Read this if you are interested in building your identify using a social media platform.

Over the past 16 months I have run a successful Facebook page as a Life Coach (it’s a verified page with a blue tick!). I am saying successful only because despite being a one-man-band I now have over a quarter of a million people connected globally — 361,606 at the time of writing, and every week thousands of new people connect from all over the world, enjoy my posts and send me messages. I am not a celebrity, I am just a Life Coach and my page is simply dedicated to curating insights about life and championing a spirit of self-discovery. For a simple person like me this is both huge and humbling.

Here’s what I have learnt through my experience and practise which may interest you if you are looking at social media to build your identity:

1. Cause:

Champion a ’cause’ and not your business or even yourself,  whatever the temptation. Yes, this is most important. People connect to the spirit that you’re championing. They identify and connect with you not because they always want to buy your stuff but instead they want to feel (with a smile on their face) ‘hey, that’s exactly what I want to say’ or ‘this post made my day!’. Zero or minimum selling! Don’t even gently pass a sales hint on the sides. Just as you are smart enough to recognise ‘selling’ posts, people are smart too. Instead let people be gently attracted to your cause. Don’t push it upon them.

2. Content:

Publish stuff that you would love to read yourself. Most of us think different but feel the same and your content should be able to provoke thoughts and evoke emotions at the same time. Invest time in identifying and curating content. Make it engaging and enriching. Feel free to promote your content with FB ads if you wish to, but remember — promote content — not yourself or our company! Your honesty in championing a cause will lead you to create good content and it will also be evident in your content. Create content not for yourself but for the people who are going to read it. Visualise a bit and walk in their shoes using your imagination. If you don’t get a happy feeling about a post, don’t post it!

3. Consistency

Be consistent. Manage frequency of your posts, create a good drum beat. Every day, every month, year on year. Let the cause you champion inspire you – your intention and your effort has to be consistent despite success or failure. Don’t treat it as a task, but take it as a responsibility as you generate interest and connections. Always remember, if you do well people will look forward to your posts every day, so act with a sense of responsibility and not with a sense of excitement!

So long story short, these are the three simple things that I’ve learnt through my experience and practise. Social media is a great opportunity and how we shape this space is based entirely up to us. Let us resist the temptation of cosmetics, comparison and competition, instead simply be committed to championing a cause, good content and with consistency!!

Ani Kaprekar
Life Coach, Mentor & Storyteller

PS: My experience is more on Facebook, soon I look forward to venture Twitter space!