Branding is all about the way your business is perceived by others while blogging is all about communication. Effectively communicating what you and your business can do for your potential customers is one way a blog can act as a powerful branding vehicle.
According to Rosemary Davies-Janes, a branding consultant with Miboso writes in the post The Branding Point on the Authentic Personal Branding blog:
Effective brands have three key components.
The first is a clear-eyed, precise understanding of your personal genius. Your genius is a composite of your natural strengths, learned skills, values and preferences.
Secondly, you’ll need an equally clear understanding of your target audience; where they hang out, what they do, what they think about, what they long to achieve.
Finally, you’ll need to build benefit statements that connect your genius with what your target audience ‘thinks they want’ — as opposed to “what they really need.”
So, share what your audience needs to know via your blog and you’ll be good to go. However, many freelancers take it a step further. They share about their inner turmoil… their relationship troubles… their financial difficulties…. and suddenly it’s not a marketing vehicle but a group therapy session online.
It turns out that it’s possible to share TOO much information via your blog. Just because you can share spontaneous information doesn’t mean you should. While a certain level of familiarity will indeed build your business… take it too far and it’s possible that utter and complete transparency in your business can do more harm than good.
Over at the Psych blog, there’s a report on “Why Familiarity Really Does Breed Contempt”
“the more traits participants knew about another ‘person’, the more likely they were to find dissimilarities with themselves, and so the more likely they were to dislike them.
…once we perceive a dissimilarity, it’s all downhill from there. Even traits we might have liked, or been neutral about before, now get the thumbs down.“
What does this mean for you, your business blog and your branding?
It means sharing information on a need to know basis. Do potential marketing clients really need to know that you have a tendency to get involved in one bad relationship after another? Do your freelance writing clients need to know you’re catching flak over your anticipated move to Bimini?
Some blogs are built upon utter and complete transparency however, those blogs are not BUSINESS BLOGS!
When it comes to a business blog, keep the tone professional and the information on a need to know basis! Ask yourself before every post, “Does this enhance my professional image? Does this post inspire trust with my audience?”
There’s certainly a place in the blogosphere for discussions on politics, religion and sexuality… but if yours is a business blog… then I strongly suggest you launch a free WordPress.com or Blogger.com blog for those discussions. Keep them FAR away from your business presence.
I once had a client who launched a side business in which she featured racy and provocative greeting cards. She WISELY kept the greeting card business’ existence very far removed from her “day job” as a corporate trainer.
Blogs make it SO easy to communicate that sometimes, you may be tempted to “cross” the line. Whether it’s posts or comments, remember… the internet never forgets!