Transparency at network meetingsTransparency norms

Transparency. Thanks to social networking the filters for personal sharing have been recalibrated. Posts range from rants to raves. What was once considered risque is now the social norm. Does a boomerang effect exist where too much transparency works against you?

Wikipedia states: “transparency in a social context more generally, implies openness, communication, and accountability. It is a metaphorical extension of the meaning a “transparent” object is one that can be seen through.

Transparency is important. People want to know who you are, what you do and how those things influence your work. In a digital world, transparency builds relationships when it’s done right.

Social networking risks

Transparency is important. People want to know who you are, what you do and how that influences your work. Read full post. #getpaidwhatyoureworth Click To Tweet

My training as a therapist taught me to separate my professional life from my personal life. Yes, I deeply care about my clients. The only time I would reveal anything about myself was if it would somehow benefit them.

Social networking forced me to re-evaluate those beliefs. Transparency is “the name of the game.” Each personal post initially challenged my comfort zone. Social sharing felt risky, vulnerable and unpredictable. There was one part of me which wanted to join in the conversation and another part of me completely resistant. Can you relate?

As I look back, I realize how much I’ve changed. Old beliefs which guarded my personal life served me for a long time. And yes, my first posts felt awkward as I wondered how much to share. Each new post slowly chipped away at my guardedness.

Engaging in a global community where I could be part of a global community pushed me forward. Like any new thing, mistakes and faux pas posts occurred. Even the mistakes built trust.

The difference between personal and private

Then I learned this easy rule from Mari Smith. She simply clarified the difference between personal and private. She claimed if I was not comfortable with something being a headline on the New York Times, then it was private. Yup, I could follow that rule of thumb.

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How social networking builds relationships:

1. Edge. How do you stand out in a crowded virtual space? Share your opinions and your interests. Allow yourself to be authentic.

2. Experience. What type of experience do your connections have when they see your posts? Do they relate to you as a human being or a bot? Investigate what gets a response and when there’s dead silence.

3. Expand. People want to know who they’re doing business with. Personally, I talk to my friends when I’m seeking a service provider and don’t have a direct connection. Picking someone out of a phone book or Google is a last resort. Social media will drive business your way.

4. Easy. Here’s where less is more. Five seconds is all you get to grab someone’s attention. How will you grab someone’s attention? Social media is constantly streaming. Use pictures or media as a way to stand out.

5. Everywhere. People will see you everywhere, online and offline. You want it to be seamless so your online presence reflects the real you. I’ve attended seminars across the country. At those conferences, people who read my posts will introduce themselves as if we’ve been long time friends. Social networking builds relationships. It’s so much fun to have an in-person conversation with a virtual connection.

Social networking, when done right, creates trust. People want to catch a glimpse behind the curtain. So leave the mask behind and have some fun. Allow your personality to shine through.

Remove the mask

Social networking, when done right, creates trust. Leave the mask behind and have some fun. Read full post. #getpaidwhatyoureworth Click To Tweet

What do you do to build relationships with your clients? Transparency extends beyond social networking. What you do offline ought to compliment what you share online. You’ve discovered the right formula when people you’ve never met before feel like they know you.

Feel like you want to get more involved in social networking to build relationships, but lack the confidence? I know how scary it can be. What I realized is how you do one thing is how you do everything.

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