At the time of writing this post, there is a lot of buzz around the COVID 19 pandemic, police brutality in black communities, and nursing homes being audited for elderly neglect in Ontario, Canada.
As a personal brand, you must be aware of how engaging in these conversations can affect your business. Many brands don't say anything because of fear of criticism. They decide to ignore the conversation and swipe on. However, you can contribute responsibly by taking into consideration these five perspectives.
I'm very non-confrontational. My name, Cherene, is Arabic for "sweet." I don't like offending people cause I am a "sweet" person. I don't like conflict. However, I do realize how important it is to have a voice in conversations. As an influencer, I am seen as a leader in my community. Whatever your product or service realize that as a business owner, you are a leader because you're in service.
Whether you're leading a corporation or you are a big-time influencer, and even if you're just getting started, you've decided to stand up and solve an issue in the marketplace. Realize that you are a leader, and you do have some influence.
There are ways to support political and social agendas without being vocal or involved in the conversation. You can support with your money if you do not want to put any content on your feed that may be disruptive.
If you feel like you would like to stay away from politics and social conversations that are affecting us, that is your call. There's no wrong or right way. It's just about being mindful of how you go about doing this. Often, if you don't want to speak with your voice, you can speak with your dollars. If you choose to do this, understand the repercussions that will come if you stay silent. Silence can be perceived as neglect, irrelevancy, or that you don't care.
I don't usually talk about politics. I'm also not one to put up controversial posts, but for me, I have a higher mission that calls me to speak up. My overarching brand mission is human potential, which is all about helping people access greater resources within themselves so they can live a life of abundance, love, joy, and peace on this planet. That's why I will speak up on the injustices of our planet.
Not everyone is going to agree with you, and it's okay to offend people. People will always get offended. If you are continually muting yourself, you are holding yourself back. You end up watering down your brand. Some people will be repelled, and that's okay.
Often, I won't engage in a conversation politically or socially because I don't have the facts. Do your research. Watch out for headlines that are clickbait. Clickbait headlines are misleading headlines manipulated to get you to click and read the article. Be cautious because you don't want to start a ruckus on news that is fake. There's a lot of fake news out there.
Not everyone is going to agree with you, but in the end, what's most important is that you are voicing your opinion, and that's the power of personal branding. Take a deep breath and step away from media periodically to clear your mind in heated conversations.
In all cases, speak from love. Have compassion and seek to understand rather than to be understood.
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