Isn’t it funny how everyone’s business and personal life has blurred? Suddenly I’m discovering a whole new side to my clients. Thanks to our Zoom calls and COVID-19 conversations I’ve seen a window into their homes, complete with baking disasters and feral kids. It’s funny – in a good way. I like it!
Don’t I feel just a little bit uncomfortable seeing clients in this new warts ’n’ all light? Absolutely not! They’ve shown themselves to be honest, open, real, genuine. Pretty solid attributes, wouldn’t you say? And if I’ve similarly exposed myself – not literally, that wouldn’t be at all funny – then I’m happy that they’ve got to see a bit more of the real me, too.
Showcase your personality
I’m all about blending professionalism with personality. I love working with people who want to stand out from the crowd. People who want to do things differently, to say things differently. People who don’t want just another homogeneous business that gets drowned in a sea of identikit competitors.
Some of my clients take a bit of persuading to show their personality. They want to cram their About page with qualifications and career stuff. What? Tell people I sing in a choir? No, no, no – that’s doesn’t make me sound professional. Really? If you have a fantastic service, are clearly brilliant at what you do (this is the bit where I do my trumpet-blowing copywriting to get your brilliance across) and have supporting testimonials – what are you worried about? You’ve proved you’re professional. And now you’re memorable, too.
‘But I’m a serious business…’
I hear you. Now hear this. We’re all serious about our own business. I know I am. I want to be the go-to trumpet-blowing copywriter in the whole of the universe (well, I’ll start with Bedfordshire). I want people to hire me to write content that grabs attention, gets them noticed and gets them sales. But at the same time I don’t want to be known as bland and boring.
Just today I received these words from a potential client:
I must say how much I enjoyed going through your website. So many copywriters have such boring websites!
That was nice, wasn’t it? That’s the sort of compliment I love because it shows they ‘get’ me. I’m not going to be everyone’s cup of tea. But that’s the point. I’ll attract the right sort of client for me – and if you show your personality that’s what you’ll do too.
‘You really don’t get it. I’m a serious business’
I get it, I get it, I get it. Really! I get it. It’s easy to be playful, quirky, humorous or off-the-wall if you happen to be a comedian or you’re in the business of selling dinosaur-shaped doughnuts. Got to be a bit more careful if you’re a stockbroker or solicitor, though, eh?
Well, yes, but even stockbrokers and solicitors have personalities.
You don’t have to go all out with get-them-laughing-in-the-aisles Carry On Up The Stock Exchange content. But you don’t have to wear your tie so tight it chokes you either. Step out of your personality-free zone and test the water. How about a quirky headline? Or a warm and inviting CTA (please, please, please don’t use a Submit button). Make your content more warm, friendly and engaging. That’s always a good start.
Human first, professional second
Do you remember that famous YouTube clip showing a professor getting interrupted by his kids while doing a live Skype interview for the BBC? If you’ve never seen it, do watch – it’s hilarious. And, given where we all are today, very prescient. The clip went viral and the poor professor figured the media would never have him back. Well guess what? The BBC did a follow-up interview with him about the incident and he was all over Ellen and the Wall Street Journal.
How come? Because we saw his human side. Yes, he was a professor – but he was also a father. Nobody judged him for what happened. Nobody questioned his authority or his ability to do his job. Nobody thought he was unprofessional. Hell, the cool, calm, collected way he continued with the interview had ‘professional’ written all over it!
The bottom line? People related to him and people liked him. Isn’t that the warm, fuzzy feeling you want your clients to feel, too?
* Want to inject some personality into your content? I can help