Finding Your Voice Online And Offline: Success today seems to be measured by virality. How many people notice. Quantity of likes over quality of life. This truth can make it difficult to pursue what we’re passionate about, to live a life with intention, and to find our authentic voice…because what’s the point if nobody notices?
Showing up online comes with it’s challenges. Of course, these challenges are out-weighed by the rewards. However, it is important to know how to handle these hurdles as to not let them interfere with our greater purpose.
One challenge is sharing our gift online- through social media, blogging and other online marketing efforts. Sometimes, the more passion we feel toward our work the more confusing our message and voice sounds. We have so much to say, so many different platforms and so many people telling us how to say it.
Finding Your Voice Online And Offline
The Internet is a functional and profitable marketing tool, but it takes a clear message to break through the noise.
The problem lies in the fact that we’re manipulating our voices in an attempt to reach everyone. In sharing these manipulated versions of our message online, it becomes convoluted. This leads to a confused audience and a misunderstood brand voice.
The truth is, we don’t need to reach everyone, we just need to reach our ideal audience. What we can work on is how to articulate exactly what we’re offering them. What is our message?
My fear is that we are becoming more concerned with being noticed than with being true to ourselves. The more we try to sound like everyone else, the more we distance ourselves from those who truly need to hear us. Developing a genuine understanding of who we are and what we intend the give is the first step in attracting the right audience.
I am a writer. At a point, I began to notice that the more words I got out there, the more I found myself crafting them to fit a certain mold, a mold that my words didn’t align with. Lists. Bullet points. Watered down. Catchy. I lost my focus and felt defeated. So, I came up with a mission statement and it goes like this:
I write to share my thoughts. In doing so, I hope to maybe relate to one other person reading my words and make them feel a little more connected to the human experience, a little less alone.
That’s it. That is all I intend to do when I write words and share them.
Crafting my mission statement helped me remember this and gave focus to my writing. It reminded me that my work’s purpose reaches far beyond virality.
In fine-tuning my mission, I was able to align my life and my work in a way that translated naturally over into my online efforts. My work became an extension of myself.
You see, just as celebrities are airbrushed, photoshopped and meticulously manicured to look and sound a certain way, so are we! We all do this via social media. We perpetuate our personalities, online, through the articles we choose to share, the causes we choose to support, the filters we choose to color our moments with.
Let us all take a moment to craft your own mission statement
What is your message?
Who needs to hear it?
These are not particularly easy questions to answer, but once they are, success is sure to follow. And I don’t mean success in terms of virality. Numbers, likes, followers. I mean success in terms of living a fulfilling, well-intentioned life. This will then naturally bleed over into our online presence and a CLEAR VOICE will begin to emerge.
This exercise in crafting a mission statement will help us to become further grounded in our bigger purpose. The fears of inadequacy, of what people will say, of not making it, those fears quickly go away once we define our purpose, both online and off.
As long as we are staying true to our purpose, there is no room left to internalize other’s negativity. From there we are merely taking small steps toward our ultimate goal, our greater good. If, along the way, those steps are met with ridicule or criticism or are so far apart we have to leap to the next one, we won’t be afraid. Fear is replaced with confidence once we know what we’re working for. Live a life with intention and the destination suddenly doesn’t matter, its the work done on the journey that really counts.