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Crafting Your Online Persona

The persona you take when creating a business blog can be one of the most important parts of the blog. How you want your audience to see you and respond to your content should be carefully thought out. There is no one size fits all answer, and your strategy should reflect the medium used for communication, your ideal buyer persona, your company image and culture, and the type of branding you want to use your blog for. The persona should affect the style of writing that you employ, the topics you cover, and the level of professionalism that you project. Between a completely sterile and technical production and a profane blog filled with levity, there are a vast selection of styles available for you to choose from. Depending on your product, your brand, and your history, you will likely have to spend some time deciding on the appropriate tone and emphasis for your blog. Here are a few things to remember when you are deciding what persona to adopt when writing.

Honesty

First, don’t try to be something you are not. Attempting to cover topics beyond your experience level, or assuming a level of expertise you do not possess is a very bad strategy for long term sustainability. While there is the possibility that you can initially get some respect from a portion of your audience, over time any critically thinking consumer will notice that you are simply adopting a persona without anything to back it up. This can ruin any credibility that you once had, and you will likely need to put substantial energy into rebranding. If your name is attached to this mishap, you may need to be separated from the project so that your company can retain some of it previous standing. So, while it will be necessary to emphasize certain things in your blog posts, make sure that you are simply choosing to focus on one of several existing things, rather than attempting to invent a fictitious persona.
Another area where this can be a problem is when companies hire ghostwriters but publish the content as their own. While it is incredibly common for figures such as CEOs to publish books and articles with their name on the cover while in reality only contributing to a fraction of the creation process, this can backfire spectacularly if the deception is discovered. Focus on your actual strengths.

Develop a Buyer Persona

I have discussed this previously, but you should have a good idea of who your average customer is. What is their income, how do they feel about your products, and what is the selling point that is important to them? The purpose of understanding this is quite simple. If you know what they want, then you can do your best to convince them that you have it. Whether it be quality, customer service, a specific brand, or an economic purchase, understanding what drives your customers allows you to adopt a persona which makes them feel comfortable that they will get what they need. This is subtle, and has a lot to do with how you brand your company. A family friendly local business will adopt a persona much different from a global tech services company. It doesn’t just have to do with who your customers are, but also with what they expect from you.
Be the answer to your audience’s problems

This is the part of the blog where you can react to your audience’s needs. This is commonly done in the form of how to articles and explanations of common questions. Your buyer persona should include information about the problems that your audience is trying to solve. Now, you can use that information to decide which of your experiences and skills can be used to solve their problems. Focus on communicating your ability, usually by demonstrating skill in an area. If you can demonstrate your ability to competently and reliably solve their problems, you will develop a reputation for this reliability: both for yourself and your brand.

So, when crafting your online persona, make sure to pay attention to what your audience wants, and the focus on what you are confident that you can deliver well. Solving one of their problems very effectively will give you a lot more respect than if you poorly solve or fail to solve several problems. The mark of an expert is that they know the extent of their knowledge and ability, and having the professionalism to recommend that they go employ someone other than yourself can really help to establish yourself as a trustworthy and reliable expert. Finally, make sure that you do not lie to your audience, as this will put you at huge risk for being found out. You don’t want to end up digging your business into a hole.