4 Ways to Connect With Readers Without Spilling All Your Family Secrets
It’s no secret that “know, like and trust” is the name of the game when it comes to doing business online. Regardless of whether you are trying to get someone to buy something, sign up for your list, or hire you to provide a service, you need to build a relationship first. Creating a personal relationship is the first step in the process of getting your audience to know, like, and trust you.
But… there’s a fine line between creating a personal connection and offering up your whole life story online. On one side, it’s great to offer up a connection and share bits and pieces of your life so your readers get to know you. On the other, if you share too much, you cross into ‘creepy’ territory.
Creating boundaries online is a lot trickier than when you have conversations in person.
Here are a few tips that can help you build a personal connection with each member of your audience, without putting your personal safety and important information on the line.
Write/Talk to one person at a time
One of the first things I learned when I started writing online was to focus on only one person. Because even if you’re sending out an email to thousands at the same time, each one is reading it on their own. No one wants to be made to feel like they’re just one of a faceless, nameless mass.
It’s easy to do this if you write in the second person. Using words “you”, “yours”, and “yourself” make the reader feel like you are talking to her individually. It’s an easy step toward building that personal connection without giving up personal information.
Write like you speak
This tip comes straight from copy-writing 101 – write in a conversational tone, like you were talking to someone.
If you don’t speak in complete sentences, don’t always write in them either. Because the fact is, people don’t always talk in complete sentences and doing so makes your writing come across as robotic. (Unless, of course, your audience is academic in nature and expects you to be grammatically perfect all the time.)
Don’t be afraid to start your sentences with words like “but” or “and”. I do this all the time! And don’t be afraid to keep things short. Like this. It gives your writing a much more relaxed feeling that the average person can identify with. And that means it’s easier to create a connection than if you were talking “at” them instead of “to” them.
Keep your family out of it
By that I don’t mean pretending you don’t have any family. It’s true that mentioning your partner, kids, or pets is a great way to create a sense of connection with your audience. It makes you easier to identify with and seem more human (as opposed to being just a name on the screen). This is especially true if you’re sharing stories that involve emotions.
The one thing you don’t have to (and shouldn’t) do unless you really trust your audience, is reveal the names of close friends and family members. You can use identifiers such as DH (dear husband), DS (dear son), etc. for family members. For your kids you can refer to them by age. For example, one of my favourite authors refers to her children as simply “Oldest”, “Middle”, and “Youngest” when talking about them on her blog.
Related Post: Share Your Life Stories To Attract the Right Audience
Leave out details that could compromise your safety
When I first came online we were warned not to let people know when you would be away, or where you were going. There was a lot less openness back then (20 or so years ago).
Now with the advancements in social media and mobile technology, it’s gotten a lot harder to keep your whereabouts unknown, especially when travelling. It’s so easy to share pictures and information when you’re on holiday. In fact, I’d venture to say it’s almost impossible not to.
One thing you can do to preserve some privacy and still stay connected with your audience is make use of filters on social media and only share things that could compromise yours safety with family and close friends. That way you can keep the people you trust updated without informing the general public that you’re travelling.
So there you have it… A few ways to share your life and create a connection with your readers without spilling all your family secrets on your blog and social media.
What do you think? Do you share a lot or a little with your online audience? Have your say in the comments below.