Balancing brand authenticity with personal boundaries
Transparency and boundaries
How to set boundaries as a personal brand and business owner
It’s about time we have a chat about this: It is possible to be transparent and maintain privacy within your personal brand.
A lot of us believe that sharing snippets of our lives online compromises our personal space, but when your work grows to include the world wide web, that trade off feels entirely worth it. Depending on your industry, it might not be realistic to dodge social media. For digital creatives, wellness industry experts, product-based businesses, network marketers—so many of us—the social presence of our personal brand helps us connect with current and new audiences. It offers opportunities we may not have found elsewhere.
Grab a coffee and open your mind because I promise you it’s possible to find harmony between brand authenticity and personal boundaries. Here’s how I’ve managed…
Identify your business boundaries
I’m a big fan of writing things down. Work through your personal boundaries with your regular old pen and paper. Here’s a few things to think about while you determine where the line falls for your brand.
Share only what’s relevant
You don’t need to share everything in your life in order to be transparent with your audience.
How do you know what to share? Start by identifying your target audience. What are their challenge points? Their interests? You only need to share enough to connect with them, showcasing your expertise (and value!) in your industry. It’s good to brainstorm types of content so you have a list to draw from whenever you’re feeling stuck.
Beyond that, add personality to your brand by incorporating one of your passions outside of your work into your online presence. Occasionally bring this up within your content strategy.
For example, people know I like healthy living. Sometimes I chat about hot yoga and spin classes, healthy eats, and outdoor adventures. For me, this all falls under my self-employed lifestyle theme. Otherwise, I share either tips and tricks of my trade—tools to do what I do or advice for those who want to pursue a similar career. There’s no need to share everything!
Capture now, post later
Fight the habit to document and share absolutely everything. It’s so easy to get caught up in the excitement and want to share immediately! I try to enjoy the moment a little more by capturing now, but waiting until later to post.
Instead, intentionally share content that aligns with your brand that you brainstormed before. No one will care that they had to wait a few hours (or days) to see what you were up to.
Along the same lines, turn off at an hour that makes sense to you. Most things can wait until the morning, even if they seem urgent at the time.
I wrote an entire blog post about how to use social media mindfully, but some of my other phone-related boundaries are:
No phone in bed
Turn off at least 30 minutes before and after sleeping
Keep phone use to a minimum when with friends and family
Set office hours and preferred communication
As fun as it is to work from bed when you first start setting your own hours, this type of habit blurs boundaries you’ll likely want to maintain within your brand. Create a dedicated work space and set strict office hours. My hours are outlined in my contracts and new clients initial that they recognize these. I complete most of my work at my desk. Sometimes I’ll start my day at the kitchen table or on the couch, but never in my bedroom.
Similarly, I’ve set preferred communication channels for clients and prospective clients—I move business conversations from social media to email immediately after I receive an inquiry. Streamlining your communication to email eliminates the need to respond immediately and keeps everything in one place! Sure, it might turn some people off, but if a prospective client doesn’t like that they have to take the extra step to get out of my DMs and into my email inbox, they aren’t the type of professional I want to work with.
What boundaries have you set for your personal brand?
I'm a firm believer that it's possible to maintain a personal brand that is both authentic and transparent, while respecting your own boundaries. First things first, you need to draw that line in the sand!
Would you want to learn more about this? Let me help you create your brand strategy in a drop-in Brand Strategy Session. We’ll cover all the basics (and then some), so you’ll know exactly what to post (and what to keep to yourself).