As a business owner, your personal profile matters more than you might think. When it comes down to
it, as a small business owner, you are your brand. Like it or not, what you say even when you’re not speaking on behalf of your company will reflect on your business reputation.
You likely already have a presence online that you are building (hello,it’s 2018, this should be a no brainer!) or maybe you want to expand your current network through events and other face-to-face meetings. Regardless, here are a two things to take into account as you build your profile.
Always be aware of potential connections
You never know who knows who or the quality of their relationship if they are a mutual acquaintance. So, if you are thinking of badmouthing someone, one of three things could happen:
- The person you are speaking to actually likes this acquaintance and you have just offended them.
2. The person you are speaking to really doesn’t like this acquaintance either and you have just bonded over something really negative.
3. The person you are speaking to feels very uncomfortable and thinks,͞ “if you can so easily talk about them, are you badmouthing me as well to others?”
͟In all three cases, you have just opened your mouth (or let your fingers fly over the keyboard) without knowing what the response will be, and in all three cases you get a negative out come. Even though you bonded in #2, do you really want to get a reputation like that?
Your values should align with how you want others to see your business.
Put out what you want to get back
The way you interact with others says a lot about your personality. We have all heard about employers or clients who like to see how someone treats serving staff before making a final decision on whether to work together.
Consider also that having a politically charged, intelligent discussion is very different than ranting about our disgust of a specific political leader. It could make you seem like one of those conspiracy theorists who is a little unstable. Or how about that time when you unleashed your anger via a 10-tweet rant directed at a company because they treated you poorly?
If you focus on negativity, you’ll find that people will stop wanting to work with you because of it. When it comes to social media, customers have direct access to your online activity–and they will check you out before buying from you. This doesn’t mean you can’t be authentic when building your personal profile, but when it comes to inappropriate messaging that could be seen as offensive or hurtful, think about whether it will give the right impression.
We all wish that our personal and professional lives could be kept separate. While it can be possible to do so, with the professional world increasingly moving digital, it makes it quite difficult. The solution is to be more self-aware and think twice about what you say before you say it.
Candace Huntly is Founder and Partner at SongBird Marketing Communications, an award-winning agency working to take organizational and individual brands to the next level. With a passion for all things related to creativity and strategy, she specializes in business intelligence, marketing & branding, content strategy & development, media & influencer relations, and social media. Basically, if you need to put your brand, product, or cause in the public eye, she will find a way to do it, while making the approach unique to you.
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