share your whole self.
I would never argue that you need to give out all of your information, I still urge you to be safe online. I do, however, urge you to let your entire personality shine through in your online interactions. More and more people are making important connections online, but how strong will those connections be if they’re based only on superficial or professional information?
My closest friends from work and other places are those that I know way more about than just their professional acumen. And it’s these outside connections and personal touches that make me think of them first when a new opportunity arises. I am way more likely to recommend a person or share a job opening with someone who I know as a friend and not just a colleague.
If that does not convince you, think about this: when you work in an office, you don’t stick to shop-talk all day long, right? You talk about your family and weekend plans with those who sit near you, and you develop personal relationships along with work relationships. And which of your coworkers are you more likely to recommend? The ones you have only had professional experience with? Or those who you know inside and out?
If you truly intend to make strong and meaningful connections online and use social media as a networking tool, it may seem counter-intuitive, but it’s important to let your entire personality show through all of your interactions.
What do you think? Is it wise to hide part of who you are online? Do you think it’s best to dive in and show your whole self? Share your thoughts!