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Where is the line between vulnerability and over-sharing?

You need to add a bit of yourself into your business. Your social media isn’t going to vibe and build relationships with other humans if you aren’t human yourself. Automatic content generators, auto-blogging systems… They don’t work. People bond with people.

But just as dangerous is the other side of the coin. Over-sharing on social is dangerous. The further you drift from the centre, the more likely it is that you can offend or turn off potential clients. How do you balance being welcoming without being vulnerable?

We’ve all had hard days. I’ve been there. I’ve felt the temptation to tap out a Facebook post to expose a client’s poor behavior. Or to use my platform to build consensus around a divisive social issue, or to subtly beg for empathy when I don’t feel confident and I need a bunch of “you go, girls”.

But I try not to.

If YOU are your brand or you’re a solopreneur, you have greater flexibility. You can go deeper and take greater risks. But if you have a team behind you, or you’re representing a product or providing a service that demands a high degree of trust, consider a greater sense of caution. Your speaking for your brand.

Here are 3 guidelines I use for opening up and getting real on social.

1. I schedule some posts, ensuring that I don’t have to post when I know I’m heated or needy.

2. I try to be personal with people, but not intimate. As a good rule, I wouldn’t share anything that I wouldn’t say aloud to a table full of people at a BBQ.

3. I give my opinion, and I share. But I resist the urge to judge or shame. Never try to sic an audience on someone or something. I don’t call anyone out personally in posts or comments.

Leaders talk about the future. They talk about their goals, they share how they succeeded and how they overcome challenges. They share their process, inspiration and even their fears. There is a ton of room there to be honest, informative, and engaged with an audience without over-stepping.