4 Ways to Avoid the Ick Factor

4 Ways to Avoid the Ick Factor

I often hear clients say they hate social media because talking about themselves makes them feel icky. Even worse, they don’t feel like they have anything to say! In hearing this, I’ve realized there are thousands of individuals who aren't utilizing social media because of doubt, fear, or other negative aversions.

Think of social media as another communication channel. Posting on social media is like calling your mom—multiplied by your amount of connections! Social media offers you scalable reputation and relationship management. (#Winning!)

Today’s blog addresses the “ick” factor so you can deliver more of the “it” factor in your posts.


Step 1: Examine why you feel icky

My guess is that you have some limiting beliefs. It may be easy for you to play a character, but not as easy to put your own self "out there" (which is why auditioning is such a skill)! Social media is more like auditioning than performing—only you get instant feedback from a global audience. For business readers, the translation would be to treat your social media as a beta test.

I work to empower my clients before equipping them with tools and strategies. Until you have the confidence to speak to 7 billion people online, you will not be utilizing your full potential on the Internet.

There will always be critics in the world. I encourage you to read and remember Marianne Williamson’s quote:


You are enough. You are worthy of being seen and heard. If you need more help examining and eradicating your limiting beliefs, I'd encourage you to subscribe to ActorInspiration.com. (It's not just for actors!)


Step 2: Redefine self-promotion

Now that you're out of your own way, let’s redefine the use of social media. You’re not self-promoting, you are sharing your best and truest self consistently. I want you to share only your best self (stay positive), truest self (be authentic—it’s what makes you stand out), and be consistent (in your tone and frequency).


Step 3: Share one gracious update at a time

Part of the reason you may feel icky sharing online is that you know how easy it is to impact someone negatively. You've been there—comparing your reality to someone else's success. As such, do not share more than one update at a time. When you share a bit of good news, reviews, press, etc., make sure you always add in vulnerability or gratitude. The quote retweet (versus a direct retweet) on Twitter makes this easy. Adding in vulnerability or gratitude will make your audience fall even more in love with you. "You're a real person, just like me!"


Step 4: Make it about your audience

Always add value with what you share. Why should I care? Your value add can be a #selfie! Typically, selfies share your best and truest self. The value add in a selfie is that you're sharing an update to people who care about you. However, adding value (for your audience) does not include "selling" what you're doing. That’s when things get icky.

Sharing your best and truest self consistently can approach the fine line that separates narcissism and bragging. However, as long as you keep the focus on your audience and follow the other three steps in this article, you will avoid the “ick” factor and deliver more of the “it” factor online!

Whose "self-promotion" do you respect? Comment below!

Tony Howell is a digital strategist dedicated to helping you design your future—creating offline success from your online presence.