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Your business benefits when you share a little something about yourself. When you inject snippets of your personal story into your writing, whether blog posts, emails, your About Me page, or social media, you invite readers in. You create likeability and trust.
It isn’t that hard and it isn’t that intrusive. But it IS a skill to be learned — and admittedly, a lot of people don’t pull it off. They drone on or they leave the reader thinking, “So what?”
Then there’s the opposite, the people who don’t share anything at all about themselves. And so they write robotic content that could have come from anywhere and anyone. It could have come from an overseas content mill or from the 1,000 other sites or businesses that focus on what yours focuses on.
I get it. Our fear says I have nothing to say, I’m boring, or I’m going to come off the wrong way.
And it’s true — when you write about yourself, you do run the risk of sounding like a pompous boor.
The good news? It’s a pretty easy fix. You CAN write about yourself in a way that readers will want to hang out with you.
Just remember these two Rs: relevance and relaxed. Your story needs to be relevant, and/or it needs to be used to help the reader relax.
Relevance is where most people swing and miss. They tell personal stories that have no direction and leave the reader unable to connect A to B — as in, Anecdote to Business. And a confused or bored reader is outta there.
Non-relevance is when you risk coming off as the person who just wants to talk about themselves at the dinner party. Don’t be that guy.
When your story has relevance to your business, you’ve included the reader. You’re being courteous. Even more, you use science by engaging the left and right sides of their brains, giving them logic plus emotion.
So when you write that blog post or that email, keep the purpose of any storytelling top of mind.
What’s the point of the anecdote? If you’re a weight loss coach, maybe you have a personal journey that sparked your business idea. Pretty easy tie-in there.
If you homeschool, you can share bits of your day-to-day with the reader. Yes, they want lesson plans. But isn’t the biggest question really HOW in the world do you do this, and what an average day or week looks like? How to juggle life and schooling? Bring the reader in and show them. Your reason why can provide another strong connection.
Nearly anyone’s story can be connected to their business. Exceptions would include something like an attorney or a doctor’s office, where potential clients are looking for your expertise and experience above all else. At the same time, clients DO want to feel comfortable.
Nor do you need to share personal stories in EVERY blog post or email, either. Sometimes you need to just hand out the recipe already or tell me how to optimize for SEO and ditch the small talk.
The key is to sprinkle stories in for interest and context. Isn’t that a relief? You don’t need to share everything, and you don’t need to share all the time. A handful of well-placed anecdotes will do it.
Get them to relax
Your personal story should also help readers relax and feel comfortable. If they’re relaxed, they trust you. They want to spend time with you. They want to spend money with you.
This is where the seemingly random tidbits fit in. Sometimes your quirky little stories are just icebreakers. A little background or a little insight into your life. You’ve opened the door and invited the reader in.
We like to see the behind-the-scenes, regardless of topic or business. Richard Branson, the founder of Virgin Atlantic, doesn’t need to share photos of himself with his mother or of himself surfing. But a big part of his branding is his attitude and his lifestyle, so the stories reinforce that.
Bill Gates also shares family photos. It resonates with his stated mission. Local breweries share stories about the brewing process. They don’t just tout the deliciousness of the end product; they bring you along for the ride.
How can you bring the reader along? Can you share some behind-the-scenes stories and photos? Can you allow for an admission of a struggle, and ask for help? It can be small, as in the search for a book title or asking what graphic they like best. Or it can be bigger. Your choice.
The key is to keep it succinct and moving forward. On average, try to keep your anecdotes to a few paragraphs at most, then rein it in. Get back to business.
Need more help?
Have you struggled with this, staring at a blank screen and wondering what to write? The About Me page is one of the most important pages on your website, the one where potential readers and clients come when they want to know whether to spend more time — and money — with you.
In the About Me Page Workshop you’ll learn the must-haves and then how to add detail that will make you stand out. You’ll also receive dozens of prompts in six worksheets, including an outline at the end to help you tie it all together.
In a world where no idea is new, the way to distinguish yourself is by being the most relatable. The way to build loyalty is with story. You’ve got this!
Not sure how to write about yourself?
The About Me page lets you connect with people personally AND professionally. This free outline stacks the components of a great About Me page into one easy-to-read graphic.