Your personality is a hot feature of your business. Think about it—there are thousands of professionals across the world who offer the same (or similar) services. Within my city alone, there are dozens (if not hundreds) of talented photographers, authors, life coaches, bloggers, graphic designers, speakers, etc. When it comes down to it, these people probably offer fairly similar services, prices or experiences to their customers, but they have something that distinguishes each of them from the other—and that’s personality.
Take a moment and think about some of the professional people/businesses you follow on Twitter. For example, I follow business marketing experts like Ali Brown (Ali International), David Siteman Garland (The Rise to the Top) and Pat Flynn (Smart Passive Income), just to name a few. I like each of them because they seem genuine, engaging, insightful and fun. They seem like people I’d want to hang out with in real life.
Who are you following and why? What is it that you like about them? What makes you feel engaged with them? How would you feel if someone else you never heard of shared the exact same information with you?
I’m guessing that you like certain people (and dislike others) because of their personalities—whether it’s in person or online. They are able to act and say things in a certain way that you connect with. In the digital era when there is very little face-to-face contact between you and your potential customers, it is that much more important to let your personality shine through in all your marketing efforts. When there are thousands of other people who do what you do, your own unique, quirky, sexy personality is what will distinguish you.
Here are 3 things to keep in mind as you infuse your personality into your small business:
- Write emails/blog posts/Tweets/ebooks/etc. like you’re talking to ONE person. When you’re writing, envision your ideal client and speak just to them in a conversational tone using words like “you” instead of “people”. Also, don’t use long technical terms, industry jargon and come off as dry as a piece of toast. You want to be YOU. You want your potential clients or customers to feel like they’re hanging out with you, and not with some hollow boring facade of you.
- Focus on being professional, not perfect. In real life, people aren’t perfect, so when you try to present yourself that way, this is going to register on someone’s fraud meter. Why is People Magazine so popular? Because it shows “perfect” celebrities acting like normal people. That’s what we as average Joe’s connect with. Even though you probably don’t want to Tweet about your drunken party weekend, you still want to show people that you are a person with a life similar to theirs.
- Alienate some people. When you bring your personality into your business, you can’t appeal to everyone. So here’s what’s going to happen—some people will love you more and some people will love you less. The people who love you more will spend more money with you, tell all their friends and be your dedicated customers. The people who you alienate, well, you didn’t want to work with them anyway, so it’s better to know now than later.