To disclose or not to disclose, that is the question
Authenticity is one of the latest buzzwords that circulate in natural health circles. We are constantly being advised to differentiate ourselves from other therapists by sharing our own stories on health issues and this can be very effective in drawing in the kind of clients we love to work with. But how open and honest should homeopaths be when it comes to sharing personal stories? There are some good reasons for sharing them:
It disables the ‘healing hero’ projection that disempowers clients
It gives us a marketing angle that can provide powerful communication to our audience
It can lead us into a more niched and less generalised practice
Clients may feel that they can trust someone who has had a similar experience to theirs
Put clients off
Disclosure will put off as many clients as it will attract and believe it or not this is a very good thing! Not everyone is your client; and potential clients who are put off by knowing more about you, will not be part of your ideal client group.
Where are the boundaries?
That doesn’t mean, of course, that you have to be frank and honest about all areas of your life. Our boundaries will naturally arise from a place where we feel safe and able to hold our clients safely. With social media now being used universally, another boundary issue emerges beyond what you disclose on your website or in articles. What about social media? With a little planning and knowledge, you can keep certain aspects of your story private.
How to make good boundaries on Facebook
Here are the steps to change your privacy settings on your personal Facebook profile.
From your personal Facebook profile choose ‘settings’
From the left hand menu choose ‘privacy’
Choose who you want to see your future posts, notice that you can exclude some friends from seeing posts.
You can also choose if you want to be tagged, who sees your past posts and who can contact you.
When you make a personal post you can also choose who can see it.
Watch Your Social Media Profiles
A lot of therapists falter when it comes to Facebook. You have your personal profile, to which you invite friends and family, and your business page, where you talk, health and homeopathy.
But there will inevitably be some overlap. Colleagues will slowly filter into your personal timeline, and you into theirs. Pretty soon unless you’re super-strict, your colleagues people are hearing all about your latest bout athletes foot and that snarky thing your mother in law said yesterday. Too much? Maybe.
When it comes to your social media sharing, it’s important to pay close attention to not only what you say, but who you’re saying it to. Using privacy settings, contact lists, and even limiting who you “friend” can help maintain your privacy while still being transparent about your business offerings.
Remember, the Internet is Forever
While privacy settings can help, a better way to keep your personal business away from prying eyes is to simply not use social media for personal use at all; make it ALL about your practice. Think of every Facebook status update or Instagram pic as a billboard. If you wouldn’t post it on the side of the highway for all who pass to read it, don’t put it online either. The chance that it will “leak” (despite your best efforts) is great, and once it’s out there, you will not ever get it back.
So think twice about those snitty responses, late night posts and irony, which often doesn’t translate well online. You never know who might be reading, and they will affect your brand image.
The bottom line? Know who your ideal clients are and what they like and know yourself. If you’re not comfortable sharing certain aspects of your life and business, chances are they won’t be comfortable hearing about it, either. Although it can feel like everyone is baring their soul on Facebook all the time, it’s okay to maintain some privacy, even in this transparent world of online marketing.