Photo Credit: publicdomainpictures.net

“Business before pleasure.” “Let’s get down to business.” “This is serious business.”

Phrases like these are drilled into our heads, so it’s no wonder that when we start our own business, we’re a bit nervous to throw some fun into it. But what’s the point of having a business if you’re not able to have a bit of fun?

Think about some of your favorite local brands. What is it about them that you like? It’s doubtful that their product or service alone keeps you coming back. More than likely, you have pleasant interactions or maybe you have come to know the employees. That’s one of the great benefits to being a small business owner–you can show off your personality, and customers have come to expect that.

But how do you show some personality without losing credibility? Start with these 5 tips, and then build on them in ways that work for your business:

1)      Highlight your staff (even if that’s just you). Customers love knowing things about the employees at their favorite businesses. If you’re a restaurant owner, post on Facebook your three guilty pleasure foods. If you own a clothing store, post your favorite “lounging around the house” item of clothing.

2)     Don’t be afraid to joke around with customers (within reason, of course). Boundary Bay Brewery  in Bellingham, WA is a great example of a business that’s not afraid to show off their comic side.

3)     Talk in a conversational tone. Customers see straight through the sales pitch tone.

4)     Post pictures from a staff party or a current project you’re working on. Barleans, a nutritional supplement company in Ferndale, WA does a fantastic job of showcasing employees, as you can see here.

5)     Not everything has to be about your business. It’s OK to link to articles that you find to be entertaining or interesting from time-to-time. That’s also a great way to learn about your customers. If they engage a lot with one particular type of post or topic, then look for ways to incorporate that into your marketing strategy.

As a small business owner, personality and individuality are two of your greatest assets. Don’t be afraid to use them to your advantage. Your customers will thank you for it.

By Lindsey McGuirk, PR Consulting marketing specialist.

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