This is a guest post from Jennifer Burke at Mighty Marketing Mojo.
On a call recently with my solopreneur pals as we revise our About pages – and give a second look at other content we have on our websites…
We talked about what’s the story we are telling and sharing about ourselves?
And are we leaving key bits out?
Have we felt uncomfortable sharing?
Or do we keep it so strictly “professional”, buttoned-up, or business-like that we leave out the fun pieces that are key to who we are and even why we’re out here solo, running our own businesses?
What might happen if we felt brave, stepped outside our comfort zone, and shared more?
Who could we connect with? Who might our story resonate more with? Can we share and showcase our full story – the intersectionality that we may have?
[I’m not getting into academic definitions or resources re: “intersectionality” here, I’m not qualified to do so. I’m a cis, hetero, white, over-educated woman. I keep learning and trying to be better and be an ally. Few of us are just one ‘thing’, category, identity – they overlap and intersect and that matters to people in our communities and audiences. Please take my suggestions in that spirit of inclusivity and community.]
Sometimes we don’t share the whole story in our content which could matter in connecting with our ideal clients or customers. Parts of our story that could help us build critical Know-Like-Trust factors.
I didn’t use a photo of myself on social media or my website for years. I hid behind avatars and the screen. I kept my About page fairly bland and leaned back towards my academic background. I worried sometimes about sharing more of ME.
And stakes weren’t even that high for me, but I still held back plenty of my story and my personality.
I work nearly every day to lean more into ME and my full story. It’s a work in progress because I’m a work in progress. As I bet you are too.
But there are people in your audience, your community (no matter what its size) who need to see you, hear from you, and more of your story.
Are you telling your whole story?
A gentle challenge to look at sharing more YOU on your About page, while still keeping in mind the “What’s In It For Me” view from our prospective customers.
People buy from people – people they know, like, and trust.
So, consider sharing a little more of the serious AND the fun:
- If you’re a veteran, that matters.
- If you are a Black, female veteran, thank you and tell people. It really does matter.
- If you are part of the LGBTQ community, it matters. I also know you may not feel safe or comfortable sharing. I hope you can do so in ways that keep you safe, because I bet there’s a person looking for someone rocking their business confidently, who is like them. If you are LGBTQ and also identify with other communities, please share as you feel comfortable.
- It matters that many of you are women entrepreneurs – juggling a lot else. Show the way for others.
- If you’re a retiree building a business as a second or third career, or as a side hustle – let folks know. Bring that extra experience and wisdom to what you do now online.
- If you went to school (or back to school) late in life – congrats, that’s awesome. Share that story and how it plays out in your business or who you work with.
- Didn’t go to college? Share that story too! Look at you as a biz owner, showing how many different ways we can each get there.
- If you’re raising kids, or raising your grand kids, or you’re a foster parent, or a devoted auntie/uncle – please share. Doesn’t mean you need to post pics of your family or go beyond what’s comfortable in your privacy. But knowing those things about you, and how they intersect with your business – that matters.
- If you have had health challenges or live with differing abilities – talk about it.
I shared for the first time on my revised About page that I’m partially deaf. I’ve worn a hearing aid for nearly 20 years. For some in my community, that could matter. I stayed away from video, from using pictures of myself for YEARS because of the facial paralysis I have (related to the hearing loss). What seemed insurmountable to me was only a small part of what others saw – if they literally saw it at all. But now I tell the story because maybe it helps someone else.
I know it’s mattered a lot to me when fellow biz owners share their stories and strengths around mental health.
And for sure, if you are a Black-owned business, let people know.
I personally believe strongly that Black History IS American History and we ALL need to learn more, do more, be better. It’s not just a month of feel-good lessons in elementary school.
I gave a shout-out on IG and on FB to mighty awesome folks in my circles that inspire me. And in the Mighty Marketing Mojo FB Group I shared some favorite authors/books and have asked others to add their favorite Black authors or books as well. I’m not sharing because I want a pat on the back. I want to share who has inspired me, via business or books, and to keep learning. Hope you’ll share back the Black authors and biz owners who inspire you.
It’s not all serious things we can or should add to our About pages to help build connections, share the fun bits of yourself as well:
- Are you a cook or the renowned cookie baker in your family? Share a picture of a creation.
- What about hobbies? Are you a puzzler, knitter, coloring book fan, a painter, crafter, DIY projects at home, grow a vegetable bounty – share that!
- If traveling is a part of your “why” for being an independent business owner, share a story or photos of a travel adventure. Whether it’s in your state or region or to somewhere much further away.
On the call with my biz pals as we reviewed my revised About page, Michelle Garrett of Divas With a Purpose was saying “There better be sports pics! C’mon … ahh there they are!”
Because all my friends know I’m a HUGE sports nut. I probably mention sports in 50% of my emails. So my pals knew that if I were to share more of my full story on my About page, it HAD to include some photos of me at sporting events. Now it does!
The gist of this is to take a look at your About page and your content to see ways you can add more of YOU and your mighty amazing story so you can connect with your audience in ways that resonate.
Be brave, share a little bit more about you, your journey, your why, than maybe you have in the past. It matters, You matter.
I hope you don’t mind my reflections and musings on this topic. You have a story, and someone out there needs to hear it, from you!