As mentioned on my Welcome page, I recently changed from “Living With Sunshine” to “MS Blog Diva”. Let me tell you why I found this change both valuable and necessary.
Pay close attention to how you are presenting yourself.
WHAT I’VE LEARNED
Over the past month, I’ve been like a sponge, soaking up knowledge as it pertains to entrepreneurship. Two of my favorite bloggers, Mattie James and Maya Elious (who also happen to be sisters) have helped me to appreciate the need for 1) Consistency and 2) Personal Branding. When it comes to being consistent, both your name and message should be cohesive. My goal is to quit my job as an Accounting professional in the next six months and focus on my career as a freelance writer. In order to have a strong online profile, I needed to have a consistent, recognizable name. My personal brand needed to also be intertwined with my purpose. But, as I thought about my brand versus my purpose, it occurred to me that I’d lost focus. Rather than sharing my story authentically, my goal had turned into being popular.
If you’re trying to be popular, you’re doing it wrong.
After all, isn’t that what social media is all about-how many followers, friends, and connections you have, rather than how many lives you are affecting? The way I saw it, I HAD to make my message focused on positivity because talking about Multiple Sclerosis isn’t “popular”.
What are the types and severity of Multiple Sclerosis? Find out here.
Don’t get me wrong, I was sharing my story, but the motive wasn’t coming from a place of genuineness because I really wasn’t focused on my core audience. It was all about ME, ME, ME. While my “brand” was Living With Sunshine (what does that mean anyway?), it was actually causing me stress and anxiety. It was full of fluff and it needed a makeover.
WHAT ARE YOU SAYING?
As I did an assessment of the message that I was portraying, not only was my blog topics all over the place, but my brand and message were contradictory. In my previous blog, I focused a lot on my divorce-what happened TO me. It was how I came up with material like “7 Reasons Why You Can’t Let Go Of Your Ex” and “Should You Let a Good Man Go?”. How could I promise to be positive when I was focusing on the negative? I needed instead to accept my reality and find my strength. That’s when I discovered my purpose:
1) To strengthen those of us with chronic illness whose lives have been affected in a variety of ways.
2) To change the perception of what Multiple Sclerosis “looks like.”
THE D.I.V.A. EFFECT
Now that I’ve released the pressure of being popular and focused on my purpose, I feel so much better. While it’s a little embarrassing and awkward to admit my lack of judgment and authenticity, it’s the truth-and that is more important than saving face. It was necessary for me to stumble and wade through the water, sort of speaking, so that I could strip away what was weighing me down and stand tall in my purpose. I actually love that I decided on an acronym (D.I.V.A.) because now when I’m working through my blog process, I ask myself “Does this message promote being Determined, Inspiring, Victorious, or Authentic?” If it doesn’t, it doesn’t belong here.
WHY SHARE YOUR STORY?
I believe we all have a story worth telling. It’s very clear that reality TV shows, for the most part, resonate with the public because it allows the viewer to feel “normal”. Even if the circumstances are not the same, they relate to the experience. Inspiration comes from real life: being transparent about our struggles, fears, disappointments and anxieties. At the same time, we personally are strengthened when we reflect on how far we’ve come despite our trials.
I want to hear from you. Stay tuned for opportunities to share your story and inspire others.
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