Thursday, July 19, 2012

An Authentic Voice

Certainly, nothing gathers a crowd of people faster than the mention of FREE STUFF! And nothing makes a blogger shoot off an e-mail response faster than the promise of SWAG.. ie. fancy blogger talk for FREE STUFF!! 

I don't blame you. 
Please don't blame me. 

It can be tempting to review/like/promote/offer a giveaway in exchange for goodies, because well.. we work really, really hard, and most of us don't make oodles of cash for pouring out our souls via the internet. It feels nice to be recognized, and it feels even better to get something tangible in exchange for what seems like a few easily written words on a screen. But, do you know WHY people want to send you free gifts, and offer giveaways?

It's because YOU are valuable!
All of that soul-sharing,
blogging has cultivated something that entrepreneurs need to sell inventory... an AUTHENTIC VOICE
You have it, and they want it. 

Your readers trust and know you. They've seen your goofy style posts, read your birth stories, prayed for your sick family members, and crossed their fingers for important job interviews. Of course then, your readers will listen when you offer a personal endorsement of a product, but they'll also know when it's disingenuous, because they know YOU. 

Be careful bloggy-friends! Don't water-down the content of your blog as a 'favor' to a friend. You aren't benefiting anyone. Be challenged to honor the attention of your readership, and somewhere in the fuzzy atmosphere of blogland, establish your own personal standards of promotional conduct. 


I'm not saying that I have it all figured out, but here's my personal little rule: I won't review/like/promote any merchandise unless I would spend my real, hard-earned, Etsy-sweat-shop dollars on it. My intention is to have a pre-established guideline clear enough to check the motives of my heart against the emotion of the moment.  

And do you know what's fun about developing a personal standard of conduct, friends? It can work both ways! 
This means that my, and your, pain-stakingly created product might also be declined to be featured by another blogger...AND that blogger might even be a friend. 

It's time for big-girl panties now, ladies.

No one likes rejection, but we all have different voices, tastes, talents, perspectives, and styles, both in real life and in the life that we share via our blogs. And that's ok.
In fact, that's how we were made. 

Rejection is part of the journey. It doesn't feel nice, but a kind 'No thank-you' doesn't mean you are any less talented, successful, or promising of a businesswoman. But when it happens, I will offer you a little hug and piece of chocolate.

Remember, it's an important part of the journey, for our business, and for our hearts.

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