Transparency, authenticity, and trust are vital traits for an LNC. But, how open and honest should you be when you share your story?
Podcasters Pat Flynn and Jon Lee Dumas are notorious for their transparency, going so far as to post monthly income. You might think that when you’re making the kind of money they do, 6+ figures each month, it’s easy to share. Perhaps even inspirational to their audiences.
But it might also be off-putting to some since talking about money is often seen as vulgar. In this case, though, it works to attract the exact audience they are after. Others will find other mentors, and that is, after all, the point of marketing.
There are other forms of transparency as well. For example, coping with depression, cancer, addictions, and other health issues are shared on social media and sometimes on legal nurse consulting list servs or email lists.
We even witness the struggles within a marriage that people find easy to post. I’ve seen people who attack their competitors online – never a good thing to do!
You have heard of how people can get in trouble on social media, when being too revealing creates trouble:
- the criminal who led the police to his door by sharing that he has just committed a crime
- the January 6, 2021 insurrectionists who shared video footage and photos on social media, inviting the FBI right to their door
- the doctors who bragged about a contest to guess the correct weight of an organ (and posted pictures of the organs in the OR)
- the nurse who got fired after posting comments about a critically ill child who had a rare form of measles
- the plaintiffs who swore they were disabled – right before they posted pictures of their ski trips or running a marathon
- the adulterous spouse who posted pictures of his girlfriend
These are extreme yet true examples of what people share with the world every day. You don’t have to be that candid and honest about all of your life and business areas. You can – and should – leave certain aspects of your life private.
Social Media Transparency
This can be a little tricky. Hopefully, you have created your personal profile and a business profile. Your personal Facebook page should be designed for family and friends to share and connect, while your business profile is strictly business.
The problem is that they can overlap. Colleagues will likely see your personal timeline and you to theirs. It doesn’t take long when your business associates are reading about your health issues, the embarrassing posts from your sister about her latest broken relationship, and so on.
It’s vital to pay attention to what you say and who you are saying it to with social media sharing. Use privacy settings, and limit who you ‘friend’ to maintain your privacy while being transparent about your business offerings.
The Internet is Forever (and Ever)
Privacy settings can help. However, what happens if your personal information and interactions are exposed to public view? Hey – with technology, anything is possible. The best way to keep your personal life from being seen is not to put anything out there that you wouldn’t mind anyone and everyone from seeing.
Therefore, think about your blog posts, Facebook status and updates, LinkedIn posts, Tweets, and Instagram as potential ‘leaks’ to the public. You’ve heard how easy it can be for your social media accounts to be hacked. No matter how strong and secure you think your privacy setting is set, private information may get revealed. And once it’s out there, you will not be able to retrieve what was leaked.
Think carefully about what you share, including comments on other people’s posts, private details, and confidential information. The only guaranteed control of your privacy is YOU.
The bottom line is to know your audience and yourself. Therefore, if you’re not comfortable sharing certain aspects of your life and business, don’t put yourself in that position. It’s ok to maintain your privacy and limit your exposure.
Transparency with Boundaries
In conclusion, your image and reputation are too important to be careless about revealing personal matters on social media. If you don’t think business associates don’t peek at your private profiles on social media, you are wrong. People are curious to know someone better, and the internet offers the fast-tracking of relationships, both personal and business.
Pat Iyer is president of The Pat Iyer Group, which develops resources to assist LNCs to obtain more clients, make more money, and achieve their business goals and dreams.
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