I was recently on a lovely date at the Park Theatre watching ‘Little Voice’. It was incredible show – I was enraptured by the passionate storyline about a young woman whose coping strategy to deal with an abusive parent was to mimic the singing of megastars.
As I sat there, though, a feeling of anxiety rose beneath the surface. I heard the thought: “I should be telling a Facebook story about this show – it would be a perfect moment to promote my brand.”
The counter thought was: “Can’t I just have a minute to enjoy this experience? The whole point of running your own company is to have freedom to live!”
This dilemma is still sitting with me.
I love what I do. I love my clients and how they bring me closer to the world of creativity and the arts. I get a rush of excitement every time I see one of my actors perform, a musician plays a gig or an artist launches an exhibition.
At the same time, I feel an ongoing pressure to be documenting my every creative move for the world to see. I feel a duty to inspire others to live a creative life. As a person who is essentially driven by the desire to connect in an authentic way, I feel at odds with the need to broadcast what I’m doing.
I ask myself, when the need to tweet constantly becomes the new priority, where do we separate life from work if our whole existence is to constantly be on show? I never wanted to be a public figure – but as I develop my business, I feel the necessity of being that.
Do you feel the same way?
So many of my clients have chosen their profession because expressing themselves fills them with joy. Many are introverts who love to jump into a state of creative bliss. To constantly promote yourself adds a burden and can take away from the joy of simply doing.
So I want to share my thoughts on this topic and where I am finding my own way through the jungle of social media narration.
These are my thoughts.
1. Remember how lucky we are as creatives living in this era
Having social media at our fingertips gives us access to promoting ourselves to anyone in the world. It gives us a whole new freedom that we’ve never had before. If you learn the basic skills to make the most of using social media, then for the first time in history you can build any relationship you want with any person across the globe. Everyone was a distant figure in the past – but now you are free to connect, reach out and build relationships as well as your profile.
Whenever you feel frustrated, remember that in the past it was so much harder to compete with others, and if you are committed, you can really build a profile and a following. You can have a career on your own terms, without the interference of managers or agents taking a cut.
2. Keep it simple and enjoyable
Where I went wrong was trying to do it all. When I first set up my business, I started a YouTube channel, went on Twitter and Facebook, designed my own website, started a blog and within a few months I felt exhausted. I did everything reluctantly and without joy. It felt like a burden and the shadow of that time still affects me.
If I were to start again, I would do only one thing to start with and focus on that. Trying to be vocal across social media is time-consuming and unnecessary. Focus on one for a while and pick the one that you find enjoyable. I like Facebook because it feels sociable and fun.
3. Get rid of perfectionism and share your joy
One of the barriers in my mind to sharing regularly on social media is a constant noise in my head that tells me that I shouldn’t share a video if I’m having a bad hair day or If I don’t have good lighting. I even worry that I’ll be annoying if I enthuse too much. Perhaps it’s glib, too boastful, too much! Basically, the barrier is normally related to the feeling that I’ll be judged – an annoyingly common trait of being human.
So I have to remember the purpose of sharing my world is to build trust. The more people that know and relate to, the more likely they are to feel connected to my work. The more connections I build, the more I will have a community of people I really like to work with. It’s an equation – the more I share of myself, the more trust I can build. It’s like any relationship.
4. Share stories
As you know, I’m a big fan of storytelling as it transformed my experience of social media and helped me to promote myself in ways that I found enjoyable. I used to find the whole world of Facebook a bit superficial, but when I discovered that finding stories in my everyday life could be a way of making social media meaningful, it helped me to actually make it a meaningful part of what I do.
Look around. What have you read today, who said something that sparked some passion? Finding moments of meaning in our day and sharing them can be a way to spark conversations with other people and it can actually enhance your working day instead of adding another block to it.
If you found this topic helpful – I’m running an event on 25th September in London. Here is a link to the event. Click here: Trailblazer Tribe Live
I would love to know your thoughts on this topic.
Do you ever find social media a chore? If so – which of my thoughts do you find meaningful?
Hope it helps