This is a direct response to Carlos Miceli’s post on Owl Sparks: Prison, Fear, and Personal Branding

You know that feeling you have when you first meet someone?  It’s that feeling that you have to put your best foot forward so that you can make the best first impression. We have this feeling at networking events, job 221868712_0216d8aecbinterviews, and when we finally get the courage to talk to the girl we like.

When we put our “best foot forward,” are we really being ourselves?  Or are we just putting up a facade of a “better self” that we think people would like to meet?

When it comes to the social media world, personal branding has taught us that we need to constantly showcase our best selves so that we consciously brand ourselves the way we want people to view us. But in doing so, are we losing our real selves in the process?  Does your social media brand match your real life brand?

Ways to break out of the prison

1. Stop agreeing with everyone


For the next week, I want you to ONLY leave a comment on a blog IF you completely disagree with the author’s point of view.  No more agreeing with blog posts!  Comments that disagree are not only more interesting, but they generate great discussions and debates on the blog post that usually lead to new ideas and concepts.

2. Trim the fat

Take a good day to sit down, go through your Facebook and Twitter profiles, and un-friend/unfollow people who you are not close friends with. If you do not have an intimate relationship with the person, then there is no need for you to be friends with them on Facebook or to Follow them on Twitter.

Doing this is not only liberating, but you’ll begin to build closer ties to the people that matter in your life.

3. Write a controversial blog post

frustrated_computer_userThe best debaters are able to argue their opponents argument better than the opponent himself.  Find a topic in your niche that is HOT.  Find one that is very biased towards one side of the argument and write a post arguing for the other side.  It doesn’t matter if you don’t agree with the other point of view, as long as your argument is well thought out, coherent, and makes people want to debate with you.

You’ll not only stir up a great conversation online with your post, but you’ll drive more traffic to your blog and gain a new readership.

Be yourself online

Try these three exercises and let me know what you think.  The more you practice them, the more comfortable you’ll feel about being yourself online.


Jun Loayza is the Co-Founder of Viralogy, the Social Media Rank, and the President of, a social media marketing agency.  You can find out more about Jun at his personal blog – Young Entrepreneur.