Look around your business. What do you see? Your customers are human. Your employees are human. Your social media followers are human. And, you are human.
But, how are you treating these human beings that surround you on a day-to-day basis? Like humans? Or ... like robots?
Your customers, employees, and followers want personalization. And, they want to relate to brands they know and love. To form meaningful and long-lasting relationships with your current and potential customers, show your true colors by humanizing your brand.
5 Hacks for humanizing your business
The whole point of humanizing your business is to connect with your customers and earn their trust. But, those aren’t the only perks.
Humanizing your business also allows you to:
- Tell your brand’s story
- Build relationships
- Show off your team
So, what are you waiting for? If you are eager to humanize your business and better connect with customers, follow the five steps below.
1. Step out of your comfort zone
Humanizing your business takes some guts. You can’t expect to humanize your business if you’re not willing to break out of your bubble. If you want to humanize your brand, step outside of your comfort zone a bit.
Be willing to show off your personality. And, you definitely can’t be shy. When it comes to humanizing your business, mix your personality into all things you do. Don’t be afraid to use humor and be yourself.
Add some personality when you:
- Chat with customers online
- Respond to reviews
- Send out emails
Nail your business’s voice early on and keep it consistent when you speak to customers on social media, over the phone, and online (e.g., via chat or review sites).
2. Share the good, the bad, and the ugly
If you’re like most employers, your startup story probably isn’t glamorous. And, your story sure as heck wasn’t all sunshine and rainbows in the beginning (unless you were one of the lucky ones). Instead of hiding your past setbacks, use them to your advantage.
Telling your startup story is a great way to humanize your business. It shows that you learned from your past mistakes and didn’t let them weigh you down.
Your customers don’t want a sugar-coated startup story that isn’t real. They want to know how you made your entrepreneurial dream a reality.
So, when sharing your story with others, share the good, the bad, and the ugly in all its glory.
3. Be as transparent as possible
Consumers crave (and deserve) transparency. In fact, 86% of Americans believe transparency is more important now than ever. And, 9 out of 10 consumers will likely stop purchasing from a brand that isn’t transparent.
With so many consumers on board the transparency train, shouldn’t your business hop on, too?
If you want to humanize your business, be open, honest, and transparent with your customers. Don’t sweep things under the carpet. Be open about company culture and values, updates to your products/services, and pricing changes.
When being transparent, don’t spill the beans about trade secrets. Sure, you want to be honest. But, you don’t want to reveal too much information.
4. Show off your employees
Your employees are part of your business’s foundation. They help build up your company and lead your business to success. Not to mention, they are the future of your company. Why not show your customers some of the wonderful faces behind your brand?
So ... how do you do that?
If you want to show off your top-notch employees, consider showing them off on your business website. You can either devote an entire page to your team or sprinkle photos of your employees throughout your website. The choice is yours.
Upload photos of each employee and include their name and position. Don’t be afraid to spice things up by including some silly individual or group photos. The more personality you show off, the better.
Humanizing your business with photos of your workforce helps consumers connect with your business and employees. Not to mention, photos help customers put a name to a face when they’re communicating with your business online.
5. Be relatable online (and offline)
Communication is key when it comes to a lot of things in business, like when you’re trying to humanize your brand. But, your communication has to be just as good online as it is in person.
Whether you know it or not, a good chunk of your business’s brand is online. Do you have a website or blog? What about email campaigns? Do you engage with customers through social media? If you answered “yes” to any of these, then you have an online presence that may need to be humanized.
If you want to humanize your business, you need to have a relatable voice, both online and offline. When you’re talking or marketing to your customers online, the last thing you want to do is sound like a robot.
Your potential and current customers don’t want generic responses. To humanize your business online, be sure to personalize messages, showcase your personality, and be yourself. Remember to keep your voice consistent on all platforms (e.g., review sites, social media, etc.). And, use that same voice when you see your customers in person.
Author bio: Maria Tanski is a content writer at Patriot Software, LLC. Patriot Software offers online accounting and payroll software for small business owners. At Patriot, Maria writes about accounting, payroll, and other small business topics.