Some people obviously love to post pictures and videos of themselves online. I am not one of those people. I’m a card-carrying Gen-Xer who predates selfie mania. I’d rather veg out than take snaps of myself in a new outfit. And if you ever see a picture of me capturing my own image in a mirror, please alert the authorities – I’ve obviously been possessed by aliens.
But beyond this aversion, I’ve purposely not put myself front-and-center on the Solo PR Pro blog because I want it to be more about you. Since the blog began nearly six years ago, I made a strategic decision to avoid positioning myself as The Guru on all things indie PR. I prefer to put the spotlight on others.
It was quite in fashion when I started Solo PR for bloggers to use a tone I considered condescending – “you must do X” and “don’t you dare even think about doing Y” were common ways for bloggers to express themselves. Beyond triggering my rebellious streak (newsflash: this indie doesn’t like being ordered to do something!), this type of talk reduces the likelihood the community will express their valuable dissenting opinions – something I’ve always encouraged among Solo PR Pros.
I’ve always held that we learn from each other, and by sharing our differing views we’re all the stronger for it. While my commitment to putting the community first will never change, it’s come to my attention that I may need to make the connection between Kellye Crane and this blog more clear.
To be the most effective crusader for my fellow Solo PR Pros, I have to be more visible.
I’ve had people who know me in person or via social media tell me the shocking truth: they don’t realize Solo PR Pro is my blog, and vice versa. Since part of my mission for Solo PR is to raise the visibility and esteem for all of you working as independent PR consultants, I realize I need to be more visible myself to be a stronger advocate.
Many of you probably relate to this dilemma.
We overcame the psychological hurdle of social media, which required us to come out from behind the curtain with our own thoughts and opinions, but now the increasingly visual nature of social means we need more images – and some of them have to include our person (have you noticed the growing number of people who have their face at the very top of their blog/website?). I can't find who said it first, but it's a common refrain: people do business with those they know, like and trust – one's likeness is part of establishing that relationship.
So, once again, the times require me (probably belatedly) to step outside my comfort zone. I have to get over the fact that I’m not as young as I used to be (pictures – ugh) and that doing videos/images will require me to brush my hair and look presentable on occasion (in the Solo PR PRO Premium private Facebook group, we frequently joke about working without pants, but I think I’ll adopt Lisa Gerber’s “business above the screen” approach, which she hilariously shared on Arik Hanson’s blog). I’ll never be that person who posts selfies to Facebook multiple times a day, but I can baby-step my way to having a few more personal images here on the blog, and perhaps a little more Instagramming.
What do you think about the increasing prominence of author and blogger images these days? What have you decided to do in your own work, and what was your decision process? Would love to hear your thoughts in the comments!