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Creating our identity - the influence of coaching and technology

Creating our identity - the influence of coaching and technology

I recently read an article that was compelling and disturbing at the same time on how technology is messing with our identity and how in the future, with the rapid changes that are occurring,  it is going to be even more difficult for a person to “find themselves” than it is now.  And for many, this is a serious quest. 

It was argued that our sense of identity usually comes from many factors in our lives – what we do, what we own, who we love and care for, our various roles, our gender, sexuality, race, the way we look, what we’re good at where we were born, what we habitually do, how we measure up to others - to name a few!  Many of these are external references which suggests that our identity comes from outside and from within.  

How is technology changing this?
Social media allows us to selectively choose what how we present ourselves to the world. We can become a person that appears to be quite different perhaps from who we really are – an extrovert, a party goer, a happy, fun loving , or excessively healthy individual. You choose. Many of us believe we are posting real images of who we are – with the people we love, on special holidays, yet even this is a snapshot of a point in time when things were going well!  And creates an impression of how we want to be seen.  

Our possessions are becoming simplified with many things stored online, no need for cash any more!  Our memories are digital photos.  If we can remember where we stored them!

Virtual reality games have become so popular where the player takes on a role to play –and uses their skills to make decisions during hundreds of hours of play.  They try on an identity in a safe environment and it can become so addictively pleasurable that they might just “give up” the real world, not having to deal with messy complex things like feelings, failure and relationships that you can’t always control as easily as you can in cyberspace.  

Cosmetic surgery has become easier and cheaper and genetics is moving rapidly towards our having the ability to switch on and off certain genes that influence who we are or might become. Pharmaceutical drugs allow us to alter our brain chemistry so we can have the kind of mood that suits who we want to be.  

And then there’s our daily life spent continually online even when we’re going about our normal routine. Constant distractions, interruptions affect our ability to be present and in the moment.

After writing the above, I then think of going into a coaching session – as coach or coachee. And everything slows down. We slip into a relaxed and calm conversation where the pace of life decreases and and atmosphere of curiosity and exploration is created. Good coaching helps us work out how we see ourselves and who we want to be.  We can explore our strengths and what we enjoy doing. (Much of our identity is determined by what we feel most valuable doing.) We can talk about what matters to us and why we think certain things are important.  We have time to explore our beliefs, both rational and irrational – work out what are still relevant with who we are today. Most of all we can take the time to think, feel and explore our individuality and question how we live and whether this life is giving us what we need.  Do we have time to relish and savour experiences, people and feelings? In the process, we hope that we can eventually work out who we really are.

3 Reasons to Blog (and 3 Reasons Not To)

If you’re new in business, you might have the feeling that everyone seems to be blogging. You’ve seen these a bunch of people promoting ‘master blogging’ and ‘how to blog’ courses – should you jump in and spend the money? Should you join the fray and get yourself out into the blogging world?

Consider this carefully before you jump in. There are 3 very good reasons to blog, but also, 3 show-stopping reasons why you shouldn’t bother.

3 Reasons to Blog

Reason 1 – Huge Potential Exposure
Notice that I said ‘potential’. In a face to face environment, your viriality is largely as good as your word-of-mouth referrals, boosted by any advertising you do. 

But in the online environment, for example, a social media platform, you have the potential to reach hundreds of thousands of people…..if you have relevant, interesting content and some idea of how to market yourself.  

Reason 2 – Emotional Connection
In the blogging world, if you can open up and be authentic, a little bit vulnerable, and honest, people will read your words and connect emotionally. They’ll be engaged with what you talk about if you talk from the heart, and you’ll start building a devoted tribe. 

Reason 3 – Profile Building
You become known for your values and the things you stand up for. 
Communicating those strong, congruous messages in your LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, blog and website can help you build a recognisable profile in your industry. 

How? Use certain platforms and tactics to rapidly build testimonials, endorsements, referrals and recommendations for your work. These endorsements are known as ‘social proof’ which helps you gain credibility and trust – essential for building a tribe, or selling. 

