While there are people who only shop on price, the majority of people use a whole lot of factors when choosing where to spend their hard-earned dollars. One of those factors is your personality. How you interact with others can have a big impact on what people purchase from you.
As a small business, we can show our personality off in every interaction. From social media to phone calls, even one on one meetings. Even if you have employees, as the owner you still influence everything that happens in your business.
When you add your true personality to your interactions, you create feelings in those that you are working with. Showing your personality will endear those to you that have similar feelings. It makes your business go from a faceless brand with terrible customer service to a personable business that is great to work with.
I don’t want to scare people off
While it can be scary to let your own personality shine in the business, it normally has a positive effect on the bottom line. You might be worried that you will be a turn-off to some potential customers. And I am not going to lie to you. You will turn some people off.
But think of it like ice cream flavors. Not everyone likes the same thing. But some people really like a single flavor.
When your personality shows, you become a single flavor. It might be a complex flavor, but still a single. And this might turn people that hate that flavor. But odds are those that hate your flavor would be horrible customers even if you hid your flavor.
And you would hate the fact that you don’t get to be yourself in your own business.
But those that like your flavor will surround you and love your business. They will remember you, frequent you often, and share your business with others. They will become die-hard fans.
If you try to be vanilla…
Another route I often see business owners go is to be vanilla. Plain as can be. Nothing special. No personality.
This route is even worse than hiding. You are going out of your way to behave exactly the way everyone else wants you to. Your message will suffer. No one will understand what you can offer them because each time they interact with you, it changes.
Your business will suffer because no one can share it. How can they? You don’t even have a clear message they can share.
You see this effect often in large businesses. They try to please everyone, with a million options and zero personality. People recognize it, often expect poor service, and try to avoid it when they can.
There is no need for your business to go down this path. And you will end up hating the result if you do.
How can I show my personality?
Thankfully, your personality is easy to let shine through. And you can show it all over the place. From your social media posts to your website. So, let’s look at a few.
Your brand is an extension of you and your values. It should reflect your personality and the type of business you wish to create.
Lots of marketing points you to the conclusion of you need the right colors to drive someone’s emotions. Or you need certain fonts to direct a feeling of strength, etc. And yes, this can be true.
But just as easily true is that people like every color under the sun. They like all kinds of fonts and shapes. No one size fits all. So why should you create something you don’t like to appear to the masses?
Make your brand reflect your personal style. Choose colors that resonate with you and who you want to serve. Pick a font that makes you smile. Heck, name your business in a crazy fashion that represents you.
Become more memorable by not hiding behind a wall.
When you interact on social, your images should match your brand. And as we discussed above, your brand is an extension of you. Let your personality shine in images and text.
It’s ok to show off personal events and happenings on social media. This is a hard thing for large brands to do. They have some many faces that they seem faceless. But as small business owners, often we are the ones wearing all the hats. Let that show.
If you spent the day cleaning your house and working with your kids and schoolwork, show that. Your brand just went from faceless to a brand with a mom that works and does the same things they do. And guess what? People love that. They love to see that others are going through the same things they are.
You don’t have to be always on camera. And you don’t have to constantly show your life. But your life affects your business. So why not show it off?
Your website is often overlooked as a place to let your personality shine. You spend so much time creating perfect photos, spell checking, and writing perfect text, that any sense of identity is stripped away.
One of my favorite newsletters that I subscribe to has a note at the bottom of each email stating that the email may contain spelling errors, and that’s ok because she would rather spend her time interacting with people in the business than constantly checking for grammar errors. Your website can be no different.
While I am not saying throw out the spell check completely, I am saying don’t follow every suggestion. This is something that has taken me a long time to understand and be ok with. I like things in perfect order. But I don’t talk that way.
When I speak, I use words like “really” and long-drawn-out versions of things. I will say “we have the ability to…” instead of “can”. That is my personality. And grammar on conciseness says it’s wrong. But guess what? Without it, there is no personality to my writing. In my opinion, it becomes bland.
My website reflects that. And I am working more and more each day to be a little less correct. This is not high school where we are graded on our perfection. No one is perfect.
Sure, you might turn someone off your website for a grammar error. But I doubt it will be that many. And who would want to work with those people anyway? That sounds like a total nightmare.
Become yourself on your website. Choose a color palette and design that reflects your personality and appeals to those you serve best. Because I highly doubt you want to fake yourself all the time. And when people call you and interact with you, they will feel you are genuine. Your website will reflect your personality and that personality will show in your one-on-one interactions.
In-person interactions & customer service
Remember, those one-on-one interactions are what make or break a relationship. Why would you want to fake that?
If I walk into a business, I want to feel like it’s the right place for me. When a business feels genuine, it gives a sense of belonging. Starbucks has designed their space to have a cozy sit and relax while you drink our high-end coffee feel. And it shows in the design of their stores and how they train their employees.
Now imagine a Starbucks with loud rock music playing. The brand is broken. The customer that they work so hard to attract is going to turn around and run. Your business is no different.
Your customers expect a certain feeling when they walk in the door based on how your personality has shown itself in other things. Your interactions should reflect that.
Make sure how you act on the phone is the same as in person. Yes, you need to be respectful. Yes, you should be clear and helpful. But be yourself.
When I answer the phone, I simply say, “Pacific Northwest Web Works”. I don’t have some long drawn out, “how may I help you…” line. I don’t feel the need to be overly polished. It’s how my personality is when I talk on the phone.
Don’t sugarcoat who you are.
In everything you create, reflect some of your personality. Your flyers should match your brand and still share some of you. Remember, this is where small businesses shine the best. We can show our personality. We can be unique.
Your personality will resonate with the customers you want. And their personality will resonate with yours. Everyone will feel more excited and fulfilled when they can be themselves.
They say your marketing should always speak to your audience. I say that it works both ways. Your brand and personality should speak to them, and they should speak to you.
No matter how you want to look at it, your business is made of up individuals. You being the owner take on the lead role. Your personality is unique. And it changes the way you do things every day.
We would likely never work on the same project the same way. We won’t talk the same. But because of those differences, someone who is put off by how I work, or talk might totally enjoy being around you and your business.
Don’t try to serve everyone. And when your personality shows, you will naturally do just that.
Like attracts like and you create a following. Plus, you make more sales and waste less time with those who you don’t want to work with and likely would be more headache than they are worth.
What are you going to do to show off some of your personality today?