Have you given some thought to your brand, your Unique Selling Proposition (USP) and what sets you apart? For the purposes of your business brand, if YOU are your business – a one-person operation like so many of us are – then your personality traits, quirks and characteristics are a big part of that brand.
What stands out about you: are you funny? Serious? Very personal? Friendly? Outgoing? Shy? What are your interests? What other things in your life define you? And, why is this important, and how is relevant to the world of social media?
It’s important because when you write for, and participate in social media, it’s about having a conversation. And having a conversation that’s interesting in social media is the same as it is everywhere. Some people we enjoy talking to and hearing from, and some we don’t. It’s the same here. You don’t need to have everyone love or even like you, or be your new BFF. You just need the people who you are a fit for to love you, or like you. That gives you permission to be yourself and not be so worried about what everyone thinks, which makes everything so much easier.
Here’s what Wikipedia says about conversation:
“Conversations are the ideal form of communication in some respects, since they allow people with different views on a topic to learn from each other. Conversation is indispensable for the successful accomplishment of almost all activities between people, especially the coordination of work, the formation of friendship and for learning”.
Mastering the art of conversation builds relationships. You don’t need to be all things to all people. Not everyone will like you, or me. That’s OK. You want to be yourself, so that the people whose wavelength you are on, will tune into you, get to know you, like you, trust you, want to know more about you. They tune into your channel because your message or your style speaks to them.
You don’t need the whole world following you, you just need a group who your product or service is a fit for, and who, when they get to know you, feel comfortable with you, and ultimately grow to respect and trust you.
Translated to writing: it’s about learning how to write the way you talk. For us boomers, we grew up in the era of ‘business language’ where learning how to write in a distant, sort of corporate-speak was the way to be professional. It lacks personality and the message might as well have come from anyone it was so impersonal.
Social media is the exact opposite; it’s about expressing who you are, within reasonable limits. When you are deliberately using social media for your business, you have to think through that filter. Do you want clients, prospective business partners to know about the wild partying you did on the weekend? Maybe for what you do that’s appropriate. If it’s not – keep it out of your online social space – or configure your settings carefully so you filter what you share with who – that’s critical for your business. Some people call it the mom/boss rule: if you wouldn’t want you boss or your mom to see it, don’t put it on Facebook!
Consider your audience. For your safety, you don’t want to share every detail of your life (unless that’s part of your business). But, you do want to weave your story into what you’re telling, because stories are engaging, and getting to know you is interesting, and it’s what builds your base – people see who you are and how you operate through your transparency.
Learn to write how you talk – if writing doesn’t come easily, think about whether talking does. If it does, pay more attention to how you say things, or what other people respond to and write them down, just like you’d say them. Don’t worry about how ‘correct’ it is – just do it, and say it. You don’t have to be expert at first either, you can build over time. Have someone whose style you like read your stuff and give you feedback and just keep at it, over time, you’ll get better at it and people will see that too and we all like to champion a success story and someone who stays in the game, so that will build your business too.