If you aren’t creating authentic connection, you are robbing yourself and others of authentic association that fosters empathy and compassion. This is especially important if you are a brand or someone who is thinking about starting a business. Authentic connection is the key to building a base of loyal customers.
I was born a connector. I seriously LOVE meeting people. Learning their stories. Connecting them with others. What I use to be mortified by as a kid, my mom standing in the grocery line making friends with everyone, and learning their life story in three minutes, is now what I do. My kids will say the same thing about me.
This world operates on connection but ‘social media’ and tools that are supposed to help us connect, are actually making us feel depressed.
According to Dr. Perpetua Neo, “The more we use social media, the likelier we’ll feel depressed and/or unhappy- if we compare. Our brains fill in the blanks from snippets of someone’s life, based on their highlight reel. At the same time, we’re so caught up in our mundaneness and what’s lacking in our lives, it’s hard not to feel bad about ourselves- more so when we’re feeling vulnerable from depression.”
Most people are creating superficial connection online because most people are sharing their ‘curated’ life. A life that looks amazing. A life that is void of the ugly parts of raising kids. The non-photographable moments that bring us to tears. The real world of starting your business. And I get it.
But if you are building a business, authentic connection is a necessity. Here are three ways you can start building your muscle in this area so it transcends to your business:
1) Be vulnerable. Be real. – Post about something that doesn’t go right. Post about what a struggle it is to juggle life with kids, work, etc. Share a personal experience. Recently, I experienced a miscarriage, which is a very personal thing. It threw me into a deep, dark space. What once was optimistic, happy Krista working hard to launch a business became a Krista who couldn’t get out of bed. I shared my experience and I was comforted and lifted up by all the support I received. People who had experienced similar things and NEVER shared it with others were reaching out to me from all over the world. It was very therapeutic for me.
2) Take time to reach out to others. – When a friend, someone you admire shares a vulnerable moment, stop and comment or send them a personal message or card that says ‘Thank you for sharing.’ It was probably hard for them to share. It’s simple. If we want to be supported, support others. If we want to be celebrated. Celebrate others.
3) Look for the outliers, not the headlines. – Authentic connection is one that transcends likes, followers, ‘influence’ and much more. Remember when you were selected as the ‘Special Star’ in elementary school and you got to bring in a poster board all about you? Social media has become an ‘all about me’ poster board 24/7. Remember it’s just not about you. What can you do for others? This is especially important if you are a brand or someone who is thinking about starting a business. Think about what you can do to help people and then do it… instead of just talking about you!
Connection is how we write our stories. Connection is how we help other people write their stories. Now is the time to build a more connected world!