Stepping Outside Your Comfort Level

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I have been traveling a lot for work and it reminds me how important connecting with people in real life is – and how it has really become a long lost art. It also reminds me how I got into blogging in the first place, and how it seems a lot of bloggers have lost their voice, their authenticity.

Example 1: Do Something that Scares You

This week I brought a client from New Jersey to Virginia to hold her hand through her first conference. She is excited and yet scared to do something she would never have done in the past – and needed a little help from me to show her the ropes. It also has been empowering to me to realize how well I can manage these things – take charge, have everything organized and completed flawlessly, how to connect with people naturally and not be afraid.

Remember yours? The first time (or maybe you haven’t yet!) you went to a blogger or social media conference and were so excited – and then were too afraid to talk to anyone? You played on your phone. You stood in the corner. You left without saying goodbye to anyone, but then Tweeted them from the train on your way home.

Stop. Turn around. Go back.

Homework:

I want you to do something that scares you this week. I want you to go to an event and talk to a stranger. I want you to finally try that aerial yoga class you saw someone take on Facebook. Then I want you genuinely write about it – from your heart – and tell me what happens.

Example 2: Yorgo’s Bageldashery

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Irene Weinberg with Rodney at Yorgo’s Bageldashery

I walked into a bagel shop this morning in Norfolk, Virginia with a client and honestly fell in love with the place. It had a warm, welcoming vibe, the workers were friendly, and before I knew it – we were chatting with the owners over bagels and coffee about the history of the area, sailing, bagels and more.

I felt an honest connection, and wanted to share the love on social media to promote them – not for money, not out of obligation, but out of genuine want to help them and let my followers  know where I was. Just sitting with them reminded me why I do what I do – to connect with people, the learn the scenery an experience the world – oh, and just bring you along on my journey.

Homework:

When was the last time you wanted to actually TWEET about something cause you loved it – and weren’t getting paid to say it? I want you to remember how social really works – but BEING social. I want you to engage your audience with something that is fun and happy to you – just because. Then tell me what happened.

Example 3: Speak Your Mind

Maybe it’s just me, but I am getting bored of reading paid reviews and see your “ads” on Twitter. *Yawn* When I first started blogging, I would write about all the crazy things that happened to me when I was pregnant. I would speak my mind about breastfeeding in public, or why I choose to be a co-sleeping parent. But more and more, I see myself getting “too busy” to write about the really cool things that happen to me that people would find interesting and instead writing about yet another product or event. I’m even bored with myself.

Homework:

Find a new way to inject life into your words. This doesn’t mean you can’t write about products, or events or food. But give it LIFE. I want to hear the story behind it. I want to see the how the commute was a nightmare, and how you spilled it all over your shoes. Or how your toddler almost pulled down the step and repeat. I want the raw, honest story of life that happens. That’s what is interesting – your life. Don’t be afraid to show it.

I want to authenticity back into our writing before I tune out blogging all together – who’s with me?

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Author: Stephanie Barnhart

Stephanie Barnhart is Author/Founder of Footballfoodandmotherhood.com, New York Editor for Mommy Nearest Magazine, and Founder/Social Media Strategist of SocialmindedMediaGroup.com. Stephanie is also a speaker and educator for small business and soloprenurs, She has also been seen in the New York Times, Huffington Post, PARENTGUIDE News, NY Metro Parent, ABC News, and been a contributing author on various websites.