i am really inspired by tara and kathleen over at braid creative & consulting. i want to share their latest letter from my inbox today. if you follow other creatives, stylists, fashion bloggers, you will know exactly what tara is talking about. i am an outgoing person who is generally excited about life, but what is overkill when it comes to how we present ourselves behind the screen? are we really showing our true selves or are we overcompensating for the lack of face-to-face interaction?
it seems like i hear "lovelies", "doll", "fabulous", "darling" and "!!!!!" left and right lately. maybe it's time to reel it in on the overexclamating and cast your true personality... not to say you can't add an emoticon "thumbs up" because it's great to be pumped about a topic, but the online language seems to be getting fluffier. just something to ponder... check out the article below from tara of braid creative for more on this topic.
LET’S ALL JUST SIMMER DOWN NOW | by Tara
Tara here. Okay, I have to admit, I’m feeling like I need to take my own
medicine and shape up my content a bit today. I am procrastinating
getting started on some website updates we want to make to our Braid
site. So what better way to procrastinate than write a letter to you
guys? It’s either that, or see if I can scrape up some chocolate around
here somewhere and answer a slew of emails.
When I say simmer down I mean, when it comes to sharing you and selling
what you do, is it all coming out like an exclamation? Is everything you
say a declaration of wonderfulness? For instance, is that Facebook post
really so “AMAZING!!?” Are you really “SO EXCITED!!?” to share every
blog post you compose. And when you have a first conversation, either
via email or face-to-face with a person who’s maybe about to hire you,
are you really going to be “DIFFERENT, AUTHENTIC, UNIQUE, INSPIRED,
ALL-ABOUT-THEM,” not to mention “AFFORDABLE, FLEXIBLE,” while at the
same time working that sparkling personality of yours and laughing your
head off, “HA-HA-HA-HA!” (please hire me) “HA-HA-HA!?”
This ironically comes out of a rather excited conversation I was having
with Kathleen just a few days ago, that turned it to soapbox moment,
hands waving, us hilariously laughing, and then calming down and
checking ourselves – because we do the same thing. I am constantly
asking myself, wait? Do I really talk like this in real life, as I
almost hit enter on a Facebook post with the word “amazing” in it, or a
letter like this, where I’m tempted to start getting all clever, cute
and more likeable than, well, useful.
I think some creatives, true, have the opposite problem of being too
inaccessible, too territorial with their ideas and their attitudes, and
their mystique keeps them from being wonderful business people. And part
of that’s true. I’m not saying put up a wall, or a front or a cool
attitude that’s not genuine.
I think when it comes to sharing and selling yourself through your
content, you’ve got to figure out your own way to not smother people
with likeability and excitability. Scratch that. What I mean is, you can
be excited, likeable – heck, lovable – in your posts, tweets, about me
copy, blog posts and even in that first conversation with a person who
might just be a perfect new client or collaborator. But... when it comes
to the moment where you want them to decide to actually hire you or not
– that’s when it’s time to simmer down, stop using exclamation points,
and just simply explain (not to be translated as over-explain,
over-promise, or try to fit perfectly into every requirement they are
Are you giving people a chance to decide if they really need you? Are
you giving them the space to formulate in their own head if you are a
fit for them. Are you taking a breath and even letting yourself decide
if they are a fit for you?
If you can remember to use your inside voice, as in, stop shouting so
loud, stop smiling so big, stop using so many exclamation marks, and
stop feeling like you have to do handstands just to get the attention,
trust and respect of the very people you want to respect you the most.
See, no exclamation marks! (Oops, til that one.)
Tara Street | Braid Creative & Consulting