In my last post on the Pendulum and business, we looked at a few questions to help you evaluate what may or may not be too much. Here we’ll look at some guidelines for helping you determine whether you should approach a topic on your website or through sharing on social media.
You can be too transparent and risk alienating your audience. Religion and politics may be highly inappropriate for one person, but completely relevant if you’re a pastor or politician. Facebook should really not be a place to voice your political opinions (how many “friends” do you see on your timeline whom you simply want to “unfriend” as a result of their virulent political views?).
Here are two general guidelines to help you determine whether you should approach a topic on your website, in your products or in conversation.
• Keep private, personal information private. Look at your message and your audience. Will this information add to your message or detract from it? If it detracts, leave it out. This doesn’t mean you can’t be bold, but don’t let your boldness take away from you or your message.
• Don’t post things that undermine your credibility. If you’re an accountant and you confess to your clients while preparing their taxes that you barely graduated college with a C average, you’ll likely never see these clients again. And I guarantee they’ll tell all their friends to stay away from you. Keep conversation on topics that support you in your expertise.
Consider your audience. It might be fine for Eminem to tell you more than you need to know about his personal insecurities – if you’re a fan of his. It might be fine for Howard Stern to tell a listener who calls in with advice that he doesn’t care about his advice – Stern’s audience know this about Stern. Know your audience.
It’s vital you consider your audience and its needs when crafting your message.
When deciding what personal information you’re going to share with the world through your website, your products and in social media, always ask yourself if this information will add to your message or detract from it. Once it’s out there, what you say or write or post is likely there to stay.
One last bit of advice as you bare your soul to the world: Disregard the knuckleheads.
If you have the power to attract, you have an equal power to repel. Don’t let your naysayers sidetrack you from where you are trying to go. You can simply tell detractors to leave you alone. If that’s too confrontational for you, have somebody screen your emails and comments and keep you from getting sucked into unproductive conversations.
Remember, in a WE Cycle, your flaws can be assets. People want to know that you’re like they are: real.
Bring the real you to the table in your conversations online and offline, because people aren’t just buying what you sell; they’re buying who you are.
In our next post on this subject, next week, we’ll look at the process of reaching out and connecting with your customers.[rps]