Your Online VoiceJul 10, 2023
When I was a teenager, I spent a lot of time with my grandparents. My grandmother, on my mom’s side, lived down the street from us. My dad’s parents lived only a few miles away. It was really great to be so close to family.
Before I had my driver’s license, I would ride my bike over to each of my grandparents’ houses. I would cut their lawns and then spend time with them. Typically, I was rewarded with a meal and a cold pop. Then we would sit and talk.
In only a few short years, all three of my grandparents passed away and those moments were over.
At the time, when I was a teenager, I had rushed my way through those times and didn’t pay as close attention as I could have. Now as an adult with grown children, I find myself trying to remember those conversations so I can tell my kids about their great-grandparents.
I wish I had written down the stories and the life lessons.
In talking with my grandfather, my dad’s dad, a consistent theme emerged throughout his stories and life lessons. He often felt that life had handed him a raw deal. He felt that many of the unfortunate moments and events that happened to him were not his fault, and because he didn’t choose them, it was hard for him to recover.
At times, it was very difficult to process these stories and lessons as a teenager. As I look back now, I am so sorry my grandfather had to go through the things he did.
In talking with my grandmothers, they were a hoot! They both adored me. But they both had a different point of view.
One pushed me and challenged me.
The other pampered me.
Both of them were wonderful! I wish I had written down the consistent pearls of wisdom that they had entrusted me with over the years. One of my grandmothers said to me once “no one will ever remember what I said.”
Over time, unfortunately, she’s correct. As her family, we remember and pass on what we can, but unless she keeps a journal and writes down her thoughts and stories, her legacy will eventually die off.
A NEW ERA
This is no longer the case. Any person on the planet with access to the internet can leave a legacy with their words. They can use their voice online to express themselves. Everyone can share their thoughts and feelings on any topic they choose to write about.
That’s the incredible thing about where technology is in 2023.
Think of it like this. All of my grandparents died just as the internet was starting to become a household item. They had absolutely no real clear idea just how amazing or powerful the internet would become. I know they never could have imagined what we take for granted about the internet.
Here’s the reality that the internet has brought:
Every single person can use their voice online to leave their legacy.
We can do that with a blog, a vlog, social media posts and youtube videos. The list is absolutely endless of how anyone can use your voice online.
Just imagine the gift you’re leaving for your future grandchildren and great-grandchildren. I know many of us are posting and writing online and that idea has never crossed our minds. Not only can you use your voice to change things in the world, but you can also use your voice online to leave a legacy for your family. That’s exciting.
How can you leave your mark?
Finding your voice online can be an empowering and transformative journey. There are numerous platforms and endless opportunities to connect with others. The online realm provides a unique space to express your thoughts, opinions, and experiences.
However, if you’re anything like me, you have felt lost at times when you think about just how vast the digital landscape is and how fast it's growing. The process of discovering and honing your voice can sometimes feel daunting, especially for those who are just starting out.
What should I share?
How much should I share?
What would capture an audience's interests?
These are great questions to ask yourself and to get clarity on.
6 STEP GUIDE
Here is a guide to help you find your voice online and leave your legacy for generations to come.
1) Embrace Authenticity:
The first step in finding your voice online is to embrace your authentic self. Don’t be someone you’re not. Be you. Your voice is a reflection of your unique personality, experiences, and perspectives. Embracing who you are allows you to connect with others on a genuine and relatable level.
Don't be afraid to let your personality shine through your writing or content creation. Share your passions, tell your stories, and express your thoughts honestly. The online world appreciates authenticity, and it is what sets you apart from others.
2) Explore Your Interests:
To discover your voice, it's essential to explore your interests and find the topics that ignite your passion. What subjects do you find yourself constantly thinking about or discussing with others? What issues or hobbies excite you?
Identify those areas and delve deeper into them. Whether it's technology, fashion, travel, or personal development, focusing on your interests will help you develop expertise and create content that resonates with others who share your enthusiasm.
3) Engage in Meaningful Conversations:
Finding your voice is not a solitary endeavor; it involves engaging with others. Join communities, participate in discussions, and interact with like-minded individuals. Social media platforms, forums, and online communities provide excellent opportunities to connect with people who share your interests.
Work with a personal branding or life coach. Speak with People coaches leaders through the the Life Design Program to help them discover their voice. Engaging in conversations allows you to learn from others, exchange ideas, and refine your own perspectives. By actively listening and engaging with others, you can gain insights that contribute to shaping your unique voice.
4) Experiment with Different Content Formats:
Finding your voice online doesn't necessarily mean sticking to a single content format. Experiment with different mediums, such as blog posts, articles, videos, podcasts, or social media posts. Each format offers its own advantages and appeals to different audiences. Explore which formats suit your style and resonate with your audience. By experimenting, you can discover the best medium to express yourself and effectively communicate your message.
5) Share Personal Experiences:
One powerful way to use your voice online is by sharing personal experiences. Whether it's triumphs, challenges or life lessons, your unique experiences shape your perspective. By opening up and sharing your story, you create a deeper connection with your audience.
Personal narratives not only help others relate to you but also inspire and motivate them. Your vulnerability and authenticity in sharing personal experiences can leave a lasting impact on those who resonate with your story.
6) Be Consistent and Persistent:
Building an online presence and establishing your voice takes time and effort. It requires reliability and persistence. Be dedicated to consistently creating content and engaging with your audience. Over time, you will refine your style, gain more confidence, and attract a loyal following. Stay committed to the process and embrace the growth that comes with it.
It will be many years till I have grandkids and many more till I have great-grandkids. But, I do know this; they will all be able to get to know me through my online presence. Sharing my voice online is of high value to me. It’s not for everyone, but one of the great benefits is leaving a legacy for my grandkids.
The online world is an expansive canvas waiting to be filled with your unique voice. By embracing your authenticity, exploring your interests, engaging in conversations, experimenting with different content formats, sharing personal experiences, and remaining persistent, you can find your voice and make a meaningful impact.
Remember, your voice matters, and the online community is eagerly waiting to hear what you have to say. So, go forth and let your voice reverberate through the digital realm.
By Jason Raitz - President, Speak with People
Jason has been speaking on different stages and platforms since 1998 and has an incredible way of wrapping humor, practical real life stories and leadership content all together to challenge, inspire and encourage leaders.