There's a myth floating around that says that in order to be successful online and build trust with potential clients, you have to spill your guts about every aspect of your life.
Fortunately, this isn't true. Multiple studies have shown that trust increases more with predictability than it does with an increase in self-disclosure.
If the current trend of keeping it (overly) real and out-authenticizing each other leaves you uncomfortable, you're not alone. Yes, people want to connect with you on a personal level, but oversharing and TMI actually turns them off.
Oversharing can even build distrust, particularly if you're openly discussing your spouse or kids in an embarrassing way. When a potential client sees this, the thought process goes something like this: "If they're willing to talk about their family this way -- their most important relationships -- then what will they say about me?"
Want to use social media effectively to build more trust with potential clients? Show up more often. Be real. Set boundaries.
Originally published March 2012