Personal Branding Image Consulting ,Atlanta
The Need to be Known: I stepped away from social media to guide my teen through her own struggles with it
When my daughter received her first iphone at the age of 12, I had just started homeschooling her. I had been homeschooling her older brother for a year already. Our family plan was to home school our kids through middle school and then send them off again to public high school. My son, a brainy introvert, took to it amazingly! I simply directed him and he taught himself amazing things!
My daughter needed a much more hands-on approach with her instruction--more of a "white-on-rice" mom presence. When I wasn't actively in the room with her, she would get very distracted and bored. She used her phone to play games and socialize (with strangers) on apps that she wasn't supposed to have. She became obsessed with the secrecy. The emotional breakdown that ensued upon being discovered was the most dramatic, heart-breaking occasion I had experienced with my child.
She was reprimanded, the phone taken way, and the apps turned off. For a three month period, while we dealt with her struggle, I stopped posting--everywhere. Some well-needed counseling led us to understand what was in her heart and mind.
As I tried to understand why she went out of her way with secrecy and risky behavior to achieve these things through social media, I realized I also sought these things from social media, but on a professional level. Did that make it acceptable?
I too want to be known as a professional, to feel relevant in my career, to be followed by my peers and clients, and to find common ground with other thought- leaders in the social media universe. I concluded, what does it matter having 10,000 or more followers on Twitter, 500+ connections on LinkedIn or to be an Influencer on Instagram, when it is authentic, personal engagement and symbiotic relationships that truly lead to conducting business, especially on a small business level?
I personally know a Twitter media giant with 350,000 plus followers. He's smart, kind, and so experienced. He's worked very hard, everyday, for ten years on Twitter--connecting, re-tweeting, liking, posting. He thanks everyone who follows him. When we meet for lunch or coffee I frequently ask if his social media presence brings him business. His response has been, that although he engages with many people and has met many great people through social-media, the actual business he has generated isn't quantifiable. It's the long-term relationship he builds after meeting someone on or off line that actually may lead to a paid project.
A digital presence and social media are critical to your branding efforts. You must have a website. That is your home-base, where your messaging is controlled and curated by you in a concise way. This is where you explain your product or services, where you espouse your value proposition, where your satisfied clients' comments and recommendations reside, and where all your contact information exists. Your home-base is where you can convert visitors to engaged participants who buy in to your newsletter, your blog postings, your news emails, and maybe, hopefully become a new customer.
I have now assigned social media a new specific task--to get the word out about ME. Who I am, what I do and why I do it better than anyone else. The goal of every post is to direct my audience to my website: my home-base.
As for my girl? We decided to take on some teen counseling. She loves it! She really looks forward to talking with her counselor a couple of times a month and pour out her feelings with someone who cares, but isn't her mom! Actually, it has made her more open and conversant with her dad and me. She's grown. I've grown. Our relationship is being built for life and social media is in our control. It does not control us.
Helping you #BETHAT for which you want to be known,
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I write about the topics that make you stand out and help you be that for which you want to be known. My passion is helping you as a professional, discover your values and your inner style and project them authentically and confidently though your words, actions, appearance and digital presence.