4 questions to ask before publishing the personal stuff
We’ve been talking about Getting Personal in our copy this week.
By getting personal of course, I mean by sharing little insights in to your personal life and your own life stories.
Story is SO important in copy.
Because when you offer a service that is of similar quality and at a similar price to 100 or 1000 other people – what is it that makes your customer choose your business over them?
The answer: You.
And your story is a BIG part of that.
If you want real connection and engagement with your audience, ‘letting them in’ so they can get to know you, can be extremely powerful.
But it can also be terrifying.
What if people don’t like you?
What if they disagree with you?
What if they laugh at you?
It’s never nice when you discover that someone thinks you’re less than great. But here’s a little fact for you – in the online business world, unless someone really doesn’t get you, no-one’s gonna love you.
Vanilla just won’t get you anywhere.
I’ve been a writer for a long time, and I’ve had lots of personal stuff put out there for anyone to read, but I can assure you, even professional writers get scared about sharing the personal stuff.
I recently posted a very raw personal story on this group, but it took me 7 years to feel able to share it. And that was after many years and lots of carefully curated personal stories to help me to dip my toe in the muddy waters of publicly sharing the things that make me, me.
Of course it’s only natural to be a little bit scared when you first put yourself out there in black and white, even if it’s a pretty safe story about how you found you calling.
So here’s a little checklist for you to go through so you can press publish on the personal stuff with confidence:
- How is this personal story going to benefit my audience?
Maybe it’s talking about a subject that they can relate to?
Perhaps there’s a moral to the story that they’d appreciate? Maybe, it’s just a captioned video of your dog dancing and you want to give them a laugh. Whatever it is, make sure you know why you’re putting it out there.
- Is it my story to tell?
So many of our stories, aren’t ‘our’ stories at all. They involve other people – friends, relatives, colleagues. If you’re going to tell a story, think about the other people involved. How is it going to make them feel if you share this story in a particular forum. Are you comfortable with that?
This is particularly relevant if you’re going to write about your kids. Are they people you feel comfortable talking about publicly? Or only in particular forums? If you’re on the fence, think through where you stand on this before hitting publish, because children do have a tendency of getting older and learning to read…!
- Am I being Authentic?
Carefully curate the stories you share; edit them if there’s certain things you’d rather keep just for you – but unless you want your audience to smell a fish, it’s always, always got to come from a place of authenticity.
- Is it something I’m really ready to share?
Not every story you have is ready to tell right now. I always think that stories are like avocados – use them too early and they’re chewy, tasteless and difficult to digest. But wait for them to ripen and they spread like soft butter!
So are you ready to give it a try?