Do you know how to blog for your business using personality yet remaining professional? No, seriously – there’s an ongoing trend to be personal with blogs. I see it everywhere – blogs, email, newsletters. If you’re writing for business, you want to connect with your readers by using personal stories. But how much is too much?
Rohit Bhargava’s written a whole book about this, filled with examples of how companies are successfully using personalities to market their business products and services: Personality Not Included.
This is an important skill to master when it comes to writing a business blog that attracts readers yet keeps a professional brand. Where do you draw the line when it comes to sharing personal stories?
For example, I get updates from a professional who writes about arguments with her husband. I can’t help myself, I’m drawn into reading the damn things. And sure, she’s promoting a program…And there’s only a loose tie between the story, the husband, and the program she’s promoting!
But she tells the story so well, you don’t care! I can’t stop myself from reading her blog and newsletters. Why? As a psychologist, I can tell you why:
We’re hard wired to connect with others, especially about family stories, and we all relate to each others’ predicaments.
So, the dilemma remains: how do you do this successfully without embarrassing yourself – or worse – incurring the wrath of a family member?
5 Tips to Prevent TMI (too much information)
When sharing personal stories with your business readers:
- Decide ahead of time what you feel comfortable sharing, and what remains locked in the box. (I’ll easily share about my tennis, my kitties, and our home in Mexico, but arguments with the Hubby – no!)
- Share a few details, enough to make it real. Don’t go overboard. Details make it real and make it easy for readers to identify and connect.
- Tie it into some lesson you learned, and what you would do differently next time. Admitting a mistake or doubt is something all people can relate to.
- Bring your readers into the story by asking them what they would do, or if they’ve had similar experiences.
- If the story is emotional for you, save it as a draft, then sleep on it before you publish. You’ll find that with a bit of distance, you can usually edit out half the details; you’ll be clearer and more comfortable sharing your feelings and writing with emotion.
Including your personality in business communications doesn’t mean you have to get overly personal. Au contraire. You can write about your experiences at a trade conference for that matter.
Readers want to know you as a real human being, with feelings, thoughts and foibles. Put more of “you” in what you write about. As most of us can agree, nobody cares what you had for breakfast. But it’s nice to get to know something about a blog author you spend time reading.
How do you blog for your business? Do you have some great examples of TMI? How do you avoid sharing too much?