A couple of months ago, I was showing my mom some pictures I had taken and was about to upload to my website. Most were taken outdoors around my property. She really didn’t get why I didn’t want to use the ones taken in my office. In her world business still means a suit and a tie and a more buttoned-up demeanor than I prefer to portray.
Even as little as five years ago, showing your personal side and pictures that weren’t the standard head-shot-in-a-suit wasn’t that common – it bordered on unprofessional. Not anymore. Look at the people you follow and enjoy, I’m willing to bet money that people you like best not only have great offerings, but offer something about themselves as well.
The people I enjoy the most are the ones that mix it up, business and personal in reasonable doses. I don’t want to know too much and I couldn’t tell you the exact tipping point between just enough and too much, but I know it when I see it/read it. I want to know who you are and what you stand for. I admire people who do that well and I’m working on emulating them and bringing more of that to what I do. It’s not easy for me, but I value it.
These days, working at home is (mostly) an enviable situation and being who you really are and showing it, is a plus. When I started my business 20 years ago, that was SO NOT the case. A friend actually sent me an audio of phones ringing and office background noise – so no one would know I was in my Manhattan loft and not a cubicle in an office somewhere. Times have changed….
Bottom line: we want to know who you are and what you’re about. So, yes, use your personality. Think about sticking to the mother/boss rule and say anything you wouldn’t want your mother or your boss to hear. Your prospects and clients don’t necessarily need to hear about your Saturday night (of course that depends on your clients, your Saturday nights, your business….) but they do want to know what else you’re up to – what you participate in, what your interests are – it adds dimension to your business profile – it’s a way to attract the exact right people to you.
When you have lots of people to choose from, many of us choose the person we know and trust. Showcase your personality and become that person to your prospects. It’s good business.