I spend very little time and effort to promote or direct people to my Facebook Fan Page. Which I do have one and I do believe there is a place for the fan page but not for me. I learned early on that Social Media is about real and authentic relationships. Something that is important to me away from the computer so why not be that same person in the online space.
A little over two years ago I decided to make my personal Facebook page public. I had a woman in Social Media casting and creating stories about me that were not true. Tweeting out that I was being investigated by the FBI and other silly things. Some of my clients contacted me laughing at the absurdity as they saw these tweets. They know me in real time. For much of the work I do not only do I have to have a background check, but lots of compliance as well. Rather than defend myself I decided to live my life as a professional online as I do in every day real time. I had already been considering the idea of making my personal page a more public one. I already had most of my clients on my personal page. My clients, my friends and my family in all parts of my life are shared online. Lines blurred from business to friendship, because my clients and colleagues are also my friends. After all that is who I am away from Social Media. This way if someone questioned who I might be they could simply take a look for themselves. This online space is subject to much fraudulent behaviors. I have learned some important advantages to having an open personal Facebook which I am just busting out to share.
It use to be, long before social media that the norm for most people was that work did not mix with family. This was not the case for me. I have had clients as guests in my home, over for dinner, clients coming to my home office when my kids needed me home and even employee parties hosted in my home. Online media has proven to be no different. Here are some of the fruitful and fun advantages….
1. I love that social to me, is actually bringing my clients into my everyday life. Who I am in business and who I am in my personal life are one in the same. Except I may dress a little nicer for the business parts of my life.
2. When your clients see who you really are, they get to make a decision about how they bring you into their business. I am family oriented and have organized my business life that my family is not compromised. My clients embrace that, and there is much grace on my part when they have a family conflict or emergency. And if they can’t reach me, it must be because I am on the water with my family.
3. Let’s face it I have a sense of humor. Just a few days ago my daughter tweeted this out. If you know this about me, then when we are sitting in a boardroom, and I bust out laughing. We both know there truly was a funny moment.
4. Shared meals that we all like. I have a client that took me to this amazing outdoor restaurant with fresh ingredients in LA. I wish I remember the name of the restaurant. He told me that after seeing my food posts on FB he knew just the place to take me.
5. My clients share their resources because they see on Facebook what my kids love. Ethan who loves planes got to meet his stunt flying hero Kirby Chambliss. Eric who loves cars received hot passes to Nascar and we all attended with him and all the boys were able to be part of a boarding competition and bring their friends along.
6. Having my personal page open also allows my clients to see other projects I am working on, and they come along to support those projects. Hanging out in Nashville at the Country Music Festival for a week with @JessicaNorthey & @EmilyOtteson and then receiving private messages from clients on how they can support this project.
7. Trusting that young girl who shows up in the board room. Emily has worked beside me in business since she was 14 years old. She is held to a high standard and walks in both humility and integrity. My clients see us being mom and daughter and business professionals. I never understood the value of this until a client pulled me aside and said he has never trusted his company with a 23 year old until he met Emily.
I know that for many this is not an option. However if being social in being social then guess what? You get to know my friends, my clients, and my colleagues as well as my family and even who I am dating. Which John, has been subject to all my online and public displays.
The next post will about “How To Be Safe in this Public Life.” Stay tuned.