When I first started out, I made the impression my business was more than a one-woman band. I thought that was the way to go, and it would be beneficial for my clients to see and believe that they are dealing with a big professional company. Boy, was I wrong!!
Over the years and after a rebrand, I realised I wanted my brand and business to be a representation of who I am. To be more personal and honest. So that is how this post has come about. Today I wanted to share some tips on how to humanise your brand and how to make your business feel more personal.
People like to talk to people, especially in business context. I like to know who I am talking to and dealing with when I want to hire someone's professional services.
Just recently, we decided to change our shower unit. I contacted a company and someone replied to my emails. The emails were very formal and written as if the company was filled with numerous employees. My first thoughts were, “I hope I don't have to explain my requirements and needs over and over again”. After an exchange of emails and a short visit, I realised the company was, in fact, a one-man band. Although his emails led me to believe there was more than just him, face to face conversation with him revealed it to be just him. I could see how his business had flourished over the years. His personality and personal touch were on point and he was definitely my choice for moving forward with the work I needed doing. This was based on the fact he became someone I trusted and his knowledge and helpfulness was really appreciated AFTER I met him in person.
I did suggest to him, he should bring in his personality and minimise the distance he intentionally creates with potential clients by saying “I” instead of “we”.
This leads me to tip number 1:
1 | Don't hide the person or people behind the scene
By responding and replying like a real person to a potential client, or customer, you naturally humanise your brand and business. Minimising the distance and communicating 1-on-1 also helps to form a friendly relationship that can reinforce that there is a human behind that email! After all, it may not be easy to meet your client face to face.
Tip - If you use Skype or something similar, it's definitely worth doing a video call so that your client can SEE you as well as hear you, especially the first time round.
2 | Engage in conversations on social media
Social media is one of those things that most people are active on. When its comes to your business and your brand one of the main ways to humanise it is to let the person you are communicating with know that there is a person on the other side of the tweet or status update. More recently I have seen larger companies replying to tweets with reference to their name or initials at the end of the tweet. Like so:
This really helps bigger companies, who have more than 1 employee create a sense of trust and human interaction behind a social media account and computer screen.
3 | Bring in your personality
You may wonder how can you do this as a small business owner. I know I did at one point! My approach is to be myself. The moment I decided I wanted my brand and business to feel more personal, I removed the “We” and added the “I”. I became more transparent on my social media, in particular on Instagram, where I often share non-business related images - it shows I'm human and that I have a life other than running my business and since doing that I have made some great connections and friends that know I who I am, and what I do.
Worst case scenario - use humour! Humour always brings in a reaction.
I hope these tips were useful to you and I hope they help you to humanise your brand and business.
What do you do to humanise your business? Do you do any of the above?