Should I Really Care About What You Think? Learning to be more transparent
When I was a young(er) man, back before I was a father of four, or a Realtor, or a blogger, my wife Pam and I used to do our grocery shopping at around 11pm to miss the crowds. We got to know the nighttime checkers and managers at the local store.
Recently, Pam reminded me about how I used to buy "camouflage" foods in an effort to make the cashier believe that we were consuming something with nutritive value, rather than strictly junk food. Today, as I was shopping, I was buying ingredients for a highly decadent Oreo cheesecake that my daughter is making for her Brownie/Girl Scout event tomorrow. I also loaded up on candy, Tostitos, diet sodas, and other stuff that could never be deemed health food. Guess what? I didn't even bother with the camouflage food. Instead, I was perfectly content to roll my cart filled with snacks to the front.
This struck me as analogous to my blogging efforts over the past couple of years. When I started out, I assumed that I was "supposed" to write about business stuff only. At the very least, I thought that I needed to include some market reports as part of the mix so that no one would know that I simply enjoy writing, regardless of whether it results in sales. Thankfully, along the way, I've had plenty of sales, too.
When I am teaching others about social media and blogging, one of the most common questions I get is this:
"But what should I blog about? I don't have much to say."
My answer is a short one: ANYTHING that you feel comfortable writing about publicly is fair game.
There's no magic formula for blogging, and I don't think you should ever listen to self-proclaimed experts who tell you that you should have 20% personal, or 50% business, or 0% fun. Just write, and you will become a better writer over time. Blogging provides another unique opportunity that writers didn't have in the old days - instant feedback!
In the pre-blogging era, authors, journalists, and anyone else who aspired to communicate via the written word would have loved to have comments on their works as they progressed and honed their skills. You and I probably take this for granted now, right?
I realize that transparency is an overused buzzword in the social media arena these days, but I still think it's an important concept for businesses and individuals using these tools. Almost every single sale that I have had (including an astounding SIX in the pipeline right now) have come from my willingness to let people get to know me as a person, not just as a real estate broker.
Writing about real estate all day makes Jack a dull boy.
Photo credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/jaboobie/92663750/