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Finding Your Own Story with Erica Blair
I have someone who I am excited to interview. Her name is Erica Blair and she is a marketing strategist, a personal branding coach, and location independent entrepreneur. She’s in Thailand and she works with emerging entrepreneurs to generate influence and income by building an online presence. Her work centers on helping people uncover ways they can connect to an audience by sharing their own unconventional stories and the knowledge they have gained through lived experiences. Welcome to the show, Erica.
Thank you so much for having me. I appreciate it.
Tell us a little about yourself, your background, and how you got into your work.
I am American, although I live in Thailand. I grew up in California. I love traveling my whole life. I always wanted to do it. I never quite got the chance as a child. I decided to make my way abroad when I reached adulthood and I’ve spent about seven years abroad altogether. I finally figured out a way that I could live the lifestyle that I loved and also have a career that worked for me. I came to this path that I’m 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 through the work that I was doing was that I love working with people to develop their stories and figure out how they can get those online to the people that they wanted to reach.
What do you mean by to develop their stories?
We witnessed a lot of change in our world over the last decade or so and that’s something that all of us who’ve been through it can recognize. Part of what has changed that a lot of people aren’t necessarily noting is what it takes to connect with people through your business and your own personal branding has shifted. There used to be an expectation that there was this veneer of professionalism. There were things that you could do and things that you couldn’t do. There was your personal life and your professional life. What we’ve seen over the last decade that it melded into something that’s a lot more indistinguishable. People now are 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.People now are craving authenticity in a way that we weren’t before. Click To Tweet
For somebody to stand out from the crowd, it takes more than just taking the boxes of what it meant to be a good professional person in the past. Now, people are looking to work with people who they can connect with on a deeper level. We have access to so many people to work with that in order to stand out, it’s important to get clear on who you are and who you like working with. Then to figure out how you can talk about that. What makes you unique, and what life experiences you’ve had, and that may extend far beyond what was typically considered the professional realm.
Let’s say somebody’s reading and they’re like, “I’ve had these things happen in my life experience and my work experience.” How do they go about figuring out how to use that?
It’s a process of soul searching. There is no standard answer because it depends on where you are and your own comfort level with sharing your story and talking about things that may feel like soft spots or a vulnerable spot. For me, I think about the lessons that I want to share and then instead of just saying in the abstract, I try to look for a way to back it up with a personal anecdote that explains the way that I reached that realization. People, especially in the coaching and the online business world, give a lot of advice but don’t necessarily explain the reasoning about how they discovered that that advice was relevant and true and that applied to the situation that they’ve been in. It’s about taking these things that you think about in abstract and figuring out how you can apply personal stories.
When people hear about it as your lived experience, they are not able to refute that it’s true because it’s something that you’ve been through and something that you can speak from personal experience. A lot of that has to do with practice as well because no matter who you are, when you first start sharing your story online and sharing genuine representations of who you are, it is intimidating and that intimidation doesn’t go away. There are times when I posted very personal thoughts or stories and then come back a few hours later and think, “What have I done?” The feedback loop you get when you share who you are, what you do, the people that you connect with, more importantly, people who are on that same level as you and are inspired to work with you because of that genuineness that you’re sharing with them. For me, it has been the reinforcement that allows me to keep doing it time and time again.
I share a lot of personal stuff online and I want people to get to know me and either like me or not because part of working with me is you have to like me. If you know my past, you can decide if you like me or not. I’m now in the process of writing a book where I’m being completely transparent. I’m a little scared because it’s revealing a lot of stuff in my life that’s not so pretty to look at. What are your thoughts about that?
I heard a quote that I like, which is, “New level, new devil.” Every time you hit that next level, you’re going to feel that stretch and sense of uncomfortability. In a lot of ways, that’s a sign that you’re pushing yourself to grow and pushing yourself into a new zone of what you could possibly accomplish. Personally, I feel like that’s a good sign that you’re going beyond what you’ve already done and that’s going to be a lot more intriguing for people who are tuned into your content and what you do. Another point that’s important is that ultimately the cost of putting yourself out there in an authentic way is that some people aren’t going to like you and that’s tough. That’s not something that any human being genuinely enjoys. I don’t want to speak for everyone, but most human beings do not enjoy getting negative feedback.
In a very strange way that also is a sign that you’re doing it right because you can’t be for everybody. That’s a plain and simple fact. If you try to be for everybody, you end up being for nobody. It’s important for your people to know who you are and what you stand for. 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 the little bit of practice just putting ourselves out there, it starts to get easier. I’m not going to say that that feeling ever goes away, but it’s true that practice does make perfect in this type of situation. For me, it has to do with the feedback that I get from my people that keeps me going and keeps me pushing the boundaries of what I feel comfortable with.
That’s one of the reasons I wanted to reach out. A mentor of mine, Joel Bauer, says it a lot, “Sort, sift and separate.” Part of it is the people who are going to be your tribe and whatever you put out there are going to resonate with you and be attracted to you. Those that aren’t quite right for you are going to turn the other way. We don’t want everybody, we can’t have everybody. While we’re human and we enjoy being liked, we also can’t be liked by everyone. I love what you said, take a stand, that’s important to be authentic. What other tips do you have for people who are reading this and saying, “I want to take advantage of this.” Any other tips that you have?
A lot of people when they’re getting started, feel like they 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’s going to explain their whole story. There’s an easier way, 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 saying what you think, or you are saying the point you’re trying to make, to weave in a personal anecdote that makes it a bit stronger.While we’re human and we enjoy being liked, we can’t also be liked by everyone. Click To Tweet
That’s been my biggest approach to getting my story out there. It’s bite-size. It’s something that I can manage in my typical workflow. I can share a little story on Instagram post that I put up or I can make a Facebook post or a Snapchat story. Whatever medium you’re using, there are ways to break up this feeling that “you need to get who you are across” into tiny little bits. The truth is that’s a lot more manageable for other people to consume and work with and start to understand who you are. It comes down to not making the perfect, the enemy of the good, and putting out little anecdotes of who you are and what you’re about as you go about your daily routines and marketing for your business.
What great advice. I’m totally in alignment with you. How can people get in touch with you if they want to stay connected, find out more, and reach out to you?
I am @TheEricaBlair on all social media and my website is EricaLive.com. If you want to get involved with the newest project that I’m launching, which is a mastermind community for people who are aiming to become location independent, you can go to
I want to thank you for joining us and I want to encourage people to get in touch with Erica. I get excited by listening to her talk. She’s got some amazing ideas and real solid tips. Erica, thank you so much for being my guest here in Heartrepreneur Radio.
Thank you so much for having me, Terri.
You are most welcome, Erica. I will remind all of you to come back to Heartrepreneur Radio, comment on it, review it, share it with others, and don’t miss an episode. We’ll see you all soon.
About Erica Blair
Blockchain has a communication problem, and I’m here to solve it. I use branding principles to help complex technical blockchain projects win hearts and minds around the world. Available for public speaking globally.
I worked with dozens of emerging thought leaders to define their brand identity & messaging. Through my consulting work, I assisted experienced professionals in presenting their expertise, conducting market research to understand their client base, and strategically positioning their offers for best effect.
Specialties included personal branding, as well as overall brand strategy for their agencies and organizations.