Have you ever wanted to share something on social media and then stopped yourself because it felt too personal? Or watched someone else share what seems like everything and wished you could too? Or felt that that would be way out of your comfort zone?
This week on the podcast we’re talking about where that line is. And I’m sharing a little life update and my rule for figuring out how much personal stuff to share on my business account.
In business you need to show up genuinely, authentically, and share some of who you are behind the scenes so that your audience understands who you are as a person, what you value, and whether or not you’re a good fit for what they want to do.
If they are going to hire you to work one-on-one, if they’re going to join a group program, or any program where they are going to be asking you questions or getting your feedback, people really want to be comfortable with who they’re hiring.
This means you need to build a certain level of trust and part of doing that is sharing who you really are as a human. Finding the line between personal and business isn’t too difficult when you’re sharing hobbies, your pets, and other fun stuff but there may come a point where you feel almost obligated to share some of the not so fun stuff. Especially if it’s affecting how you show up online.
And because I am currently at that point myself I think it’s a good conversation for us to have today. Where is the line between sharing enough personal stuff to help your audience understand and relate to you but not so much that you end up feeling uncomfortable or like you’ve crossed your own boundaries?
This is hard to figure out because some people on Instagram are on stories, going live, showing up 24/7, and it feels like and they’re sharing everything. While others share next to nothing and you barely even see their face. So it can be confusing to figure out how much we really should share of what goes on behind the scenes while also showing up professionally or looking like an expert.
I have been trying to figure this out for myself over the past six months because I have decided to end my three-year relationship. And because of how much I show up and share I knew at some point I would want to mention it because many of you have been following me for a long time and I’m sure you’ll wonder why my boyfriend has disappeared.
I know I’ve watched a few people on Instagram who have changed their relationship. One was engaged and was showing them looking at wedding venues and then a year later I realized that her fiancé had kind of disappeared from her Instagram and there was a new dude she was showing up with. So throughout this process I’ve been trying to figure out if it would just be like a slow fade or if I was going to show up and actually address my personal life. Especially since I’ll be moving out of the apartment we’re currently in and the background for all my videos will be changing so it will be pretty obvious.
I’m not the type to bring my drama onto the Internet, use it as a place to air my dirty laundry, or process what’s happening. So my challenge has been figuring out when do I want to talk about this and how do I want to talk about it?
For the past couple of months I’ve been doing a lot of work behind the scenes to take care of myself, figuring out what’s going to happen, what I want to happen, how to get through it as unscathed as possible.
What I realized is that I was waiting because I just didn’t want to talk about it yet with anyone other than my family, friends, and my therapist. I wanted to go through all of it behind the scenes, get to a place where I feel OK moving forward, and then share it – which is kind of where I’m at now.
The thing that I realized is that if I show up and mention what’s going on I will have to have the conversation. I will have to talk about it – whether that is responding to people who just want to cheer me on, people who want to share their own experiences, people who have comments or questions.
So that line for me is that I will share the not-great personal things if I want to talk about it. Even up to last month I was still feeling sensitive and unsure of what was going to happen since we had just moved into this apartment. I was doing lots of journaling and mindset work, and I did mention a few times that I was going through some personal stuff which is why I’ve been a little bit quieter on social media and kind of staying in my own bubble and taking care of myself. But now I think I’m through the bulk of the difficult stuff and I now have the bandwidth to respond to anyone who does want to chat.
So my guide for where the line between personal and business is if you don’t wanna talk about it yet, don’t share it.
It’s helpful to have little pieces of your personal life woven into your business content because it does help to build the trust you need to turn followers into customers and clients. But you don’t have to talk about any personal stuff that you don’t want to. That’s the important part of the rule – to feel in your gut if you have the energy and bandwidth to talk about it.
I was listening to Brene Brown’s podcast recently and she was talking about sharing tough stuff with an audience and said her rule for sharing personal stuff is, “if my healing is dependent on your response, I’m not ready to share it.”
Which I love because it helps us to remember that sometimes we need to do our own work, in our own little bubble off-line, before we’re ready to show up and talk about it.
I think I am at a point after six months of dealing with all this relationship stuff that I feel comfortable and confident with my choices and where my life is headed now. I know that no matter how people respond (you all are awesome so it’s almost always positive) but if anyone were to respond negatively it wouldn’t throw me off or change how I feel about that relationship or my progress and healing.
So that’s another thing to keep in mind that the opinions and comments – even if they are coming from a good place, they can often add another layer to your healing that maybe you don’t need or want.
So I’d love to hear your thoughts on this – do you have a defined line or rule of thumb when it comes to what you’ll share online? Is there a different line for the tough stuff as opposed to the every day stuff – or do you just share it all? Head over to Instagram, find me @xosarahmorgan and look for the episode #64 post and let’s chat.