The very social conditioning that impacts the way women interact in everyday life, also impacts their online engagement. As such, many women feel at the mercy of the digital world – like they need to defend their right to participate in it, rather than carve and build their unique identity, brand and presence. This prevents them from building the innovative, credible and powerful movements they are capable of.
Most commonly, they find themselves experiencing one of the following problems:
- Feeling unable to put their true thought leadership out into the world for fear of retribution,
- Rendering themselves ball and chain to their digital assets in a constant state of self-defence, or;
- Completely shutting down in the face of public scrutiny, feeling unable to respond at all, let alone effectively
I’m An Individual!
Effectively managing your online presence requires an individualised and targeted strategy, beyond basic social media management. Without it, a lot of time and energy is lost in social media ‘noise.’ Make no mistake that your market pays attention to how you engage and respond. The more influential your brand becomes, the more amplified the personal and professional repercussions.
If you are at the point where you feel like your market is eating you alive and engaging online is exhausting, stressful and downright bewildering, please feel free to get in touch. In the meantime, here are three key recommendations to get you started on effectively managing your online presence:
1: Be empowered in your online spaces and set standards with your market
- Think of our digital world as like a neighbourhood, with digital assets (including social media pages) being our personal patch of digital landscape. Just as you visit the space of others as a guest, they also visit your space as a guest. As we move through the neighbourhood and experience different spaces, we make decisions about the kind of places we want to hang out in.
- Holding your market to a high standard of engagement from the outset is crucial for maintaining a culture that aligns with your movement. It enables you to attract your ideal guests, whilst simultaneously allowing the non-ideal audience to self-select out.
- How you exactly go about setting standards and expectations will depend on the platform and your market.
2: Be clear on your own personal standards for engagement
- The reality is when you are positively disrupting and building an innovative or progressive movement, and doing it well, it’s going to challenge the thinking of many people. Not everyone is going to agree with your personal leadership approach or the mission at hand – it’s not your job to convince them to. The most successful leaders in history always stood for something, instead of nothing or everything. How you differentiate yourself matters.
- It’s important to not only create a human centred strategy for the calibre of people you would like to reach and be connected to online, but to also set your own personal standards for engagement. This includes the way you approach and connect, as well as the way you respond and disconnect.
- The personal standards you set will depend on your individual leadership identity, values, market and brand. Consider:
- The kind of discussions you want to create, participate in and how that contributes to your overall strategy
- The type of commentary that’s simply not worth your time engaging in. For example, there’s a difference between discussing facts, and wasting hours down the rabbit hole with people who want to debate whether facts exist
- What your boundaries are for the way people engage with you. For example, no one has to put up with inappropriate, insulting or abusive conduct, regardless of their position
3: Be resistant to justification
A key mistake that many high-profile leaders make is falling victim to justification. When the realms of justification are entered, it immediately transitions the conversation from an opportunity to engage, inform and serve to being driven by the need to be ‘right’ or justified.
Your market will be looking to you for assurance, certainty, vision and credibility. One of the surest signs of an uncertain leader is the need to ‘prove’ themselves.
High quality leaders understand that regardless of their level of success, there are going to be times when they are the most knowledgeable in a room, and times when they’re the least knowledgeable. Regardless of what room you are in, learning can occur in some of the most surprising and unexpected places. Always be open to it.
This article first appeared on shevonnejoyce.com
About Shevonne Joyce
Shevonne Joyce teaches women the secrets of how to be the true go-to brand in their industry and create businesses and brands that are as successful on the inside as they appear on the outside. For a confidential conversation, please get in touch.