Article written by Megan Totka, Chief Editor for ChamberofCommerce.com
Someone once said that personality goes a long way.
This is especially true for those of us in the business world. Our personalities shape our companies as we come in contact with so many fresh faces. It may be a stretch to say that our personality makes or breaks our business, but it certainly plays a big role in reaching out to and retaining new customers. Regardless of your industry, it almost always pays to be personable.
While personality may seem simple to convey when we’re shaking hands or chatting it up at a conference, how do we make sure our personalities are coming through loud and clear on our websites?
After all, customers want a personal connection with the sites they frequent and the businesses they support. Meanwhile, we’re always working to make sure we don’t get drowned out in the face of fierce competition. We’ve said in the past that your small business website is your face on the web. What side of you is on display? Ask yourself…
Is Your Site Lacking Personality?
Perhaps you’ve never really thought of your business website in terms of “personality.” Consider first the benefits of offering a unique, personable experience to your new and returning visitors, since a website with personality:
- Offers something different in a sea of competing websites and companies in your industry.
- Creates recognition for your business, product, and brand as you continue to grow on the web.
- Sets a clear tone with your visitors, further helping them understand and identify with your business.
Pinning down your in-person, professional personality may be easy. But what about your business online? Do you want to come off as bright and cheery? Do you want to give off a vibe that’s a bit more bold and serious? Are you somewhere in the middle? Decisiveness is the name of the game when it comes setting the tone for your website; however, consider also how consistency is key.
That is, pick a tone and stick with it. Don’t jolt users around or jar them with conflicting tones. Remember that your business’s personality creates a certain level of expectation. Such a personality needs to be consistent across your site in terms of content, design and so on. When deciding on your business’s tone, you’ll need to choose carefully.
- Don’t be gimmicky – Your website offers you and your business a chance to show a bit of character; however, it’s paramount that such a character is representative of you.
- Be yourself – Users will see through you if you try to be someone else.
- Be welcoming – Regardless of how you choose to portray yourself, make sure that you’re welcoming to your visitors. Don’t leave them confused or in the cold.
Setting a Tone
Small business websites establish a personality through tone. Such a tone keeps your site on-target and is established by multiple avenues, the most important two being design and content.
Often overlooked, your website’s design probably says more about you and your business than you even realize. Consider your color scheme, for example, and what different colors mean for your business site. Bright versus dark. Soft versus bold. The possibilities are seemingly endless and speak volumes about what you want to convey as a business owner.
Remember not to recycle colors from popular brands or, worse yet, your biggest competitors. Instead, focus on something that’s pleasing to the eye and will set your site apart from the crowd. Do your research and consider the possibilities. You may initially think that design doesn’t mean much; however, small details can have a big subconscious impact on your visitors.
We naturally think of “tone” when we think about crafting killer content. Consider taking a “show, don’t tell” approach when it comes to letting your personality show throughout your site’s content. Yes, you should be informative to your users and let them know about your business, product, location, and so on. Yet don’t force your personality upon them; instead, let it shine through your own insight and what you have to offer as a business owner.
Remember to have a consistent voice throughout your static and blog content. Be authoritative, informational and personable when it comes to delivering something special to your users. Such a tone can also be used across the social network, email newsletters, and anything else you write on behalf of your business. With the right personality and tone, you can encourage your visitors to provide feedback, have a conversation and, most important, buy your product when the time comes.
The Bottom Line
You have a personality and so does your business. As your business website is the hub of your company online, ensure that your personality isn’t getting lost in translation. If your small business’ site doesn’t feel like you, consider small steps in design and content you can implement to shift your site’s tone. The more you let your personality shine, the more willing users will be to stop by, stick around, and hopefully return. Ask yourself; is your personality coming through loud and clear on your company site?
Megan Totka is the Chief Editor for ChamberofCommerce.com. She specializes on the topic of small business tips and resources. ChamberofCommerce.com helps small businesses grow their business on the web and facilitates connectivity between local businesses and more than 7,000 Chambers of Commerce worldwide.