One of my franchise owners asked me how personal we should get on our business blogs. I had a very strong opinion but researched quite a bit trying to find out if the experts agreed or didn’t agree with my gut decision. I found a couple good articles but didn’t find as many articles as I thought I would have found. The article I found used this great metaphor of braiding. It was by Shel Israel. I had heard of him before but checked him out a little anyway. He has a published book on Amazon called Naked Conversations with a 4.5 star rating out of 5 with 50 reviews. I am also looking for a great SM book but more about that in a subsequent post.
Shel uses a braiding metaphor. He says we should braid personal narrative into our business conversations just as we do when we meet face to fact. He uses the example of a business breakfast or business lunch. This is such a great example. Think about having a lunch with a vendor or client. It would make us look overly stiff if we could only talk about business. And generally, personal conversation goes a little further than the weather report. We might talk about something we did over the weekend – participate in a race, go biking or maybe attend a great movie. These are safe things to talk about, don’t pin us down to any sort of strange personality or political leaning, and make us seem more real. What’s also important is the length of time we “weave” this personal narrative into our business conversation. This amount of time is small but this part of the braiding is very important.
So, I decided to take the braiding metaphor even further and to identify the 3 strands of the metaphor. The first is, obviously, business appropriate personal, the second strand is pure business and the third strand is the message or relate. Here’s the difference between the business and the message. The business strand is the content. This is the subject of the article/post. The message is why we are writing the post and how it relates to the reader. For example, one of our Outdoor Lighting franchise partners from Northern Virginia does a great job blogging. They wrote a post about burying low-voltage wires. This is the subject. The third part, the message, is the relate. This is why it matters to the reader. In the post, they go on to state why this is important. It also demonstrates why you need a professional outdoor lighting company instead of using a landscaper who either doesn’t know or doesn’t follow the code.
So the 1,2,3 of business blogging braiding is business-appropriate personal, subject/content, and message.