How To Boost Your Online Popularity By Getting Personal


Let me guess…

You’re writing a blog to promote your business. But your blog isn’t exactly *uh* popular. Even some of your favourite clients aren’t tweeting, plussing or liking your posts. And far too often you see the dreaded ZERO comments.

Something is wrong. But you’re not sure what. And it’s getting you down.

Off line – in real life – you’ve no problem engaging customers. You enjoy talking with potential clients. Heck, you even chat with strangers while waiting for the bus.

So what’s going wrong on your blog?

What’s stopping people engaging with you online?

Your information is useful. Tick.

You’re promoting your blog posts on social media. Tick.

And via email. Tick.

So what’s up?

Are you hiding your personality? Are you writing with passion? Or do you sound a bit like a faceless, dull company?

Last month Chris Garrett wrote on the Micro Business Hub about being human. About showing your face rather than a logo on your social media profiles; and about making every interaction count. Excellent suggestions.

But how can you be more human on your blog? And engage with potential and existing clients?

You’ll have to let your personality shine through. Write with passion. And share your stories.

You’ll be richly rewarded with tweets, and likes, and plusses. And best of all, you’ll get comments.

Let’s start with how to add emotion to your writing.

How to write with passion

You enjoy working most with clients who you get on with, don’t you?

And you perform best when you feel you can be yourself? That’s why you have to let your personality shine through. Also when you write.

The first rule of writing with passion is: don’t ever try to sound like a big company. How can companies be passionate?  Here’s a pretty extreme example of how big organisations get communication oh-so-wrong. Never use vapid clichés and gobbledygook – meaningless nonsense like cutting edge, leading, and best-in-class. Instead use only simple phrases with a meaning. Sound like a person, not like a company.

That’s the first rule. Observe the first rule and you’re half way on your journey to writing with passion. Here are the additional rules:

  1. Write your first draft as if you’re emailing your favourite client. Be friendly and conversational.
  2. Then, in your second draft, make the story flow. And cut redundant paragraphs. Try to get just one message across.
  3. Next: reduce the average length of your sentences. Create a few broken sentences. Because they’re easy to read.
  4. And now: it’s time to add a few emotional words: vivid, sensory, or nostalgic words.
  5. Lastly, consider adding occasional surprise to make your reader pay attention. Try quirkiness (I like adding a sound like *Blllerrrrgh* for something really bad). Or use deliberate misspellings (I like writing huuuuge  or boooooring). Or you could add strong language (it sucks!) if that suits your tone of voice.

That’s how you should write. Bu what should you write about to make a personal connection?

How to engage your readers by sharing your stories

You know stories are powerful, don’t you?

Stories are memorable. Stories enchant. Stories connect.

Your stories can be small or big. It doesn’t matter. Here are three ideas for big stories you can share – recommended by John Jantsch:

  1. Your passion story: What is your mission? What makes you enjoy what you’re doing?
  2. Your purpose story: Who are you serving? And why?
  3. Your positioning or personality story: What’s different about working with you?

And what about small stories? It can be anything. Adding references to your life helps build connections. Talk about your pet, for instance. Or mention mistakes you’ve made. It makes you human. And you know people connect with humans, not with robots, don’t you?

Story telling is the most powerful skill you can learn in business.

The truth about getting personal

Do you feel nervous about sharing personal stories?

Write up a list of things you don’t want to share; things that are too personal for the public domain. You don’t have to bare all. You are in charge. You can set your own boundaries. But think about the things you share with clients. Could you repeat some of the conversations you have online?

Are you concerned that no one will be interested in your stories?

Not everyone needs to interested. Remember your favourite client? If she’d like to read your content, you’re on the right track.

Come on. Just try it. Add personality to your blog. Show emotion. Take a strong view point. And you’ll attract the right audience. And you’ll entice new clients to work with you.

And best of all: it will be fun.

micro business actionToday’s Micro Action

Spend 15 minutes jotting down ideas for using stories in your blog posts to showcase your personality and avoid being anonymous and forgettable.