On Thursday, 29th July, we welcomed the brilliant Eloise Leeson, Linguist and Communications Consultant, who introduced us to the topic of authentic online presence.
In her 30-minute presentation, Eloise taught us about the “Art and science of being you”. She stressed that being ourselves doesn’t have to be limited only to the offline world. Our online image can benefit from showing up authentically too.
“There’re 1,6 billion daily active users on Facebook. 600 million active on Instagram every day. 292 million people engaging with LinkedIn each day.”
Being on social media isn’t something we have to do, no pressure here. BUT, it’s something we should do: for the benefit of others.
Before starting showing up authentically though, Eloise encouraged us to ask ourselves: What does authenticity mean to us?
In 60 seconds we were writing like crazy, hitting the buttons on the keyboards with the speed of light to get a taste of what’s really on our minds: hidden behind the wall of overthinking. Some participants shared that for them authenticity is about trying to be different and true to self. For others, being honest, open and congruent is what matters. Genuity also turned out to be on point.
After the speed-writing exercise, which allowed us to remove the filter of overthinking, Eloise reminded us that whatever is on our mind, authenticity is not about doing “whatever the heck we want”. Instead, it’s closely tied up with
“showing the best, values-driven version of yourself for the benefit of the people you serve”.
However, before doing just that, it’s crucial to figure out what the values that drive us actually are. Naming them allows us to understand the purpose of what we do and it’s also what lets our clients understand what we stand for. It helps in prioritising our language and actions. What’s more, having a clear image of our values serves as a great point of reference to check whether we act with integrity.
Having in mind all of that, we faced another challenge of 60-second exercise to find out what values are dearest to our hearts.
After analysing our answers, Eloise showed us a thought-provoking equation (understandable for everyone, even those who’ve always hated math 😉):
She explained that it’s not being perfect what we should aim for. It’s figuring out what works best for us and our business. We were presented with a challenge to increase our authentic social media presence in various ways and observe: what is it that our audience enjoys the most?
We learnt that the most important things the audience is looking for are reliability, entertainment and education. Of course, promotion is always one of the goals of the content we provide but it shouldn’t be all we’re focused on.
It’s better to attract than to be pushy.
Eloise didn’t have to persuade us that authenticity pays off. She demonstrated it perfectly.
All it takes is:
– asking questions and being genuinely interested in the answers.
– engaging with the audience.
– taking into consideration the feedback we get from them.
– being kind to ourselves and giving ourselves all the time needed.
– REMEMBERING that we’re valuable and we have important value to add to the world.
Eloise’s talk was not only informative, it was engaging, motivating and super super fun. It was followed by a Q&A session where we discussed the matters of consistency, cross-posting, adapting content to various platforms, publishing in different languages and finding a healthy posting schedule.
After the Q&A session we went through to the traditional 30-sec intros and exchange of contact details. What an evening!
About the speaker:
Eloise Leeson is a trained linguist and communications specialist. She founded her own company, Olim, after cutting her teeth working with brands like Deliveroo, Edinburgh Gin, and BrewDog.
Eloise works to help businesses close the gap between what they think they’re saying, and what’s actually being received by their customers.
Passionate about empowering people through language, Eloise works to ensure that every single word communicated delivers increased engagement, real value, and visible results.
“Authenticity is everything. It’s a cliche, but it’s true! If I’ve learned anything from launching and growing my business, Olim, it’s that people not only hire contractors and consultants like us for the work we do, but especially the way we do it. That stems from who we are. Uncovering this uniqueness is what helps us to find the right clients so we can add more value to them.”
Thank you very much to all the participants. We’ll be back again in August, this time offline. Check out the details here.