Episode 15 Interview With Erica Blair

Hey there it’s Terry Levine at Heartreprenuer radio and thanks for tuning in to another episode.   I am excited to interview my guest.  Her name is Erica Blair.  Erica is a marketing strategist.  A personal branding coach and location independent entrepreneur.  She is in Thailand right now.  She works with merchant entrepreneurs to generate influence and income by building an online presence.  I know that many of you are interested in the online presence.  One of the main reasons I wanted to have her.  She helps people uncover ways they can connect to an audience by sharing their own unconventional stories as well as the knowledge they have gained through lived experiences.  This is perfect.  Welcome to the show Erica.

Erica:  Thank you so much for having me.

Terri:  I am excited.   Before we get into some of the wonderful tips that you are going to give us, tell us about yourself and your background and how you got into this work.

Erica:  So, I am American although I live in Thailand.  I grew up in California.  I loved traveling.  My whole life.  I always wanted to.  I decided to make my way abroad when reached adulthood.  It’s been about 7 years abroad altogether.  Finally figured out a way that I could live the lifestyle that I loved and also have a career that really worked for me.  So, I came to this path that I am on right now through getting my start as a social media marketer.  Which then evolved into doing some of the higher level strategy stuff.  What I found was that I really loved working with people to develop their stories and figure out how they can get those online to the people that they wanted to reach.

Terri:  What do you mean about developing their stories?  People are going to have questions.

Erica:  I think we witness a lot change in our world over the last decade or so.  What does it take to connect with people through your business and through your personal branding?  It has really shifted.  There used to be things you could do and then things you couldn’t do.  There is your personal life and then there is your professional life.  Now it’s sort of melding.  People now are really craving authenticity in a way that we weren’t before because we have almost unlimited options in terms of who we can turn to for input.  Who we can turn to for advice.  For someone to stand out in a crowd now, it take a lot more now.  People are looking to work with people who they can really connect with on a deeper level.  We have access to so many people to work with that in order to stand out, I think it’s really  important to get really clear on who you are and who you like working with.  Then to really figure out how you can talk about that.  How you can share what makes you unique, what kind of life experiences you have had, and that may extend far beyond what was considered the professional realm.

Terri:  How does someone go about figuring this out?

Erica:  it’s a process.  There is no standard answer because it depends on where you are in your own comfort level with sharing your story. There are vulnerable spots you may have.  For me, I think about the lessons I want to share and then instead of just saying in the abstract, ok this, this and this, I really try to look for a way to back it up with an anecdote to explain how I reached that realization.  I like to explain the reasoning how I discovered things.  It’s about taking these things that you talk about in abstract and figuring out how you can apply personal authorities.  When people hear that you have lived it, they are not able to refute that it’s true.  It is something that you have really been through.  I think a lot of that has to do with practice as well.  No matter who you are, when you first start sharing your story online, and sharing really genuine representations of who you are, it is intimidating.  It honestly doesn’t go away.  There are times I post something really personal.  I will go back a few hours later and think, oh my gosh, what have I done?  The feedback you get when you really share yourself is amazing.  The people you connect with because of your genuineness, it has been the kind of reinforcement that allows me to keep doing it time and time again.

Terri:  I share a lot of personal stuff online.  Risky.  Yet I really feel like I want people to get to know me and either like me or not like me.  Part of working with me is I believe you have to like me.  I am now in the process of writing a book where I am being completely transparent.  I am a little scared because it’s revealing a lot of stuff in my life that is not so pretty to look at.  What are your thoughts?

Erica:  I heard a quote:  New level, new devil.  Pretty much every time you hit that next level, you are going to feel that stretch, that sense of uncomfortability.  That is a sign that you are really pushing yourself to grow.  You are pushing yourself into a new zone of what you could accomplish.  Personally, that is a good sign I believe.  You are going beyond what you have already done.  It will be a lot more intriguing to people who are already tuned into what you do.  You hit on another point too, ultimately the cost of putting yourself out there in an authentic way, some people won’t like you.  Humans don’t genuinely enjoy that.  Most humans do not enjoy getting negative feedback.  In a way, that also is a sign that you are really doing right.  Because you can’t be for everybody.  That is a plain and simple fact.  When you try to be for everybody, you end up being for nobody.  Its really important for your people to know who you are and what you stand for.   So, part of that is going to involve a push to people who don’t stand for what you stand for.  When we can all get a bit of practice, just putting ourselves out there, it starts to get easier.  That feeling really doesn’t ever go away, but its true practice makes perfect in this type of situation.  For me, it has to do with the feedback I get from my people that keeps me going and pushing the boundaries with what I feel comfortable with.

Terri:  I really resonate with you.  I knew I would. I think a mentor of mine, sort, sift and separate.  I think that is part of it.  The people who are going to be your tribe, whatever you put out there are going to resonate with you and be attracted to you.  Those that aren’t quite right for you, they will turn the other way.  We don’t want everybody.  We can’t have everybody.  While we are human, we enjoy being liked, we can’t be liked by everyone. I love what you said, take a stand.  That is really important to be authentic.  Be who you are.  What other tips do you have for people tuning in?

Erica:  A lot of people feel like they really need to produce a magnum opus story of their life.  They need to create this epic about page on their website or they need to do this video that is going to explain their whole story.  I think there is an easier way which is start thinking about how you can break it up into smaller pieces.  For me, I use a lot of different platforms as opportunities to share what is coming up for me on that particular day and to weave my story into those situations.  Instead of just saying, what you think or just saying the point you are trying to make, weave in a personal anecdote to make it stronger.  That has been my biggest approach to getting my story out there.  It is bite size.  I can share a story with an Instagram post.  Whatever medium you are using, there are ways to break up this feeling that you need to get who you are across into just tiny little bits.  The truth is that is actually a lot more manageable for people to consume and work with and start to understand who you are.  Put out little anecdotes of who you are and what you are about.

Terri:  What great advice!  I appreciate this.  I am in alignment with you.  I love who you are.  How can people get in touch with you if they want to stay connected?

Erica:  I am at TheEricaBlair at Facebook and Twitter.  My website is Ericalive.com   If you want to get involved with my newest project, A mastermind community for people who are aiming to become location independent, you can go to locationindependentlife.com

Terri:  Thank you for joining us.

Erica:  Thank you for having me.

Remember everybody, share what you love from Heartrepreneur radio.  This is Terry Levine signing out for now.