Reasons Not to Blog

Reason 1 – You’re Inconsistent 
Let’s say you’re not really into the online gig, or you’re busy, or don’t have a clear plan (marketing plan, editorial calendar). If you don’t post blogs regularly, you won’t build profile and you won’t be seen.  
People will see that you’re ‘hit and miss’ and that impression might imply that you’re the same way in your work.
Not a good look. With blogging, you’re either in, or you’re out.

Reason 2 – You’re Too Vanilla
If your blogs offer the same information and perspective as every other blogger on the same topic, you simply won’t stand out. You’ll be vanilla – and you’ll potentially be seen as another ‘me too’ blog that offers no unique point of difference and blends in with the masses.
However, have an opinion and stand up for it, and the world will notice you.

Let’s look at two examples:

Example 1 - Dawns Blog
I met Dawn on the Learn to Blog (Secret) group when I first started learning about blogging. We were talking in the Facebook group about strong engagement tactics – and she created this post called “10 Facebook Pages You Need to Stop Sharing From”. 

This post went viral within a few days.  See Dawn’s post in the Learn to Blog group:

Now, here’s the link to the post. You’ll soon see exactly why it went viral – it’s very opinionated. > http://dawnsbrain.com/ten-facebook-pages-you-need-to-stop-sharing-from. Notice that the comments are pretty startling. Some people love this, and others are vehemently opposed, including some arguments and criticisms.

It might make you feel uncomfortable looking at the few ugly comments. But let’s face it – this girl:
  • got shared, massively, virally
  • put her personality and values out there, and in doing so, attracted her tribe
  • helped people clearly decide if they’re with her or against her
  • posted valuable content that got people thinking and talking.
I’m not suggesting you need to start World War III. But you get the point – stand for something, and your engaged tribe of like-minded fans will show up to hear you speak, and they’ll hang on every word. 

Example 2 – Amber Rogers – Go Kaleo
I stumbled across Amber’s FB page a few years ago. What stood out for me was her clear conviction for real food, real calories, real exercise and real bodies – and some heavy diatribe against all kinds of popular diets and fitness trends. Amber shares her own transformation and methods. Some of her values are authenticity, truth, openness and justice. A lot of people love her strength of conviction and her passion – and some people hate her. But that’s ok, she makes it easy for you to choose her or not. And the people that choose her are totally into her message. It’s what drew me in, too. 

You can learn a lot about engagement marketing, following a blog or Facebook page like this one.Here’s her page, showing a sample of what she posts > https://www.facebook.com/gokaleo. Notice the number of likes and shares on the top post. And also, notice how popular her page is. When I liked her page 3 years ago, she had about 5000 likes. At the time of writing this post, she has 72,836 likes. She built that following with consistent, daily posts, with a strong voice full of passion and conviction. That’s all it takes! The people who resonate with your messages will come on board. She’s good at using her FB page for promotion and marketing and has a clear strategy around those things.

Reason 3 – No Strategy
Random blogging with no marketing strategy behind it, is sure to fail. Each blog needs to have a goal and fit within a bigger marketing strategy. It needs to be on-message, and talk about the 3 – 5 topics that you will be known for.

No strategy + no plan + no purposeful action = no results, and no point.

Want to learn about blogging? Free Try Out Opportunity.

If you’re read this far and decided you want to try, and if you’re the type who likes doing research and online reading yourself, I would highly recommend the Learn to Blog guysI’ve done several parts of the Learn To Blog training, some free, some paid, and it’s been amazing. 

So, here are two free offers that might be useful for you, which introduce the Learn to Blog courses. Note – these are affiliate links. I promote these guys because I believe in what they do. This is simply your chance to try them out for free, and see if you like them.

If you want to learn about how to build a business around blogging, you can register for a free webinar where the Learn to Blog guys go through their exact formula. Webinars are held regularly.

If you’re on a shoestring budget and lack IT knowledge, you might want to take up a free blog setup offer. This means they’ll organise the site and plugins for you. You’ll still need to add content yourself or get someone to do it for you, but the basic setup is done correctly (that’s the important bit!)

