by Kim Niemi
If you’re paying attention, lessons in social sabotage can be found in the most unlikely of places – even at a songwriting workshop in Nashville.
A few years ago I was lucky enough to audit a Play for Publishers workshop at the Bluebird Café in Nashville (yes, I’m a songwriter too, but that’s a story for another day). Over the course of three days our host helped us break down popular country songs until we understood how a good song was constructed, and then a select crew of attendees were able to perform their own songs for a panel of music publishers.
I remember there was one song that was really hard-hitting, about coming back from drug addiction or something in that realm, and we were all pretty moved by it. Even the publishers said it was a great song, which had the songwriter beaming. And then one of them asked, “Who would sing that on the radio right now? There’s no artist I can give that song to right now.”
It took a moment for the words to sink in, but when they did the lesson was so profound it has stuck with me all this time: there’s no longer a distinction between artist and material. The separation between person and persona is gone, thanks to social media. Unless there was an artist who was actually going through that experience, and willing to sing about it, the song didn’t have a home. Singing it could be risky for any artist because people would assume they were truly singing about themselves.
It was then I realized something that has become more and more evident in the short years since that workshop: You are your brand.
Whether you’re a multi-platinum recording artist, or a direct sales rep doing home parties, YOU are the face of your brand, and you can’t afford to forget that.
Every interaction you make online – every like, every share, every retweet – is a reflection of you, and can affect your business. The worst part? You may not even know it’s happening.
It’s easy to recognize social sabotage when the fallout is losing your job or public humiliation. But when your followers are turned off by your personal humor, or politics, or attitude, they’ll likely just block you or unsubscribe from your posts without ever telling you. They’ll simply take their business elsewhere, and you won’t even realize they’ve gone.
Want to avoid self-social sabotage? Avoid commenting on or sharing these types of posts on any page where you do business:
It can be difficult to live in a state of constant positivity, but online you have to – at least if you are in business for yourself and want to remain successful. Because everyone is watching.
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