How Transparent Should A Business Blogger Be?

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TransparencyI’ll make this short because there isn’t a whole lot to say here but this is a question that comes up often.

A few weeks ago during an interview, I was asked if it is ok to be vulnerable and open about your weaknesses with your readers.

I thought it was a trick question.

My answer was an unqualified “no”.

I believe in being straight-forward and concise. I’m more concerned with the being open about your weaknesses part.

I’ve learned that when you start down the road of “radical transparency” you end up “hogging” the conversation. Every post starts with you, continues with you, and ends with you. Soon, your blog becomes a 12-step group that repels more readers than it attracts.

Here’s what I suggest instead…

Tell your story and then get back to business.

Founders:
Describe how you reached key milestones in your life.

Talk about the problem you set out to solve.
Describe the challenges you faced and how you overcame them.

Marketers:
Talk about how the business began and the early struggles of bringing your product to market.
Describe the breakthroughs that made your business success possible.

The point of these stories isn’t to bemoan weaknesses but to offer readers encouragement and support. They feel that if you could do it – they could too.

Transparency is a Mindset Not Strategy or Content.

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Your readers deserve to hear it straight. They didnt sign-up for spin and false bravado. I guess it doesn’t make sense to write transparency into your blogging strategy. It’s like saying that you will deal honestly with your customers. Of course you do! It’s the price of entry.

So…

Saying sorry when you screw up isn’t exceptional.
Telling people that it’s tough to solve big problems isn’t a strategy
Making sure your readers know where you stand isn’t special.

It’s just business. Now let’s get back to it.

About Stan

Stan Smith is the Managing Director of Pushing Social a content marketing consultancy for aggressive, results-focused organizations.

3 thoughts on “How Transparent Should A Business Blogger Be?

  1. Pingback: Marketing Day: January 13, 2014 | CABizNews.com

  2. Pingback: Marketing Day: January 13, 2014

  3. Guest

    So I guess you wouldn’t be encouraging us to have vulnerability hangovers on our business blogs…that’s a relief. Keeping that business-appropriate filter in place is great advice – thanks Stan!

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