Nailing your personal brand is a balancing act.
You want to share stories about your own experiences, but you don’t want to overshare.
You want to show vulnerability, but you don’t want to lose trust.
You want to be authentic, but you don’t want to alienate people who disagree with you.
How do you tread the thin line between being yourself and adapting to your audience?
We asked communication expert Rachel Beohm. Rachel is a writer, speaker and coach who trains executives, HR professionals, speakers, and job seekers in the art of nonverbal communication.
In this week’s YBTV interview, she shares tips on how to communicate more effectively as a leader, how to balance vulnerability with credibility, how to share appropriately on social media, and how to attract your tribe.
What You’ll Learn
Good communication skills are transformative.
They change how people perceive you.
Great communication can win you clients, motivate your team, and impress management.
But it’s not just about what you say. It’s about how you’re saying it.
And that’s where Rachel Beohm comes in.
Rachel helps people improve their nonverbal communication skills so they nail their pitches, presentations, and personal branding.
She can see what most people can’t. She can see whether someone is showing up authentically, or whether they’re just going through the motions.
Earning credibility and trust involves more than sharing a personal story or two. It’s a delicate balance between sharing authentically and sharing appropriately.
If you’re looking for a hard-and-fast rule on what you should share, Rachel can’t give it. “A lot of it has to do with how you present yourself more than what you share,” she says.
You don’t want to be one of those people who shares too much or shares inappropriately. But at the same time, you don’t want to be two-dimensional. You want to let your personality shine through.
And if you prefer to keep your personal life private? No problem.
“If you’re just being present as your own real self and fully showing up,” she says, “that’s a huge way that you can be real without necessarily having to bare all.”
Sharing on Social Media
One of the ways you can build your personal brand is by posting on social media.
But how do you know what’s appropriate? Should you be posting about your favorite sports team? Should you offer opinions on current events?
“It comes down to who your audience is,” Rachel says.
With many social media platforms, your audience is the entire world. Anyone can see what you post, including people who might hire you someday.
Be real, be honest, be yourself, and let your personality shine through, she says. But keep in mind what message your posts are sending about who you are and how you behave.
Even if you don’t care what people think about what you’ve written, you might want to think about “what it says about you when you do that.”
Your posts tell your audience about “your character and about your boundaries and about what’s important to you.”
Sharing Vulnerably as a Leader
You’re probably heard about the importance of vulnerability as a leader.
As Rachel explains, “We want to know we can trust our leaders, but we also want to know that they’re real people.”
Vulnerability does not mean saying what’s on your mind with no filter. It doesn’t mean offloading your uncertainty and confusion onto your team.
It means that your team can trust you to be real and honest with them, while at the same time they trust that you can get them through the situation, whatever it is.
Instead of saying, “I don’t have it figured out,” you can say:
I don’t know what the answers are, but I know we can figure it out.”
Instead of saying, “This is terrible,” you can say:
I’m dealing with a lot of emotions right now—I’m nervous and scared—but I know that all of us together can be here for each other and support each other, and we’ll still make our goal.”
The purpose of vulnerability is not to get your feelings off your chest. It’s to bring other people along with you.
Sometimes, that may mean that you don’t share how you’re feeling, because your team needs to feel confident in your direction.
Other times, it may mean that that you own up to the same feelings that your team is experiencing, while also “conveying the confidence that you have in your resourcefulness, in your creativity, in your work ethic, your team, your goal, and your vision.”
What if People Dislike the Authentic Me?
Any time you express an opinion, someone might take issue.
But that’s not a reason to stick to safe subjects or only express opinions that everyone is going to agree with.
“No matter what you say and what you do, someone’s not going to like it,” Rachel says.
At the same time, you don’t want to unnecessarily hurt or “provoke people, often to your own detriment, because you’re blasting everyone with your opinions.”
It comes down to balance again:
The balance between “being brave enough to be real” and considerate enough to be kind.
If the idea of revealing more of your true self feels scary, then just expand your comfort zone a little bit.
You don’t have to be perfect. “We think that if we’re perfect, then people will like and admire us,” Rachel says. But that’s not true at all.
“How many people do you love or value or respect who are perfect?” she asks. “None—because no one is, right?”
Which means there’s no doubt you’re also worthy of love and respect, even if you don’t always get it right.
Attract Your Tribe
As you become more authentic with your communication, you’ll discover that your tribe starts showing up.
Sure, you may turn off certain people. But the people who resonate with what you’re saying will appreciate you. They’ll seek you out.
“We think, ‘No one’s going to like me. There is no one out there like me,'” she says. “I guarantee you, with 7 billion people, there are some that are very much like you, who are a great fit! But you have to actually find each other, and the only way to do that is to be seen.”
If you’d like to learn more about communicating authentically, Rachel is offering a free gift. Sign up for her newsletter, and she’ll send you 21 days of tips to improve your body language, mindset, and leadership presence.
Most of us have either a very small idea of who we are, or a very limited idea of who that is. Being yourself is a lot bigger and broader than most people ever think about. So be yourself, but be the best version of you.”
Jump to Topics of Interest
1:48 How Rachel discovered the power of communication
3:34 Balancing sharing too much with sharing too little
5:25 How do you know what’s appropriate?
7:46 What do you have the right to share?
8:58 Vulnerability in leadership
11:31 It’s always about what’s best for other people
13:18 Should you be safe and stick to uncontroversial opinions?
16:02 How to break free from perfectionism
18:51 Finding your tribe
20:24 21 days to build a better life
21:37 Be yourself
Rachel trains executives, HR professionals, speakers, and job seekers in the art of nonverbal communication. With just few simple adjustments, her clients nail their presentations, pitches, and personal branding. Find out how you can work with Rachel.