Indecent Business Blogging Exposure and other forms of TMI

a.k.a. yet another reason why your business blog shouldn’t act like other blogs.

Blogging is great.  It allows you to publish content quickly and easily to the world wide web.  That content will live on long after it’s dropped from the front page of your blog and will continue playing a significant role in shaping your online reputation for years to come.

Business blogging allows you to create a search engine friendly comprehensive information archive about your business.  You can share the answers to frequently asked questions and share testimonials quickly and easily.  You can also choose to share any other content via your business blog as well.  The 30 second television commercial you paid to produce can “air” any time and the digital copy of your brochure can be downloaded  instantly.

Business blogging is truly a marvel- but like any other powerful weapon – it has a dark side.

Business blogging provides ample opportunity to create TMI business blog posts.

For some mystical, magical reason – writing on a regular basis seems to have the ability to “reveal” more than what is displayed on the page.

It’s called a Freudian slip when someone says something which unintentionally reveals what they’re really thinking.   Austin Power’s movie Goldmember provides an exaggerated illustration of this concept:

Austin: “Now who has my father?”

Dr. Evil: “Uh oh! Someone has some daddy issues.”

Austin: “Nothing could be my father from the truth.”

Dr. Evil: “Oops! You said ‘my father’.”

Austin: “No I dadn’t.”

Dr. Evil: “Did too!”

Austin: “Didn’t! Did not!”

Dr. Evil: “Shebah!”

Austin: “For me, this is a dad issue.”

Dr. Evil: “Hooh!”

Austin: “Dead issue! Dead dad! Dead beat dad.”

It’s funny when Mike Meyers does it – but if you’re not careful, it’s very easy to commit such Freudian slips.

Business blogging is at its best when it is authentic.

Business blogging works best when it’s authentic.  As you blog, you’ll be writing in a distinct “voice” – just as when you speak, you speak in a distinct voice.  The way you write – the way you share stories – the tone of your writing all comes together to create your authentic blogging “voice”.  The more of you that you share, the more distinct this blogging voice will be.

Like every good thing –  authenticity can easily cross the line and become TMI which is a BAD thing. You must be aware of this “danger” and be careful, that personal turmoil doesn’t find it’s way into your blog posts.

Like most things I share here, this “lesson” is roote in personal experience. A few months ago, I was launching another business and asked a colleague to help with the branding and design elements.  She read the posts on that blog and assumed that I had hired a ghostwriter who failed to capture my “spark”.

OUCH!

I hadn’t hired a ghostwriter – but I was having serious reservations about launching that business.

Quick aside – Some businesses are like selling  encyclopedias door to door.  Back in the old days, prior to the internet, when someone purchased an encyclopedia set, it was a one time sale.  Few customers would be willing to buy a second set of encyclopedias no matter how happy they were with the original purchase.  These types of businesses don’t have repeat sales or repeat customers  and as a result, are tough to launch and then grow.

I hadn’t wanted to face the fact that the business I was preparing to launch was looking like it was definitely a “high tech” version of encyclopedia sales.  That internal conflict had come through loud and clear despite my refusal to acknowledge it.

Should you avoid transparency in your business blog?

I don’t think you can successfully blog without some element of transparency.  With that said, business blogging is too important to take a “I’ll wait to blog for my business as long as life is perfect” mentality.  It’s the most powerful social networking tool available and one that – like fine wine – improves with age.

If you’re waiting for the perfect time to launch a business blog – that time was five years ago.  You’re behind – get moving and get started.

However, if your business is in a state of turmoil – if your personal life is in a state of chaos – I would recommend that you hire a copywriter to assume your business blogging activities.

There are a lot of benefits to hiring a writing professional.  First and foremost, a true ghostwriting “pro” can write in your voice – without ever making a Freudian slip.

Your clients or customers may love you – but they don’t need to know the intricate details of your latest bout with the flu.  🙂 Just one of many things that are better left “unblogged”.

Comments

  1. says

    Hi Kathy – Great point about how external factors can affect our writing voice. When one is conflicted about a business model, as you shared, or another issue, authenticity recedes until there is resolution of some sort. I admire people who can share these situations straightforwardly without burdening the reader, as you do here.

    Recently I unsubscribed from a blogger who is in such a vortex. Things descend into oversharing when there is no forward movement, just wallowing. While it may seem cold or abandoning, I’m not close enough to this person to offer any additional help except written encouragement, of which there is plenty already. As readers we have a responsibility to ourselves as well. Thanks.

  2. Kathy says

    Betsy – I love the term “oversharing”. PERFECT!!! Also – the term “vortex” – it really, really FITS!

    Oh, the reason I’m able to write about this in a “straightforward” fashion is because the situation I described is BEHIND me now. 🙂

    I’ve found that’s the key – the whole “hindsight is 20/20” deal.

  3. says

    Great points in this article. Remaining true to your voice and core are more important than attempting to create a fake persona when business blogging.

    And WHOA NELLY at that picture!

  4. says

    Kathy, I totally agree with the need to create an authentic voice with some transparency. I think the challenge for most businesses is finding that voice with the right balance of openness and without falling into the realm of OOPS!!!

  5. Kathy says

    Great point Les. Finding the right balance of sharing is kind of like learning to walk. Many BIG companies have had well documented “OOPS” moments in social media – but the key is to get right back up and start placing one foot in front of the other again. I know it’s much harder for SMBs in some ways – but one advantage they have is when they make a misstep – they don’t have 5000 bloggers commenting on their misfortune!

  6. Steve says

    It’s always difficult to maintain an “authentic voice” whilst still trying to attempt to sell something, at least this has been my experience in promoting information on wine investment

  7. Kathy says

    That’s because you’re approaching this from a “I want to sell you something” instead of “allow me to help you make a wise investment of your money and your time.”

    If you don’t believe in what you’re offering – then social media will be a big fat BUST for you no matter what business you’re in. People don’t need another place to throw away cash – but they do need a secure investment vehicle. Your investment vehicle has an added benefit – unlike a stock – it will always have some value. Worst case scenario – you can always drink it!

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