How To Be Authentic on Social Media 👩🏻‍💻

A single interaction has the capacity to spawn a blooming friendship. The same goes for business opportunities. Within the space that allows everything to be, there is a constant flow of creating, destroying and rebuilding. Your identity is completely fluid. Just because you see yourself one way today doesn't mean you need to see yourself that way tomorrow. In this reflection, I share some of my most precious insights with the intention of awakening your inner creativity to inspire peace, love and understanding in the digital world. (And benefit your brand, naturally.)

1.) Be clear about your intentions.

Social media is a tool that can be used for various reasons. Be up front with what you hope to achieve by spending your time on it. Are you just interested in what your family and friends are doing? Are you looking to attract a certain audience (readers, listeners, customers)? Are you wanting to connect with new people? Are you merely seeking entertainment? Or maybe you are the entertainer. Perhaps you are out there to help motivate others to achieve their goals. Whatever your cause, let it be known by identifying yourself in your bio and spreading straightforward information on a regular basis.

2.) Promote what makes your heart beat 💓.

Why not let the world know why you are here and do it with passion? Inspired people inspire people. Let people get to know your personality, interests, hobbies, hopes, fears and agenda. Do this by sharing behind-the-scenes, "day in the life" type content. What music is rocking your world? What books are you currently reading? By connecting the emotional dots of your values and vision, you can create memorable moments that capture smiles, earn trust and reveal a little piece of you, all while emphasizing your special talents.

3.) Share personal stories.

What is really going on with you? Try to present the good and bad aspects of your experiences in a balanced way that accurately reflects reality. It's usually nice to put a positive spin on your communications but it's especially good to keep it real, even if that means ranting a bit. Create evocative experiences that hug hearts. Share who or what is giving you life right now. Do you want others to get excited about what excites you? If you can generate positive energy on command, people will follow you and help execute your mission.

4.) Explain your creative thought process.

Let others in on how you arrived at your answer or reason for doing something. It's one thing to show off a piece of your work but by shedding light on your workflow and sharing some of your deeper insights you learned along the way, you'll help people understand where you're coming from better. Pose questions. You can learn a lot about people by the things they are curious about.

5.) Cultivate community.

It's important for freelancers, startups and small businesses to proactively network. Engage with your followers and the people you follow. Go beyond just clicking the like button. Instead, respond with a thoughtful and personalized comment. Don't worry about people copying you. Ideas are a dime a dozen. What really matters is execution, and the truth is none of us can do that much by ourselves. We need other people that are excited by our vision that can help bring it to life. The only way to find those people is to be open online. You never know who's going to share your same endeavors.

If you sit back quietly, you will never discover the validity (or stupidity) of your ideas. Step into the light and be willing to shine. Yes, there is going to be the risk of ridicule and failure, but no matter what, you will learn and grow… and in the end, that's what's important for being authentic.