One, don’t cheat. That’s obviously a really critical piece to this. Don’t be doing bad shit in public but
otherwise let’s go back to the original thought of…
Hey Megan here. Thank you for joining me today. If you don’t know me, I’m a Five-time award-winning
advanced digital marketing strategist and freelance writer.
I help freelancers and solopreneurs create ride or die fans for life through organic marketing
strategies. And this one, it was an idea I had a while ago and it’s just, it’s on the list of things to talk
about. But in light of recent drama happening with these try guys and this affair, I thought I should
probably move it up the schedule a little bit and talk about the considerations you need to have when
you are your brand and how you should really have some sort of framework for how you’ll conduct
yourself online vis a vis parasocial relationships. And the good news I think is that most likely you
won’t have to deal with this.
You won’t become so ginormous, unless you want to. Fingers crossed for you, but you won’t become
so ginormous of a celebrity online or a highly sought after person that it’s not going to be a big issue
for you. That said, I think it’s always critical that you really consider what you’re putting out online and
the repercussions that could have now as a freelancer solopreneur. But more as a freelancer; you are
your brand, right? If you’re a freelance writer, you’re out there marketing to other people trying to sell
your services, graphic designer, product based, service based, whatever. It’s typically a one on one
transactional relationship. And most people will Google you, right, or will look up information about
you, find your social accounts, try and see what you’re about and if it’s something that they can get
behind as a client.
Some clients just don’t care. They need stuff done and you’ve given them the best price or the best
benefit or whatever and so they’re going to go with you. But there are times when your business is
going to be affected by your presence online. And so I wanted to give you a couple of considerations
for what you really need to think about before it becomes a problem. I actually don’t know much about
the try guys.
I’ve seen clips of them on Reddit, that kind of thing, reading about all of this happening and kind of
getting immersed in one, avoiding doing any work and two, getting immersed in this backstory, so to
speak, of these people and the decisions they’ve made while becoming so super successful and
developing these parasocial relationships with their fans. And for the record, I am not someone who
is against parasocial relationships and I think that that is a word that gets thrown around a lot without
any understanding behind it. That’s a topic for another time. But I will concede that I understand why
influencers invite people in to their lives. You know, there’s an authenticity there that gives them the
know like and trust with their fans and it’s probably something that you’ll have to tackle as a
freelancer on your own at some point.
And as I was going through this, I was just thinking about the compromise we all have to make as
freelancers. Whether it is just you making enough money on a side hustle freelancing to you having us
as a full time career, to you becoming so big that you’re a personality, all of these people on the
spectrum on one level or another have to make the compromise on what they’re willing to unveil to
market themselves. So the things I want you to think about when you’re starting your freelancing
career, you can also think about this later once you’re already in the swing of things. But I think the
sooner you prepare yourself the better it will be. So that you don’t have to go back and try and fix
things or not even fix things.
But, how do I want to put it? Cover your tracks, let’s put it that way. So here are the things I want you
to think about before you start marketing yourself online or again if you have to go back. One: the
biggest consideration is perfectly apropos to this affair situation. If you get big, you’re always going to
need to be on. Fans will see you out in the wild.
Clients may see your Twitter accounts, your Instagram accounts, the times when you feel like you’re
not working, you’re still going to be working in some fashion. And so you have to take that
compromise on. When you take any kind of celebrity status, you give up in a way some autonomy.
And it makes me think about I heard President Obama once say that the thing he misses most is just
the anonymity of being anybody, just being able to sit on a park bench and meet somebody for coffee
or something. You lose that even if you don’t think you do.
This affair bombshell is clearly an example of that. So if you are setting your sights up to “I want to be
that 1% of people that makes millions of dollars or even hundreds of thousands of dollars, I want to
be in that top echelon.” There’s a consequence to being on that level. And so you need to go in with
your eyes open or adjust your goals to be something that is a compromise to that. You can still make
a fantastic living without having to be uber influencer.
You don’t have to do that. You can still make a really comfortable living online as a freelancer or an
influencer or a blogger without having to be completely exposed and recognizable if you can frame it
in a way that makes you realize what you’re going to take on. And I don’t think anybody can properly
understand the level of on-ness you have when you reach that tier. So don’t worry if you do reach that,
congratulations. And you’re surprised by how much compromise you have to give there.
But I think that if you at least go into thinking that “this is a goal I have, I want to be one of those 1%
people. I’m going to work my ass off to make that happen. And I accept that I have to give up some of
my anonymity to do that,” then I think that’s fine. But don’t go into a goal like that without considering
the consequences of that sort of notoriety.
Number two, how much do you really need to let people in to give them an authentic taste of your life?
The reality of the marketing world now is that even if you’re not an influencer, you still need to give
people an in to your life in some way. To have that authenticity and to garner that know, like and trust.
People have to like your personality and what you have to say. I’m not going to say that you have to be
a person or a persona online. I’m sure there are people out there killing it who don’t show their face,
don’t use their own voice, keep that veil up very high.
