A couple of months back, I was in the market for a laptop. I desperately wanted a Mac. My husband asked me why and I emphatically stated, Because they are cool. Being a writer and not excessively computer savvy, I didn't need Mac's media editing power. Never the less, I knew Apple's Mac laptops are smart, hip, chic and I WANTED one!
So how did I know that Apple is cool, smart, hip, chic, etc...? I knew just like I know anyone's personality. Apple showed me through their actions: product placement, advertisements, their website, etc... I was drawn to Apple's personality immediately and for no rational reason. Thus a relationship blossomed with Apple because their personality attracted me.
Your business' personality is what draws your target market into a relationship with you. Your business' website is often the first impression your company gives to your target market. What kind of impression is your website giving them?
Writing With Personality to Build Relationships
The content on your website relays personality to your customers whether you know it or not. If you want your business personality to be hip and smart but are using a formal writing style then you have conflict. Conversational writing is a style of writing that follows grammatical rules but leaves room for your business' personality to shine through. Writing in a conversational style allows you to be sincere, hip, sophisticated, or any other personality. Conversational writing is natural and genuine.
Conversational Writing Tips
Write like you speak (Ask yourself, would I say that in real life?)
Use I or we and you (This personalizes your writing)
Keep it simple (less is more, cut fancy words and keep sentences short)
What Should You Write About?
For advice on what to write about to convey your business' personality I have a quote from the book Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott. This is about writing fiction but it applies nicely to deciding what content should go on your website.
If you find that you start a number of stories or pieces that you don't ever bother finishing, that you lose interest or faith in them along the way, it may be that there is nothing at their center about which you care passionately. You need to put yourself at the center, you and what you believe to be true or right. The core, ethical concepts in which you most passionately believe are the language in which you are writing.
Instead of putting yourself at the center, as the quote suggests, replace you with relationship with your website visitors. If your website puts its relationship with visitors first and every decision about the site is made from that perspective, customers will know that you are dependable, understanding and caring. These are the foundation of friendship.