It’s not often easy to be vulnerable and open about your background. It’s especially difficult when you are trying to relate something important about your background to teach a lesson for others today.
For this reason, people wishing to be online influencers often make a serious mistake: They trade authenticity for the veneer they think people prefer to see—some sort of “expert knowledge” on a topic.
If one truly has expert knowledge of a subject matter, it will only have come through lots of personal experience. Triumph. Tragedy. Trial. Error. Successes. Failures. And the list goes on and on.
You have to share the real stuff with people in order to gain their trust.
Here are a few things that have helped me get more comfortable with sharing my stories and teaching others based on what I have learned:
- Engaging the stories of others. When I read, watch, or listen to others, it is always the “raw stuff” that it most interesting. There is no shortage of content online about how to do things. What I want to know is how so and so failed or succeeded, why, and what I can do differently. The more personal the better.
- Embracing obscurity. Some people definitely have good reason to get nervous about sharing and being vulnerable. Plus, most people are bad storytellers. It will take awhile to get good. In the beginning, no one will know who you are, and thank God! This is not a bad thing, it is a good thing. It will give you time to find your voice and hone your craft. (Btw, I am about 5 years into my journey of sharing content online in various forms, and still have not quite found it yet. You better exercise some patience during these obscure times.)
- Sharing consistently. The only way to better at something is to do it over, and over, and over again. If you stop, you won’t keep going (seems obvious enough). Be it social media, a blog, a podcast, a video channel, etc. Share. In public. Often. It will change everything about your business. In a year, it will probably still feel like nothing happened. But in five years, or 10, you will be eternally grateful you stuck with it.