As a solopreneur, you ARE your business and this is the case even if you use outsourced help. When people hire your company, they are placing much more emphasis on the part of your business that is you. When people are thinking of hiring you, it’s likely they don’t want a big, faceless company or they wouldn’t be thinking of you in the first place. Therefore, it’s imperative you give them a peek into who the person behind the business is. A potential client can see if you are qualified on paper by looking at your website, but they can only know if they like you enough to work with you by getting to know you. For some businesses, it’s even important as social proof for your business – you have to show that you live what you teach others.
They key thing to letting business contacts into your personal life is moderation. Tell people some of what you are about, not all of it. You can surely share your personal triumphs and tragedies but do it with tact and decorum and not in a way that makes people feel like a voyeur. Here are some tips for including some personal information in your business communication:
- Always keep in mind the purpose of sharing personal information in your business communication. It’s to allow clients to get to know you so that they can make a decision about going further in their work with you and to establish that you practice what you teach.
- Don’t use your blog, newsletter or other business communication to vent or process your feelings. When your feelings are still raw, you are too emotional to constructively share the experience.
- Leave out the gory details! Last year, I unsubscribed from 2 different newsletters after getting long, drawn out narratives of the authors’ respective break ups with a significant other. They were too gut-wrenching and painful and I felt dumped on and like I was being invasive. In each case, the narrative went on for several issues of the newsletter and included things like descriptions of subterfuges needed to retrieve belongings, arguments in the middle of the night and how many hours were spent crying. Yuck is all I can say.
- Always assume that whatever you write will be on the web forever and read by lots of people. Will you feel proud in 100 years if someone reads what you wrote?
- The passage of time may change how you share something. It’s much easier to hear a story about someone’s death, divorce, sickness or loss from many years ago than last week. There’s often lessons to be learned from these events that can be used in business but keep your readers’ comfort in mind.
It is important for solopreneurs to share themselves and let potential clients in, but what you share should be tailored to the audience and purpose you are writing for.