On Friday, I was fortunate to attend Social Slam, a digital and social media conference in Knoxville, Tennessee. The morning keynote presentation was delivered by Jeff Bullas, named one of the top 50 social media power influencers by Forbes. Bullas shared with the audience how to build a presence on social media by creating and delivering interesting content. One point he made resonated with me: Be driven by passion, not perfection. Bullas confided that articles written for his blog contain errors, but he does not allow himself to become a victim of inertia because of fears of what people might say when they find mistakes. He reminded us that only one perfect person has walked the earth, and He has not been around for two thousand years!
Passion + Purpose = Awesomeness
It is not uncommon to hear people exhort us to "follow your passion." Such proclamations can make us feel good about our dreams, but passion without purpose is little more than a dream. Jeff Bullas represents how a purpose-inspired passion can lead to building a remarkable personal brand. Bullas is a former high school teacher and real estate salesman who had an interest in how technology was changing communication. He parlayed his interest in the Internet and his servant-like approach to helping people to become a thought leader in social media.
"It's not about You"
Having a passion can be very fulfilling, but it does not pay the bills! But, passion coupled with purpose gives one direction toward creating an impact. Another theme echoed by Bullas and others at Social Slam that is important to note is that "it's not about you." Passion and purpose will have the greatest impact when they are applied in serving other people. A related point was shared by Gabriell Laine-Peters, principal of social media consultancy X-Digital, who said that "community is at the heart of everything we do."
The true power of social media is not that it gives everyone a voice (although that is a defining characteristic); the true power is that the voice enables us to connect with each other for good. Sharing information, exchanging ideas, answering questions, giving encouragement, advocating a cause... all of these occur within a community. And, these traits are all inspired by passion and purpose. You don't have to be perfect when using social media; just be willing to let your passion and purpose shape your personal brand.
Labels: Personal Branding, Social Media