“Tell the people a little about yourself,” he gently prodded his son.
The boy proceeded to list off a series of things he liked: “Ummm, I like Thomas the Tank Engine, and my teacher at school, and summer . . .”
And he was just warming up.
He became even more animated as he continued to share all the things he loves, and the many reasons why.
His openness not only made me smile – it made my day.
Unfortunately, this openness seems to be pounded out of most of us by the time we reach our teens. We seem to cross a threshold where we start second-guessing ourselves, and begin editing out some of what makes us genuinely unique.
Can you imagine a four-year old pausing and thinking to himself; “What if my audience thinks I’m silly for liking Thomas the Tank Engine? Maybe I should say I prefer Tonka trucks instead . . .”
Nope, he had zero filters; he joyfully shared his enthusiasms without editing.
And it was some of the best radio programming I heard all weekend.
Two strangers meet at a party . . .
The typical icebreaker for adults is something like, “what do you do for a living?” And that’s the extent of what we share: “I am a professor.” “I work at the bank.”
Yet that’s the stuff that rarely draws others to us. We could be speaking with a potentially fascinating new friend, but for the moment, he or she is hiding behind a safe facade of “I am my job title.”
We often have so much auto-filtering going on, we can wall-off the most interesting parts of ourselves. The irony is it’s often all those hidden gems about ourselves that draw people to us, and this is especially true online.
While sticking to safe topics can work fine at social events, this kind of filtering and self-editing when communicating your message for your online business can be deadly.
Two strangers meet, online . . .
On the social media sites and on our own websites, it’s like one big party — or it can be.
Online, people are searching for connection with real people who are willing to openly share with the world what they love, what they enjoy, and what they are passionate about – without filters.
As an online solopreneur, letting people in to connect to us personally is not only essential to getting noticed online, but essential to online success.
That four-year was a great reminder to me of how enjoyable unfiltered enthusiasm can be. And when you think about it: this kind of attitude is at the center of any marketing communication that really works.
Think about it. Which blogs or magazines do you read on a regular basis? Most often, the people we are drawn to are as passionate about their topic as is our four-year old friend. They might have strong opinions about their topic. They’ll take a stand, on one side or the other. And they are usually not worried about what people think about them.
Sometimes, taking that stand may drive some people away. And that’s OK – because those we do draw to us are people who really “get us.”
You want to draw a crowd? You want an audience waiting for your every word? Nail down what you’re passionate, enthusiastic, and excited about.
And talk about it.