Why You Should – and Shouldn’t - Be on Facebook

Facebook is the platform you love or hate. It sucks your time, and it does frustrating things that really annoy you – like hide your posts, or sort your friends.

But as a business tool, Facebook is king. After all, there are 2 billion users on Facebook – that’s 20% of the world’s population.
So we’re going to post a series of articles about FB that will help you to understand it and work it like a boss to build your business.
Todays’ blog is about whether you should use FB at all, or not. 
Well let’s start at the beginning. 

Where is Your Ideal Client?  If your ideal client is Prue, aged 25, who loves coconut oil and daily mantras, then you probably want to connect with her on Facebook. She’s there posting selfies (also on Instagram) and reading blogs about healthy eating.But if your ideal client is Max, 58, a builder who simply wants to get rid of his beer belly – you’re wasting your time trying to find him in Facebook. He’s either working, fishing or drinking beer.

Where Are You?
If you’re someone who gets onto social media every day and keeps touch with friends and the latest news, then it’s probably not too much of a stretch for you to get onto Facebook.

But if you are only rarely on social media, don’t understand the internet or hate sitting in front of a computer, then think twice.
The reason is this: marketing of any kind means you need to actively network and build relationships every day.

And while Facebook is a great opportunity, it only works if you’re prepared to put time in every day to comment on other posts, post your own ideas and articles, build trust, rapport, a profile and some solid relationships. Then, some those people who trust you will buy from you.
If this is not you, then you have two options – pay someone to build and maintain an online presence for you, using your words – or stick with the face-to-face networking.

The Third Option
Of course, there’s a third option – use a different social media platform that you like, that’s easier to use. An example is Instagram – it can be set up so that you take a photo with your phone, apply an enhancing filter, then press ‘send’ out to the masses. 
Instagram is a popular platform and there are whole businesses built on it.

Facebook 101
Here’s the basic ‘how-to’ set up if you want to use Facebook for social media. 
Use this checklist to help you get started.

1. Keep Your Personal Profile for Personal Posts - 
Facebook will spank you if you use a personal account for business. ‘Nuff said. 

2. Introduce Your Attractive Character
In our business start-up program, Passion to Profit, we explain what an Attractive Character is and how to use it. 
It’s basically the best of your personality elements that become your online avatar. 
Nobody likes being caught with their pants down, or contradicting their business message. So make sure your personal profile is clean and aligned with your Attractive Character.

3. Get Involved in Facebook Groups
Now, it’s time to find your tribe – the people who are aligned with your values and who will eventually buy your services once they get to know you. 
Those people are in many Facebook groups, pouring their hearts out and sharing their wins and challenges. 
This is where you go to network, be seen, build rapport and trust, and engage with people. This is where you find your ideal clients.
Join up to 10 groups and watch what happens in these groups each day/week, for a few months. Ask questions and post things that you like doing, and measure the response. 

Leave any groups that don’t resonate, or where people don’t interact with you. Stick with a handful of groups where your ideal client is, and where you feel bonded. 

4. Facebook Groups vs Pages
There are merits in having a Facebook page. But there are also downsides. Let’s compare business pages with groups so you can see just a few of the key differences.

Facebook Business Page  Facebook Group 
Can use ‘sign up’ button at top of page to prompt newsletter subscribers Need to regularly post links with text in the group itself to prompt newsletter subscribers
Is only seen by people who like page and their friends, depending on their FB settings Is promoted for free by FB in the right sidebar (as Suggested Groups)
You promote by paid promotion (FB Ads) or by asking people to share, or having great content that people want to share Is promoted for free by FB in the right sidebar (as Suggested Groups)
Generally, where people go to get information or read articles Generally, where people go to have conversations about their challenges, wins and areas of specific interest

The pictures below illustrate this.

When you’re in a group, other similar Suggested Groups appear in the right sidebar – promoted to you by FB. Paid (sponsored) ads are shown below that. 

And you can see that while people like or share Business Page content (left), the Groups have a much more personal and interactive dialogue. Much more engagement (right).

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