Digital Cleanse Day 14:
Figure Out Your 3P
Your 3P is my solution to one of the most common social media objections. People worry about sharing too much online and the resulting loss of privacy. I understand the concern.
If you’re using social media in your private life, nothing obligates you to share on a social network. What stays offline, stays private. It’s your choice to share with family and friends or to interact with others who share your hobby. What you share is your choice. However, if you are using social networks for business purposes, you’re going to have to share something. I recommend you divide yourself into three parts, your 3P. These parts are professional, personal and private.
Your professional part is fully public. You share expertise, experience, anecdotes, details about your job and information about any products or services you work with. Sharing about your professional life can help your brand with sales and marketing. It can also position you for your next job or entrepreneurial venture. What you share publicly helps establish credibility, cultivate a network and demonstrate authority.
To be successful online in business, you also need to share another part of yourself that I call the personal part, the next third of your 3P. Your personal part might include a love of hockey, a passion for rescue dogs and commitment to tennis. This is the part that humanizes you. It makes you a complete person not just a selling machine. It allows you to establish rapport and garner trust.
You share to find mutual interests as a lead into in-depth conversations. Your willingness to share more than just sales messages and marketing banter make you a whole person. This is really important. Who you are and how you related to people has to be more than shop talk. You can’t be all about business all the time.
Through your online posts, comments and interactions you must blend your professional part with your personal part. Remember this is SOCIAL networking, even if it’s conducted digitally, you are still interacting with real people. The personal things you share can make it more enjoyable to do business together.
The private part of yourself stays offline. You decide to keep details of your hemorrhoids, money troubles and off-color humor private. Politics and religion are often kept private, too, just like at a dinner party with the extended family. If you’re not sure what to keep private, ask yourself two questions:
- What do you want to hide from your Mom?
- What would embarrass you if it appeared on the front page of a newspaper?
The answers to those two questions make up your private life. If you want to keep it private, keep it offline. You choose. If you don’t share it, it’s not online. You are in control. (Well, almost in control. Remember that others can quote your contentious comments and share photos or videos of other embarrassing moments.)
Divide and Blend
How to express the divide and the blend between the professional, personal and private parts of your life, is entirely up to you. Every person’s answer will be unique. As an example, here’s a snapshot of my 3P breakdown:
- Professional: communicator, writer, instructional designer, teacher, speaker
- Personal: parent, home owner, Star Wars fan, doodles with fine art supplies
- Private: asthmatic, struggled with postpartum depression
[Although, I have now made these private parts into personal parts in the interests of illustrating the 3P.]
Share only what you’re comfortable sharing. Don’t create an artificial self online. I’d rather you shared a minimal amount and were true to yourself. Faking it will not get you anywhere online or in life. Authenticity is the nobler path.
More on the 30 day #digitalcleanse tomorrow. Hope to see you then!