IS YOUR ONLINE PERSONALITY THE REAL YOU?

by Paula on March 24, 2011

Anyone who knows me will know that I’m passionate about business, about people, and about how and why we do the things we do. This last week I have been busy working, networking, reading and learning – a pretty normal week then – but a few things that I’ve come across have left me thinking about personalities, public / private personas and how complicated people make things for themselves!

Networking

Last week I attended 2 networking events. One was a suited and booted business breakfast attracting a wide range of businesses owners, the other was a Mums in Business event whose attendees probably need no further introduction! The difference in the feel of the events was marked. In the first event it was very much about presentation, impressing people and talking yourself up. The second event was full of support, reassurance, understanding and care. In the first event, to win business you needed to impress, in the second all you needed was to be a nice human being and if people want your services and warm to you, you’re away. Interesting…

Social Media

Now Social Media offers a new angle to networking. It is very much about personality, about being yourself and about creating awareness of who you are and what you do through relationships and conversation. So who are you online? Are you the person who has decided what your personality ought to be and are acting it out? Or are you the “this is me, warts and all” person? It’s interesting that when Social Media is about people and connections, some businesses are choosing 3rd parties to represent them online. I’m not against this, but it can only work if that 3rd party is fully integrated with your business and ‘part of the team’. If this person is held at arm’s length then surely the only personality they are giving out is their own?

What if you have a gregarious, fun-loving, social person managing your online presence and your adoring audience come in to meet you and they find someone totally different, because that wasn’t you or your brand? There is no one personality type that wins business. People do business with people. Some people will warm to a gregarious extrovert, some people will warm to a more shy and thoughtful person.

And surely, if there are people out there who will buy from you because they connect with your personality, the easiest personality to take on is the one which you already have!

I’m all for acting confident on the outside and it will soon come more naturally but make that a more confident version of you, not a portrayal of someone that you think you ought to be.

I was reading this article this morning:

Social networking: A fun cocktail party not a psychologist’s couch

I definitely think that constant moaning will not help you win friends and influence people, but a constant stream of how fantastic you and your business are, will tire people in the same way. Be human, be you, share and care, but don’t be afraid to be real. If things aren’t perfect, sharing the fact that they aren’t makes you feel more real and that’s what connecting and developing relationships with people is all about.

{ 2 comments }

Sarah Leighton March 25, 2011 at 6:26 pm

I really enjoyed reading your blog Paula. It certainly made me think about my approach to putting myself and my business across to others. I’m sure there are many who thrive on a more formal networking approach but I find that if I can connect with someone then I feel that I’ve achieved something!

Our daughter’s currently studying Acting and she very definitely gets into ‘the role’ of her character but there is no depth to that and personally I’d prefer to see the personality behind the facade. ‘Different strokes for different folks’ I suppose – in the end it all depends on what you are confortable with yourself!

Jenni Donno March 24, 2011 at 4:44 pm

Lovely blog and definitely food for thought. I work as a hypnotherapist and counsellor as well as working with social media, so the two have to merge together. How much can we actually know someone from an online presence when most human communication comes from our body language?

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