As business owners who are trying to make authentic connections with our clients and communities, we are taught to share more about ourselves on a personal level. Let the people get to know us. If they know us, they will like us. If they like us, they will hire us and refer friends to us.
That is all true, but we must also be mindful of our audience. For example, I have taken three vacations this year. I always include in my quarterly newsletters where I’ve been, what my family has done, and the fun we have. It had never occurred to me that my main audience is my clients and their adult children. These are people who are rarely able to take a vacation due to disability or because they are the sole caregiver of a loved one. Instead of being personal, my sharing may seem more like boasting, separating me from my clients. How do I share and mitigate possible damages? After sharing travels, then share tips on how elderly people can travel safely, and how caregivers can plan a trip away and feel secure in their decision and plans. Provide guidance and a way for them to take a vacation themselves.
Another example is when I share my business travel schedule and post pictures on Facebook and other social media outlets. My clients and constituents may feel that I am never in the office to actually see clients and help them. How do I overcome that? I make sure to constantly highlight my office team members and their roles within the office. The message is that the clients are taken care of by all of us, not just me.
I am a huge proponent of being personal and sharing information with clients and professional contacts. But, be aware that when you share, your messages may be perceived differently than you intended. Always consider the audience and their experiences and expectations when sharing yours. You want to strengthen the relationships with your clients, not alienate them.
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Victoria L. Collier, Co-Founder, Lawyers with Purpose, LLC, www.LawyersWithPurpose.com; Certified Elder Law Attorney through the National Elder Law Foundation; Fellow of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys; Founder and Managing Attorney of The Elder & Disability Law Firm of Victoria L. Collier, PC, www.ElderLawGeorgia.com; Co-Founder of Veterans Advocates Group of America; Entrepreneur; Author; and nationally renowned Presenter.