How to make yourself likeable when you write online

AKA advice from my past self to you)Cleaning out my Evernote recently, I found a folder called “BLOG PERSONALITY IDEAS.” It came from, years ago, when I was working with Kendrick Shope and she said [imagine deep Southern accent]:

“Marsha, I don’t know anyone who pours their whole personality into their emails better than you do.”

I was thrilled, and her suggestion eventually turned into me starting the service, Put The You Back In Your Business. But somewhere in between, I decided to test out if this could even be a thing, by getting on a call with a business buddy who wasn’t having any engagement in her emails and blogs.

I honestly don’t remember which chum it was (and if it comes to me, I won’t name him/her, because: discretion). But clearly, I made ten notes, and these were written up on the one file inside that was inside that BLOG PERSONALITY IDEAS folder. I just read through them, realized that Past Marsha made some good points, and thought I’d share them with you! With a little explanation under each one.

1) YOU ARE WARM! So be warm in your emails!
I have seen this issue SO MANY TIMES. I meet someone in person. They are so warm that standing next to them basically feels like being hugged by someone you really like. Then I look at their blogs and emails and they write like they’re politely informing me of my next dental appointment.

If you are a warm person in real life, we warm online and in your emails. If you are not warm, be the way you are. Either way, your people will find you and be grateful for it.

2) You don’t have to tell them anything about your life
OH this one. “I’m a really private person. I don’t want to talk online about my life.”
I get it a LOT. But here’s the wonderful thing…

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how to write a bio that people actually enjoy reading or hearing (3 Steps!)

While I love doing things that are public facing — speaking on stage, getting interviewed on podcasts, being part of a panel, writing guest blog posts, running workshops for organization — there’s one part I always used to hate. Being asked that question:

“Could you email over a short bio?”

Because summing up your entire career in one paragraph is harrrrrd.

But also, a bio is one of those things that “you just have to have” — which is entirely the wrong way to think about it. Instead, you should be asking yourself my favourite two questions…

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How (and Why) to Brag Online Without Sounding Like a Jerk — 6 Ideas

I got famous among this group of friends pretty early on. I hadn’t even really done anything.

Back in 2013 when I started my business — and by “started my business,” I mean “decided that maybe I could possibly start a business where I was coaching, and so threw up a very basic website and started calling myself a coach” — I made a new group of friends. All of us had done B School, Marie Forleo’s (brilliant! life-changing!) online business and marketing course, and we decided to meet once a week for coffee. Being an entrepreneur was a brand new experience for me, and I loved hanging out with other people who got it.

A few weeks in, it began. I would arrive and, inevitably, someone would say…

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Sometimes I shoot myself in the foot because it’s the right thing to do: A Tragedy by YYM

Standing in the wings, I looked out at the crowd and felt a rush going from my size 2, Mary Jane shoes, all the way up to the pony tail my mum had done for me that morning.

I was eight years old, and about to have my moment.

It was my brownie group’s Christmas show. I was part of an ensemble piece — but knew everyone would be looking mostly at me. We were going to sing a song called Tails.

Tails Tails Tails, you can swing them high and low! You can wrap them ’round your middle, you can trail them in the snow!

It’s testament to…

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Why are you so interesting, Marsha, and I’m so boring?

Have you ever thought that?

Maybe not about me, but about someone else you follow online? Someone who writes newsletters or Facebook posts that you always read. Someone who, every week, seems to be doing something cool and even if you don’t necessarily wish you were them, you wish you could hang out with them. You feel like they get you.

(Maybe you’ve even considered buying from them just to get a bit closer…)

Want to know how they do that? Want to know how YOU could?

By telling your stories.

But…what if nothing that exciting has ever happened to you? What if you don’t have any stories?

Then, you’re screwed. Give up now.

Obviously, I’m kidding.

The wonderful thing about stories is…

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How to stand out when everyone else is selling, too

(AKA “What is it about crying in the bath that’s so exquisitely painful?”)

I sat at my desk, finger hovering over my mouse and feeling sick.
In the words of my friend Holly G, I used to sell my services like I was trying to sell drugs in a back alley. Back in my first year of business, I’d whisper what was on offer once, then never mention it again. In case you’re wondering, I did not have a steady stream of customers.

But, after some tough love from my sales coach (Kendrick Shope), here I was, about to send an email to my list, where I was openly — in my mind, aggressively — asking for the sale. I was terrified. I had started with a story, because I always start things with a story. But then I had very clearly spelled out why the person reading should hire me. I felt so pushy.

Frowning at the screen, I was totally convinced that, within minutes, all 200 people on my mailing list would unsubscribe. Perhaps some of them might appear outside my house with picket signs and tomatoes to throw. I took a deep breath and…

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The Three Biggest Mistakes When Telling Stories – BWSS #5!

Oof, no one wants to know that the story they just told was kind of boring… but if you sense that’s the case, you may be making one of the THREE BIGGEST MISTAKES!

Want to know what they are? Listen here, or read the transcript!

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How To Edit Your Stories (Part 3) — BWSS #4!

When putting together a story you want to tell, what stays and what goes??

This is often the thing we struggle with the most in storytelling! If you’ve listened to or read the transcripts of How To Edit Your Stories Part 1 and How To Edit Your Stories Part 2, then you’ll know that:

– You need to ask yourself, “Why do I want to tell this story? What will be different as a result?”
– Most of your story should be made up of ‘action scenes’ (granular, real-time descriptions of scenes)
– You need to pick 1 — 4 action scenes for each story
– How to create those scenes

In today’s episode, I show you how to pull those scenes together to make a coherent story! Listen to it or read the transcript here!

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How to edit your stories (Part 2) – BWSS #3

This is a short episode, and honestly is the only thing you REALLY need to know about how to tell a compelling story.

Obviously, I think there are way more than just one lesson (I kind of make my living based off that belief). But if you can understand this thing? You do 90% of what’s needed.

So, today in the Baby Walk Story Sessions (the podcast + transcript, made while I walk around with the baby on my back, hence the name) I cover my most important (and pretty easy) lesson:

HOW TO WRITE AN ACTION SCENE.

If you can write an action scene, you can tell a story. And all you need is two simple questions. Want to know what they are?

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How To Edit Your Stories (part 1) – BWSS #2!

You go to tell a story — or maybe, just THINK about telling a story — but… there’s so much there! How do you know what to leave out, and what to keep in?

In this week’s episode of the Baby Walk Story Sessions (less than 10 mins), ALL WILL BE REVEALED!!!!!

Well, technically some will be revealed, because this is the first of a three-parter on editing. But here, I tell you…

THE MOST IMPORTANT THING YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT TELLING CAPTIVATING AND COMPELLING STORIES.

Also, I tell you a story about my bummer life when I first moved to Toronto, and how it improved. Want to hear it?

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