#1 effective social media tool is…

Social media doesn’t come with an instruction manual. We all have voices and messages to give, and social media can be one of the most visible outlets for them, but getting people to listen can be difficult.

Michell Clark is a Washington, D.C.-based social entrepreneur, cultural curator, and content creator who says the most important thing is conducting oneself with authenticity.

“You can give people a very small snapshot of who you are, and give them all the highlights… there’s no negative parts, there’s no imperfect parts,” he said. “There’s no authenticity in that.”

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“The most important thing to me is telling my story in a very authentic and blunt and relatable manner. I’m not going to tell you ‘oh, I’ve done all these things, and I got all these deals, and I made money in this way,’ without saying what kept me up at night, what I was worried about, what I struggled with,” Clark told What’s Working in Washington.

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This becomes more and more important as internet users become more literate in the language of brands and advertising. “I think a lot of us can tell, one, if someone’s getting paid to talk about something, two, if they actually care about it, and three, if this is actually the full story,” said Clark.

Social media use can sometimes be a balancing act.

“You have to be willing to put certain things out there about yourself, but at the same time, it’s largely up to you in regards to what you put out there, so you have to be smart,” he said.

“When you become your own boss, there’s so much more uncertainty. So you have to figure out exactly what you believe in, what you want to do, and you have to stick to it, because everybody’s going to give you advice,” said Clark. “Having a firm course of action will allow you to keep moving forward and not just kind of be stuck.”

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