E-Newsletters and Blogs: Getting Personal, But Not Too Personal

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E-Newsletters and Blogs: Getting Personal, But Not Too Personal

The whole point of writing a blog, or sending an e-newsletter, or any form of content marketing is to build a relationship with the people who are reading it. In order to build a relationship, you have to share something about yourself.

Of course, the bulk of your content should showcase your expertise and your value. But, for small businesses and service providers, it is important to build a personal relationship as well. Remember, people buy from those they know, like and trust.

Getting to know and like you means finding out more about you as a person. But how do you do that? And what kind of information should you share? (And what stuff should you keep to yourself!?)

It doesn't take much to sprinkle personal information into your content marketing. It could be a story that you tell about yourself in an article that relates to the topic. Perhaps just a #paragraph or a couple of sentences. In an e-newsletter, it can go at the top in the form of a brief personal note. Another great strategy is to include candid pictures of yourself with a simple caption so people can see you in your own environment. Of course, video is a natural way to show your personality through your voice, clothing choices, facial expressions, etc.

Every #blog that I follow, column that I read, and newsletter that I actually look forward to getting, shares some personal information. I feel like I am really getting to know them. Building the relationship is critical. Otherwise, regardless of the other content, readers will lose interest and leave.

But, exactly what kind of information is okay to share? Well, it's personal.

It depends on your own personality, as well as they type of business you run and the kind of clients you are talking to. Some situations lend themselves to more sharing, while others require more restraint. But here are some examples of personal topics you can mention:

  • favorite hobbies (anything from gardening, music, sports... )
  • personal events (birthdays, trips... )
  • philanthropic activities
  • pets
  • places you like to go

There are some things that fall more into a grey area. If you are a more open person and it makes sense to share these things, then go for it. I've seen it done well. But if you aren't sure, then it's probably better to be safe. Some grey areas are:

  • family members
  • spiritual beliefs

Then there are a couple of things that are no-nos, no matter how open you are. Except in very rare or extreme circumstances, I recommend keeping these things to yourself:

  • #political views
  • #personal drama (anything you'd talk to your therapist about!)
  • legal issues

I came up against my own grey area this week. I wanted to include something in my e-newsletter about the big Oktoberfest party that my husband and I throw every year. I took some pictures during the party, but when I saw them, I decided that a picture of me in a dirndl was crossing the line. TMI!

There are as many personal tidbits as there are people. So identify some things that you can start to share in your own content pieces.

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Sarah Schwab is the Founder and President of My Client Communications. She helps small businesses attract more clients online, especially those who struggle with technology or design. Find out more about her approach to online marketing, including the one thing you must have in place to convert website visitors into paying clients, in her F.R.E.E. report: "5 Steps to Attracting More Clients Online." Get your report today at http://www.myclientcommunications.com
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