Show Up as Your “Whole”​ Self to Stand Out Online

Leslie Douglas
Jan 21 · 3 min read

“Professional” you, meet “Personal” you.

You two may not have met before. You have been living separate lives.

You have separate social media accounts. You carefully curate the LinkedIn version of yourself to be distinct and separate from the Instagram version of yourself. Your connections rarely exist in the same circles. You have different messages, different paths, different focuses.

Maybe you’d like to finally meet each other. Maybe you’re tired of living separate lives like Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde.

Let me tell you a secret: if you stop existing separately and build your personal brand around your “whole” self, your life, your message, and managing your digital footprint become a whole. lot. easier.

The leaders that are the most successful at standing out on the digital landscape are those that are authentic.

I’ve seen it work for executive leaders time and time again. After spending more than a decade helping C-level executive leadership position themselves on the digital landscape, I’ve seen first hand what makes the biggest impact on social media in terms of follower growth, engagement, and influence.

The leaders that are the most successful at standing out on the digital landscape are those that are authentic. Those that are real. Those that open up a little bit and share more than just the latest article they read on Wired, or the latest press release from their company. Those that show up as their “whole” self online, rather than trying to manage multiple versions of their digital presence.

Of course, they are also successful because they have an executive visibility strategy, a firm knowledge and opinion on hot topics within their industry, and often have a team of people supporting them to create compelling thought leadership and content, but the ones that really stand out and influence others are those that fully show-up on social media and don’t overly curate their comments and posts into content so dry you have to go grab some moisturizer after reading it.

When I finally discovered this for myself, it was literally life changing.

I realized I could let my personal side shine through to my professional side, and vice versa. My work became easier, people became more interested in what I was doing and saying, more opportunities came knocking at my door, and I finally felt comfortable with showing up as my “whole” self online. Bad jokes and weird movie references included.

I too used to keep things “separate”. I thought that my professional side had to stay polished and perfect, and I didn’t want to disclose my personal life to the world.

I still don’t disclose too much of my personal life to the world, but I DO let people in on who I am, what I believe in, and the fact that sometimes I am not perfect.

It feels GREAT. I finally feel AUTHENTIC. And REAL.

Also, my message is connecting more with my communities on both sides.

Stop living like Eddie Murphy in the Nutty Professor. Show up as your “whole” self if you really want to stand out on the digital landscape.

Leslie Douglas

Written by

Digital marketing, personal branding, exec visibility. Global Marketing @Accenture | Former PR + Social Media @PwC_LLP. I want to be friends with everyone.

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