How much of your personal life do you share with your customers and readers?
And how behind-the-scenes in your business do you really expose to the public?
You might be in a phase in your business where these questions have come up for you. It depends on your business model… and how much you're comfortable with sharing!
I know of business owners who play such a major role in their brand that it becomes necessary to infuse their personal anecdotes on blogs and social media.
Without them, their business is not a business!
And then there are many business owners that never give sneak peaks into their personal lives at all.
Defining personal and business life balance on social media
When figuring out whether or not to share a photo of this afternoon's lunch on my social media or not, I ask myself these simple questions:
- Does this make me super excited?
- Is this something my audience will be excited to see as well?
I do not share photos that do not light me up, because then it's just not that interesting.
If I'm eager to show everyone what I had for lunch, but I'm not sure if my fans will really get it, then I don't share it.
That last part is the magic key to building amazing relationships with your customers.
Even if you find something interesting but you know your fans won't, don't share it because they won't appreciate it!
Remember: your business is largely about serving your customers. Always be thinking about them!
Protecting yourself online
On the other hand, you also want to be sure you're not exposing sensitive information online that might put you in a tough spot.
If you're particularly concerned about online security, then here are some suggestions:
- Get a PO Box and update your newsletter address information
- Give your family members code names so they can't be searched online
- Don't share easily identifiable information online, like a picture of your kids' kindergarten name
What about copycats and competition?
“Where do you buy your supplies?”
“What do you use to create this particular effect?”
“How do you do XYZ?”
Do these questions sound familiar? I get asked these all the time by crafters wanting to learn the trade.
Honestly, I've also asked these questions myself! The initial instinct is to be defensive of your techniques and suppliers.
To a certain extent, these may be your trade secrets. In that case, politely reply that you cannot share that information. It's your prerogative and you should not feel obliged!
However, most of the time in my experience, there's no harm in sharing! Nine times out of ten (figuratively), these people aren't out there to copy you and steal your business.
When I first started my handmade jewelry business, I was afraid to give out any info that I felt gave me a competitive advantage.
But I started learning that the more I shared with people, the more I became the “expert” in my field and the more business I got!
What about you?
Have you ever faced these situations?
How would you normally deal with it?
How much do you share about your business and personal life online?