But for the most part, there has to be some sort of peek behind the curtain on who you are. And I want
you to really consider having boundaries there. Because it can be a slippery slope that you don’t even
realize you’re going down. So, what walls can you really put up there? You don’t want to get onto a
slippery slope that you don’t even realize you’re on.
You should always try and protect yourself online as best as you can, even while marketing. So utilize
pen names if you can, if you want. Be cognizant of the things that you photograph. Are there license
plates? Are there street addresses?
Are there identifying things in your photography around your house that someone could utilize
negatively? What information do you have out there that is being sold by data brokers? Can you
protect yourself in some way? There there are tons of companies that will do that work for you. Or you
could of course go to websites and request they remove your information.
But essentially, the more footprints you leave online, the easier it is for people to find information that
they don’t need to have about you. And so setting up intentional boundaries on what you’ll share and
what you won’t share are a key facet to ensuring your digital safety online as a marketer and a
Three, what consent do you have to share the lives of others, and do they understand the
consequences behind that? And I’m thinking of spouses, children, family members, friends. These
people may not completely understand the ripple effect that your marketing may cause them.
And so it’s really critical that you take time to talk to them about, “can I share your your existence on
my Instagram account? Okay. What does that mean? Does that mean that I can share your first
name? I can share your photo?”
I can share. And “what can’t I share? What aren’t you comfortable with?” You need that information
because the damage you can do unintentionally just because you’re sharing your family without them
realizing the repercussions of that can be really damaging. And I worry particularly about mommy
bloggers and people who share their kids lives without the kids consent because they’re too young.
They don’t understand. It’s a factor that really disturbs me, and I wonder what that world will look like
once these kids start coming of age and having their own online presences. You might not be a
mommy blogger. You’re probably not. You’re most likely a freelancer that I’m talking to.
But it’s a good thing to think about, too, on the ripple effect that your stuff out there can cause other
people. And for the record, let me say I’m not telling you not to share your lives online, and I’m not
telling you I’m not trying to scare you away from it.
It’s just more that I want you to go in with your eyes open because the more you understand what
you’re getting into, the more you can protect yourself, your livelihood, your family, your home, all of
these things. And that, I think, is a really critical aspect that not a lot of freelancers think about until
they have to, which is usually a bad time.
And last but not least is, number four.
If you develop a persona for your business or your brand, can you keep that persona going forever?
And that is a difficult question to answer, but I think these wife guys are a perfect example of that.
John Mulaney. I’ll tell you, I got way too invested in John Mulaney’s divorce because, one, he was the
first comedian I ever knew or I ever liked…Maybe there were other ones that were at the time that
really was going away from the “take my wife, please.” Granted, looking back, a lot of his commentary
about his wife was pretty acerbic.
But on the surface, it was just nice to have someone say, like, “my wife is a bitch and I like her so
much.” So it was really disappointing to me when that all happened. But also I was painting my
kitchen at the time, so I had a lot of free time to overthink things, and I think that’s why I got way too
invested in it.
I digress. Can you keep that persona up forever?
Are you going to be comfortable being a wife guy your whole life? Publicly, the more of a persona you
start to set up, the more of like a trope you become. When people start knowing you as like, how many
times you talk about your wife and kids, it’s like you’re just doomed to fail, that you’re just putting
yourself on a pedestal that can’t be permanent, and that sucks. And I don’t think that it’s something
people intentionally do, either setting themselves up as a persona or people finding ways to knock
that persona down.
But when that does happen, when those two things collide, it’s cataclysmic and is dangerous for the
people involved in your life thinking about John Mulaney and this Ned guy, their wives, kids, fiance,
friends, family members, the more you lean into something, the harder it is to come back when it falls
And so if you are marketing yourself in such a way that you are the guy or the woman, understand the
pressure you’re putting yourself under and I guess go into it with open eyes.
I’m sure that these people never thought about, “well, I’m going to be found out to be an adulterer.”
You don’t think about that, but it still happens and it’s still catastrophic. So I want you to not even stop
trying to be authentic or to be online or to be a freelancer. I think that there are ways that you can
definitely market yourself or be successful and do all of those things.
As long as you’re not naive about it and as long as you set some really healthy boundaries for what is
work life and what that work person looks like versus who you are out of work. And as long as you’re
able to maintain that separation. I think, fingers crossed, that it’s healthier, I think it’s better. Only you
can know though. So did I miss something?
Is there a point that you think that we should really talk about when it comes to marketing yourself as
a freelancer and privacy, personas, things like that, leave a comment and let me know.
I know this is a big topic that I am covering, just like a sliver of so yeah, leave a comment, let me know
your thoughts, love to hear them, and I will see you in the next video. Until then, one more thing before
I go that I didn’t mention clearly should you should have a PO box if you’re going to run a business.
Don’t give your real address out!