Professionalism matters! If you have been in business for any length of time, you know that sticking to agreed deadlines and providing a great service is what keeps your customers coming back, but it may surprise you to know that being professional isn’t always the right approach. Did you know that when you write your company blog being too professional might actually kill it off, and stop any interaction?
Professionalism is all about authority, dependability, and trust, and all of these things are important, but it really is possible to be too professional. There are probably lots of different companies offering exactly the same services as you. Many of them will offer these services at similar pricing levels. What is it that makes your customers choose you, instead of your competitor? Part of the reason you build a loyal customer-base is because of the way your customer perceives your business. People relate to other people, not faceless corporations; it’s often your personality and the way you choose to do business that makes the difference.
This is especially true when it comes to your company blog. Have you noticed that many personal blogs maintained by individuals can receive 1000s of views a day with a constant stream of people commenting, and interacting with the posts while when you look at a lot of business blogs they are almost empty of comments, and they often struggle to generate any engagement at all, this frequently occurs even when the companies involved are large corporations with significant budgets to spend on social media. Why isn’t blogging working for them?
Blogging is a conversation
One of the major reasons for the different levels of success is the different styles the blogs are written in. If you’re writing a personal blog, you normally use your personal voice for the posts. Anyone reading the blog feels that you are talking directly to them. Reading the blog is like a conversation with you. Readers get used to your writing style and come to expect it with every post.
When it’s time to write a post for your business blog the style is often very different. The temptation can be to try to sound very professional and business-like every time you write. While this can add authority to your posts, it doesn’t sound conversational, and with blogging that can make a huge difference to the results you get. Corporations often treat a blog as their personal magazine. They view it as a way of telling the rest of the world how great they are, and their blogs often read like an extension of the company brochure. That isn’t what blogging should be about.
We blog to start conversations. That’s the same whether we blog for pleasure, or whether we’re promoting our business. Blogging is supposed to be interactive. When we write a blog post, we want a response of some sort. It might be a comment, or a share or a like on social media. A thriving blog is one that’s engaging its readers and building a growing community around it. A blog is a conversation and conversations happen between people. If you want people to engage with your blog, you must show them the person behind the professional façade.
How to be more personal
Adopt a more personal, conversational writing style for your business blog. Try to write your blog posts as if you were talking to your audience one-on-one. Avoid using jargon, and professional terminology as much as possible.
By letting your personality shine through in the way you write, you’ll give your audience someone to relate to. Try telling stories either from your personal experience, or which illustrate a point you want to make to your readers.
A story has the capacity to intrigue and engage your readership, and will keep them reading right to the end of the post. As you tell the story, think about which parts are most likely to resonate with your readers and shape the story accordingly to keep them interested all the way through. Don’t waste time on unnecessary detail but focus on getting the main point across. Concentrate on what adds the most value to your reader, and what is important to them.
How do I know what my reader wants?
A successful blog is one that lets your personality shine through, but it must also be one that gives your readers what they want. Personal blogs that don’t provide quality content will fail to succeed.
The primary focus of your blog has to be your business, but you must find a way to relate that to your customers. As someone who interacts with your customers every day you are ideally placed to know what is important to them and how that connects with your business.
Visualise your typical customer and try to get inside their head. Identify their dreams, and what they want out of life. Find out what matters to them, and create an emotional connection with them in your writing, and show them how your product or service can help their dream become reality.
In many cases what matters to your customers will be exactly what matters to you, and it will be straightforward to build a connection. In other cases, it may be that you’re very different to your target audience, or maybe what your company does doesn’t immediately seem to relate to anyone’s dream. If that’s your situation, then you need to think about different types of then you need to think about different types of dreams.
Not every dream has to be huge. Sometimes a dream can be as simple as being able to quickly locate the right information quickly, or hitting a particular target that they have been aiming at for years and never quite managing to reach. Find a way to tie in your product to these goals and help your readers relate.
Don’t be afraid to add some humour to your posts. The only part of your site that readers expect to be boring is the terms and conditions section. Including some humour in your posts is another way of letting your audience see the real you, rather than a boring corporation. It can be an effective way of holding your readers attention and ensuring they stay focused on the message you are trying to tell them.
What voice do you use on your company blog? Have you found a personal approach to be an effective way of growing your blog audience? Let me know in the comments, and don’t forget to share this post if you found it useful.