Today, more than ever, business owners are sharing their personal lives in their blog and social media posts. Despite fears of mixing business and personal, entrepreneurs are finding that their followers love seeing a more “real” side of them. Whether you want to call it being authentic, genuine, or simply being you, it doesn't matter - sharing your personal side will attract others to you (and to your business!).
I am often asked if I think it’s okay to add personal info to your online posts. One of the biggest reasons people worry about sharing too much personal info, or are even told not to, is because it isn't always seen as professional. While I respect this opinion, I completely disagree. But in full disclosure, I used to have the same concerns!
You may be worrying that your personal life is completely irrelevant to whatever your business is, your followers won’t care, or it won’t boost your online presence whatsoever. But the truth is, people do business with people, not businesses. It’s the personal connections you create that will encourage your audience to keep tuning in. Adding a touch of your personal life to your blog and social media posts will make your business more relatable and memorable.
Here are 4 reasons you should get personal in your blog and social media posts starting now.
1. Build connections and create a loyal following
Blogs and social media are a fantastic way to show your true colors. Every business has a personality and is built on a set of unique values, often very similar to those of the owner. Showing what you stand for and are passionate about will not only make your business more memorable, but it will help you build genuine connections.
Showing that you are a real person who goes on vacation, takes naps, and needs those three cups of coffee, but are also dedicated and work hard, will help you gain the trust of your followers. These types of connections help bridge the gap between businesses and consumers.
Think about which social media accounts or blogs you visit on a regular basis. I can almost guarantee you don’t keep tabs on those accounts regularly because you are looking to buy something. Most of the time, you probably feel like you’re “friends” with the writer and are curious about what’s going on in their world. You either are entertained by what they are saying, find it valuable, or are simply curious. It is through this type of content and relationship that you will build an audience that comes back day after day.
At the end of my blog and Instagram posts, I always add a call to action or question to encourage my readers to be more engaged with my content. You must show your followers that you care about building a relationship with them! Normally, I ask my followers a question and tell them to comment below. I always try to respond to each comment with a thoughtful reply. This is a smart tactic to build a stronger connection and show your audience you genuinely care about who they are and what they think!
2. Share your story
Readers want to get to know the real you. What better way to share who you are with them than to share your stories? Not only do they want to get to know the person behind your business, but it helps for them to know that you’re human just like them - perfectly imperfect and continually learning.
If you’re just beginning to add a personal touch to your blog or social media posts, it's totally okay to only add tiny hints of your life here and there. Truth be told, short and simple stories are often the best way to go! They tend to be much more interesting and actually grab people’s attention. You can still rely on a content strategy to guide what you post about - just throw in little tidbits of your personal life into your posts every once in awhile. For example, on Fridays, share what you’re up to for the weekend, or if you’re launching a new product, share some of the ups and downs you have experienced.
I don’t normally dive into science (and won’t get too fancy on you), but when the brain hears a story, our minds automatically engage. We begin to experience the story being shared in our own heads. We imagine ourselves in the shoes of the person telling it and often, we can relate because we have been through very similar experiences.
As humans, it is easy to feel like we are entirely alone in whatever season we are currently in. But by sharing your stories, you remind your audience that they are not alone and may even encourage others to open up and share their experience.
3. Strengthen credibility
Are you worried that getting too personal online will hurt your credibility? Maybe you’re afraid to show that you struggle, make mistakes, or (gasp!) have a personal life. And yet, showing a more dynamic picture of your life lends well to boosting your credibility as a business owner. If you’re able to juggle everything that is going on in your life and run a successful business, that is saying something.
Think about who you go to for advice. Some random stranger that you met at a store or your friends and family? If your audience feels like they know you, they are more likely to trust you when they are ready to make a purchase.
Instead of hiding all of your experiences as a business owner - share them! The good and bad experiences prove to people that you are doing everything you can to be the best business owner possible. Not to mention, topics such as struggles, lessons learned, or even behind the scenes of your business, will establish a common ground among your followers.
We talked about how being authentic is key to a successful social media presence in my blog post, How to Write Instagram Captions that Attract More Engagement and Followers, but have you thought about the transparency of your business? People appreciate when you don’t hide things, they get a more detailed picture of what goes on behind closed doors, and who is a part of your team. Not only does being transparent keep everybody happy, but it also earns your business respect and improves the value of your relationships.
4. Get to know your audience
How do you expect to get to know the needs and interests of your audience (and potential customers) if they don’t know anything about you? Blogs and social media platforms are a great way to get to know what type of content your audience likes and dislikes, what engages them in conversation, and what they tend to ignore.
When your audience takes the time to comment on posts, it most likely will be to share an opinion or an experience, or to ask a question. This kind of interaction gives you a window into who they are. Knowing your audience on a more personal level will give you insight on which products and services they are most likely to be interested in. You can also use this information to guide you on ways to leverage your business and find your ideal target audience.
This is a two-way street. Let your audience know that you care about them as people, not only as potential clients. And don’t be a phony - people can tell when your comments are not genuine.
Since creating an Instagram business account, I have become far more personal in my social media posts. And guess what? Those are the posts that have gotten the most engagement and interaction among my followers! My personal posts have helped me discover a handful of great friends and business owners that I now collaborate with. It has also helped make posting on social media much less mundane.
Sure, being personal in your blog and social media posts may seem scary or even risky. But I am here to assure you that being personal in your business writing will come with major benefits (speaking from experience). Not only do I enjoy and see positive feedback from being more human, but I tend to engage more with other businesses that also share aspects of their personal lives.
Have you tried adding personal tidbits to your blog and social media posts? Do you find that people engage more or relate to you and your business when you share snippets of your personal life? If you’re still holding back, what scares you the most? I would love to hear how sharing more of your personal life has impacted your business! Share your experiences below!