For years we have been buying from a business or buying from a brand. The Managing Director of a company would NEVER appear on a company website using ‘chatty’ words as if he/she was talking to their customer because they felt it would look “unprofessional” – now things have changed. To know a company you must also know its leaders and its staff. Think Richard Branson , Virgin and the TV adverts they now put out.
To humanize (or humanise for us Brits I guess) your business blog means to put more than just what your company does and how it works. It means including your face, a business bio and making it more personable to you for your audience.
Seth Godin (my guru) says this…
“The only alternative is to humanize our work. To create something that only you could have made, or said, or conceived of. When it looks and feels like you, when you are the trusted source (not an anonymous trademark) then you are on the spot, under pressure and deservedly valued.” - Source : Seth Godin – Humanize it
Here are five simple ways to humanise your blog:
I worked with a client in Edinburgh who used a photo of all the people who worked in his business as their main business image. It is a really lovely way to humanize your business online. Of course if you have a high turnover of staff it can be an expensive way. At the very least include photos of your staff members on your ‘about us’ page so people can see who does what in your company.
Your About Me Page
Yes, like me, you may be a micro business being run from home but people still want to know about you. Not just what you can do but a bit of personal stuff too so they can get to know the person behind a business.
Have conversations with followers
Whether a follower is someone who comments on your blog or a person who is on your Facebook page if people make the effort to leave a comment make sure you reply so they are not left there hanging. It means keeping an eye on all your social media presence if you don’t have someone to do that for you and the easiest way is to use the same email address (can be worth having a separate one to your main email address) and have all your messages coming into one account. That way whatever happens you will always be kept informed.
If you have staff include them
Avoid jargon if you can
Whenever possible keep it simple and talk to people like they are people rather than robots – it really helps. You are looking to build relationships with potential clients as well as stay in touch with current ones so do what you can to lay off the jargon or explain it whenever possible. Sometimes words may be essential to the industry that can be seen as jargon. If I talk about WordPress or blog themes some people still have that glazed look as they have no clue about them yet they are essential words to help my blog get found in the search engines. I just lay off using them as much as I possibly can or use them sparingly. If you can it will help your business if you can do the same thing.
Provide content so you make a difference not just market yourself
It is nice to have a balance between what you write to promote yourself (e.g. next week our event takes place at abc etc) or because you are helping the people reading your blog post (e.g. check out how to do this handy tip…) because people like to read interesting, entertaining and informative content. Hopefully you know what your audience prefers to read about and you can maintain a balance so that you are not 100% buy this stuff all the time.
Always review your message
I am no branding expert but I do know businesses change. As you go from working alone at home to running a shop or owning premises your message will change. Make sure you take a look at your online presence and see whether it still fits into what you are doing now.
Yes, I know that was actually six ways, I like to over deliver on promises
When it comes to connecting with your audience online you can go some way towards humanising your business blog by putting more of your heart and soul into it and less of the specific “what we do” type stuff. In doing that, you break down barriers, make it easier for people searching online for products and services to get to know and trust you plus it is far more fun. Humanising your business blog means you get to be playful with the information you put out there.