Finding a Voice online – and then keeping it?

The most powerful thing about social media is that you are able to portray yourself in exactly the light that you would like to.

For pessimists – you are thinking of the Catfish out there. People pretending to be someone that they are NOT at all.

For optimists – you are thinking of the celebrities and companies showing transparency so that we can get a hint at MORE than what mainstream media tells us.

And for those of us early in our careers – this is our chance to present ourselves in a professional manner and build a personal brand.  What many experts say is that you need to find a voice. When I started my nonprofit career almost 4 years ago, I think I stated that my voice will be “expert on social media for nonprofits.”

My understanding from reading article after article was that your voice needs to remain consistent throughout all platforms so that people aren’t mixed up when they see your presence.  And this is true…

picture credit to dvirc.org
picture credit to dvirc.org

However, just like anything, it should be taken with a grain of salt.  Four years ago, I had what I thought was my “brand” or my “voice”.  Things change, though, and it is tough to KEEP that voice throughout everything.

How do you keep it?

1. Have a good mix
My difficulty was keeping my voice was the “always having to be an expert” in the back of my head.  When I decided that I would disperse personality and NON-social media messaging, I gained some response.

2. Be Yourself
Your goal may be to show your expertise or to only speak on subject matter, but those blogs and brands are a dime a dozen on the interwebs now.  You must BE YOURSELF in order to get true engagement.

3. Have Your Voice as the Foundation, not the entirety of your presence.
Your “brand” or “voice” should always be in the back of your mind, but it shouldn’t LEAD the charge with your messaging.  Your messaging should pertain to current events and trends with an echo of your voice to it.

Has anyone else experienced these growing pains when keeping up with their online presence?  I’d love to hear from others because I may WANT to be an expert, but I’m not just yet.

Does blogging help anything?

While heading to the Russ Reid conference and as I was sitting on my first flight to California, I had a thought.

First of all, the family sitting in front of us on the plane is great.  They are making me flashback to the times when my 4 brothers and I could not sit still no matter where you took us.  I think that is still the cause, though, even if the twins are 16.  Mother, father, daughter, son, daughter, and son all sitting in front of us – it is amazing the process and teamwork between mom and dad to keep the kids calm.

SO… After reading a portion of the Wall Street Journal and gaining a personal best in Flappy Bird, I’ve realized that I need to start blogging again.  I have not blogged in a long while, and I attribute it to my being “busy” but that is a terrible excuse.  Everyone is busy.

How does blogging help?

1. It keeps me organized.

Not that I ever get UN-organized, but my experience blogging has made it apparent that I prioritize better when I am thinking about blog themes and monthly themes for this writing place.

2. It keeps me inspired.

Some people are doodlers.  Some people are musicians. Some people are gamers.  I need to write in order to let my mind run its course.  Almost like a bad temper, if you keep your creativity in, then you run the risk of it pouring out like a jumbled mess (which this post may look like).

3. It keeps me educated.

Blogging leads to engaging conversation.  Education comes through all avenues, but KNOWLEDGE comes through conversation and experience.

So yeah, it may be in the middle of the month.  It may not be January 1st.  But hey, not all resolutions have to start at the beginning of a year or the beginning of a month.

photo courtesy to theabundantartist.com
photo courtesy to theabundantartist.com

Here is to challenging myself to blog each and everyday.  That way it won’t be a jumbled and long post like this one.  If you have read this all the way to the end, then I hope you are in the same predicament I was by not blogging because this post may be more for myself personally than for any of you readers out there.

Who wants to hold each other accountable?  Unofficially sign up for the UNOFFICIAL DAILY BLOG CHALLENGE by submitting your name in the unofficial sign up sheet that is the comments section below.