As of lately, I have been focused on being transparent, while running a small business. I have always been a fairly open and honest person, if someone inquires me. However, as of last year, I have been on a mission to not hide behind a computer screen or rose-colored glasses. In a short period of time, I have really learned a good amount about transparency while running a business.
Connection Is Established
Between you and me, honestly, I don’t run the traditional style of business, per se, with physical products or anything of that nature. My business is content curated; if I really wanted to give it a title. I write content for this site, newsletters, digital products, and more, while at the same time, helping clients create content for their businesses. Having a level of transparency, allows my audience to connect with me, not just as business minded people but business owners. People know my nieces’ name, my favorite Starbucks drink, my favorite bible verse, and even that I have a love for shoes. They also know that I was being depleted by running a company I wasn’t fully happy with.
When I say I have been where you are, I am not just saying that so people will dig me or like me. They can see the parallels in our businesses. People trust those they are connected to and that can be vulnerable with them. My honesty is what has increased my digital product sales, my site views, and my brand recognition.
“You aint got to lie to kick it” is my thoughts a lot. I don’t need to be someone I’m not, to please the masses online or in real life. I have freedom that a plethora of small business owners don’t have, because they want to be perceived as having it all together. One thing I noticed though, the grass isn’t always green. We think companies are doing well because of how they act and in actuality they’re not. Look at C Wonder, Kate Spade Saturday, DEB, and Piperlime to name a few. I can write on social media that my numbers are down for digital sales and not care. There is no judgment, there is just honesty and transparency, in order to, help another business owner.
How You Can Do It
Just simply start to be honest. You don’t have to be as detailed as I am on social media. You can start by sharing your day. Your uncleaned desk or that your shirt is a little wrinkled. Most of my shirts are wrinkled lol. Show how the office looks with all the pending orders being scattered across it. Don’t over think it. I will note don’t make the transparency a means to be a negative Nancy, to garner sympathy from your audience. This isn’t the honesty box on Facebook. You’re still a business owner. I attest that once I started opening up about my life, whether personal or business, and the more I kept my audience in the loop, the more they started to really support me more fiscally.
Some simple steps on how you can become transparent with your audience:
- Create An Action Plan
- Set Your Boundaries
- Use Filters On What You Share
- Determine The Level Of Privacy You Want
- Be Honest
- Speak To Them As Friends
- Connect On Their Level
People want to see you win, especially when, there is a connection correlated between you and them. When I see women like Jules, of Sincerely Jules, winning I am ecstatic for her and her team. I remember when I first discovered her in Cosmo Latina. I was like she is like me, I am digging her. You don’t need to share your companies fiscal quarter numbers to be transparent. I rarely share the specific figures regarding what my company brings in month to month. I generalize revenue because I want to keep private about larger scale things. I share with close friends but not the entire world.
Transparency within my small business has yielded me a multitude of success allowing me to be a trusted source in my niche plus with my audience. How are you being more honest and open with your audience in order to foster connections?