I had a conversation with a client recently where they asked the question “Should I accept friend requests from my clients or followers? And should I make my personal Facebook page, public?
I guess when it comes down to it this is a matter of how close you are with your clients or followers and how comfortable you feel with them knowing everything about your life. When we consider social media for example, so many people are willing to share every facet of their life with the world. And if you're comfortable doing that then that’s fine. However, it's important not to get this mixed up with personal branding when it comes to your business.
I often tell my clients that own small businesses that it's important to inject their personal brand into the content they write, via their Instagram stories and even in some of their posts on their business page. For small business owners, personal branding is a large part of building the overall brand. People engage when they feel they can relate to someone or that they can connect with them. Branding essentially allows you to build a relationship with your clients where this notion of relating or connecting is often the reason they will buy from you or engage in your services. What we need to be careful of is oversharing. You need to find the balance of sharing too much and sharing just enough that people can still relate to you.
The other thing we need to consider on this subject, is that the constant access to information through digital channels means that we are contactable 24 hours a day 7 days a week. And while some people have measures in place to ensure that they aren't responding around the clock, it's very easy to feel the need to respond to messages on your business page or an email that comes through to the phone for fear of losing a potential customer. So, with all this access you need to ask yourself the question, do you really want clients and followers having access to your personal life outside of the business?
In my line of work I am always online, I manage social media accounts for clients as well as my own. I get notifications when emails come through at all hours, I receive texts and messages via Facebook Messenger, phone calls and the list goes on. This is just the nature of what I do however as this is the case, I choose to keep my personal social media pages private and keep my little bubble to myself and my loved ones.
So while it is a matter of each to their own, people need to take into consideration the fact that once they do allow clients and followers in to their lives that it becomes very difficult to keep that little bubble from bursting.
It comes down to striking a balance. You can still inject your personality and your values into your brand without having to share your entire life with people you barely know.