No More T.M.I. — How to Be Vulnerable Without Destroying Your Credibility

Oh em geeeee whiz! Do you know what I’m talking about? I’ve seen MAJOR Influencers share way more than anyone needs to know about their personal lives under the premise of being “authentic” or “vulnerable” (or even “transparent”) and do you know what happens? They destroy their credibility and reputation.  Sometimes in one broad stroke or sometimes they erode it over time.

NO MORE T.M.I. There are certain things about you and your life that are best kept in your circle of trust and no one needs to know those deep dark secrets or nitty gritty details of every day life.  No one needs to know these things.  No one.  Sharing these secrets or opinions don’t draw your audience near to you but actually repel them so fast that they don’t walk away, but they RUN away.

BE AUTHENTIC.  So, first let me address the important bit.  Yes! It is extremely important to be authentic and to be your true self in everything you do for your brand and your business.  You want your fans, your tribe, and your clients to get to know you like you’re both sitting down for a cup of coffee or grabbing a snack from the catering truck.

But let’s take a page from the playbook of old school movie star publicity, shall we?  Before social media, your access to most stars was very strictly controlled by their publicist or studio publicity machine and for a good reason. 

Many movie stars are VERY good at acting, but actors can be quite boring in real life.  Their brand as a star is a big part about the mystery.  If you learn too much about them personally, you many not want to see their movies any more.

You see, actors are great when they have lines to recite or portray, but many are quite introverted when they have to talk about their lives or career.  That’s why many still avoid interviews and those that don’t often get media coaching (like what I provide for clients) BEFORE they sit down to interviews so that they nail it with funny anecdotal stories or talk about their latest project in a very engaging way.

A good example of this is the late actor Christopher Reeve.  He was a guest on a show I produced and he came on the program so he could promote a charity.  He was a lovely man and, at the time, was a major A-lister, but he was also extremely uncomfortable and nervous during the interview.  So much so, that he pulled the press release out of his pocket and started reading it on-air when he was asked about the event he was promoting. 

This was a result of probably two issues. 1) He wasn’t prepared and hadn’t familiarized himself enough with the messaging so he just pulled it out and started reading it.  2) He was extremely shy.  His P.R. Agency at the time was notorious for turning down interviews and keeping their talent out of the press and now you know why….some actors just aren’t “good at media interviews.”

BE VULNERABLE, BUT BE CAUTIOUS.  No one wants to see you as perfect.  Real people don’t relate to perfect people and that’s why it’s so important to be vulnerable but in the right way.

I’ve always loved the character of Indiana Jones and he’s a good example of an expert at what he did but was vulnerable.  In fact, the actor who portrayed him, Harrison Ford, has been great at choosing roles with characters with this quality. 

Being vulnerable makes people see that you’re a flawed human or even just like them, but…again, that doesn’t mean share the biggest and most embarrassing mistakes you’ve made that would undermine your credibility in your zone of genius or your brand. If it undermines your credibility then keep it locked in a vault.  It won’t help you, it will hurt you.

BE TRANSPARENT – JUST NOT ABOUT EVERYTHING.  Whaaaa?  You know how you have windows in your home and sometimes you close the blinds?  When the blinds are wide open then anyone walking by can see everything in the room, but there are times you need privacy and that’s why you have blinds.

Well, it’s the same thing with transparency.  I love when people let you see behind-the-scenes in their business and compare figures from one year to the next.  This is especially fantastic when the person doing that is someone who is in the business of helping others grow their brand and you can see how they did it.  It wasn’t overnight, but their steady effort produced the result you see now.  This is good transparency.

Now let’s talk about bad transparency.  This walks hand-in-hand with bad authenticity and bad vulnerability.  I’ve seen a couple of Influencers make this mistake.  They become so comfortable with their true authentic self and being vulnerable that they lose good judgement on when to close the blinds. Yikes! It’s often like seeing them wee bit “naked” and it’s uncomfortable because it’s just too personal.

And here’s the thing…it’s not that you might lose respect for them as a human (because it’s not about being judgemental).  You may still like them very much.  However, your respect them for them as a business person or brand ambassador is eroded.

So, remember, your tribe loves you when you’re authentic, vulnerable, and transparent.  It’s a big part of building your know, like, and trust factor. Just know when to close the blinds.

Now, are you ready to elevate your professional status from an expert to an authority with TV interviews? If you’re excited to tell your story or share your zone of genius with TV viewers and you’re ready to get the credibility of being a go-to expert media turns to, my ‘Seen on TV’ programs will give you the exact tools to get you there. Your journey to landing your first talk show interview starts with my free training on how to do just that. 

Marianne Schwab is the the creator of the ‘Seen On TV’ System and, as an Audience/Authority Accelerator, she is the go-to broadcast media expert to show you how to get booked on TV and ace your on-camera interview. Her producer credits include Live with Regis & Kathie Lee, Lifestyles of the Rich & Famous, Runaway with the Rich & Famous, E! Entertainment Television ON E! Specials, and many more. She has worked in broadcast for over 25 years and is currently the Executive Producer for CMP Media Cafe, a company specializing in broadcast public relations where she provides customized media coaching services for clients.

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Copyright © 2021 by Marianne Schwab. All Rights Reserved.

Author: marianneschwablive

Marianne Schwab is the author of "The Experts Guide to TV Talk Shows" and, as an Audience & Authority Accelerator, she is the go-to broadcast media expert to show you how to tell your story, get you booked on TV, and media coach you on how to ace your on-camera interview. Her producer credits include Live with Regis & Kathie Lee, Lifestyles of the Rich & Famous, Runaway with the Rich & Famous, E! Entertainment Television ON E! Specials, and many more. She has worked in broadcast for over 25 years and is currently the Executive Producer for CMP Media Cafe, a company specializing in broadcast public relations where she provides customized media training services for clients.

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