How to be authentic

Don’t read blog posts about “how to be authentic.”

Seriously, that’s the best advice I can give you. The only way to be authentic is to genuinely be yourself. It’s easier said than done.

If you’re still reading, there are one or two pointers I can give:

Choose an actual name for your online persona
If you can avoid it, don’t engage under the name of your business. Instead, use your real name and include the business either in the handle or prominently in the bio. Social media, as a channel has grown around actual people actually speaking to each other. The minute that someone pops up who is blatantly trying to sell something, the audience will turn away and speak amongst themselves.

Don’t be a retweet machine
Real people have something to say. That’s what sparks relationships. Spend more time actually saying stuff than you do retweeting other people’s.

Don’t be afraid to make mistakes
You can’t spend all your time following the advice of various social media “gurus” (sorry @mike_mcgrail). If you did you would only ever say the right thing. Sometimes the wrong thing is equally as interesting. You might lose some followers but think about the ones you’ll gain.

A picture tells a thousand words
It’s an oldie but a goodie. Not only should you choose a picture of yourself as your avatar. If at all possible, make sure you share photos of the interesting things that you’re spraffing about. Pictures get more than double the click-through that text content does. It’s basic maths.

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