Business Choice – Corporate or Personal?

If you missed the big announcement, I left my previous real estate brokerage to join one that has newly opened. A brilliant agent and friend opened the first Sellstate franchise in the state of Georgia right here in Richmond Hill and I was all too happy to join her.

It has been quite the challenge. I was fortunate that my previous broker allowed me to keep my listings (the listings acquired by an agent technically belong to the broker and he had every right to keep him – he’s a nice guy). However, moving the listings over has taken some leg work. Then there were the different social networks that I belong to that required updating. I am sure I didn’t get them all yet. The last feat was the tweak of my main website to reflect my new brokerage.

I wouldn’t trade a minute of it. I am excited about the fresh start that just so happens to coincide with the start of the new year. However, I would be lying if I didn’t say I had one solid concern. Sellstate as a brand is unknown in my local market.

I considered that thought for a while. I then decided that, while Sellstate was a virtual unknown, I was not. It is my belief that people largely do business with people – not necessarily businesses. That’s what my gut said and I went with it.

Question 1 – What does your gut say about it?

Today I read an interesting post from Joanna Young at Confident Writing. She issued a bloggy challenge for authors to consider with new eyes their “About” page. Her idea is that her About Page should reflect her blog – not the author. She had some very successful bloggers that agreed with her (Skellie, Darren Rowse and Brian Clark).

Because I think know Joanna is brilliant, I gave her idea much thought. You see, my about page is all about me – my heritage, my family, my friends. I revisited the page and considered different ways I could change it to fit Joanna’s challenge.

Then my belief of person not business resonated in my head. My About Page is my vehicle to let readers know, in one post, who April Groves is as an individual. In my opinion, this is the way mine should be. I can’t imagine why people would want to trust, confide, relate or do business with me if they have no idea who “me” is.

Question 2 – How do you handle your “About Page” and why?

While I am comfortable…mostly…in my ideas on both subjects – I am always open to new ideas and great conversation.

Comments

  1. I found your site on technorati and read a few of your other posts. Keep up the good work. I just added your RSS feed to my Google News Reader. Looking forward to reading more from you.

    Tom Stanley

    • Tom – you got hung up in my filter and I almost missed you…sorry about that.

      Glad you are here and I hope to see you around more often πŸ™‚

  2. >>I can’t imagine why people would want to trust, confide, relate or do business with me if they have no idea who β€œme” is.

    All of that is true, but if you don’t first let them know what’s in it for them, they won’t care. I learned this lesson long ago (in real estate, believe it or not), and it’s the real deal.

    People DO need to know what you’re all about… just after you tell them what you can do for them. πŸ™‚

    • Brian, I agree with what you are saying because I have seen that to be true myself. Except, in my market, there are a lot of folks in real estate so many times it comes down to who a person is because the pool to choose from is so deep.

      How do you feel about a separate Services, About My Business, Work with Me or some page similar to that? I have been toying around with that idea. I also have a “Philosophy and Mission Statement” page that kinda fills in that area – but it is on my main site, not the blog home. I am really glad this conversation has come up because I have been chewing on it for a while.

  3. Joanna Young says:

    Hi April

    I have to confess I did miss the big announcement – what kind of a blogging friend am I?! It sounds great – hope it all works out for you.

    There’s no one right answer to the blogging challenge, and I’m not sure I’d pitch it as a straight choice between corporate and personal.

    I wasn’t sure which way to go myself which is why I went digging around the blogosphere for examples.

    Skellie actually suggests a mixture – starting with the about the blog, then about the author; Darren’s main about page is about him; interestingly enough Darren’s page is used as the example in Brian Clark’s piece about the purpose of the About Page.

    Brian’s was the only advice I found which was a clear pitch for going with an “about the blog” approach. And that was the route I went down.

    I wouldn’t call his approach corporate though (his about page doesn’t say anything about the services he offers) – it’s about what his blog offers, what it will give me as a new reader.

    And that was the challenge I found interesting as author – what does my blog have to offer? And reader – what does this blog offer me?

    It might be ideas, inspiration, learning, laughter, community, practical tips, a space to share, an opportunity to unwind, the chance to learn from an expert, a challenge…

    The nature of what’s on offer would be irrevocably shaped and influenced by the person or group of people who were writing it.

    And once I was intrigued and wanted to learn more, yes, I’d want to read more about the author.

    I’d want to learn more about April and love hearing that background and heritage flow through in the words that spill onto the page… but maybe after I was already signed in.

    Joanna

    PS I think Brian put this a lot better than me, and in a lot less words – but then again he is the copyblogger!

    • Joanna – I love your words! Use as many of them as you would like πŸ™‚

      I agree – I liked Skellie’s page a lot.

      I don’t know – the About Page is always the first place I go once I am on a site and I am always disappointed when I don’t get to know more about the person behind the blog. There are a ton of twidget makers out there – I want to know who that particular twidget maker is. While not great for my health πŸ™‚ business is fairly personal to me.

      I asked Brian his thoughts on separate pages – I’d love to hear yours too!

  4. Joanna Young says:

    Hi April

    The redesign gave me 5 tabs on the navigation bar (plus ‘home’). Once again I’d say there is no one right way to do this… but I went for

    1) About – which I made about the blog
    2) Writing tips – as those are the twidgets a lot of people want…
    3) Working with me
    4) Podcasts – as some people just want them (apparently!)
    5) Contact me

    “About me” isn’t there up front, though it is fairly easily findable from the About page, the working with me page, and the “porch pitch” top right on the blog which with my pic gives a fairly instant intro to who I am

    You could easily add a page on working with me or some such as you already have the navigation tabs (I had to get a whole redesign to get them – a Typepad thing)

    The point I’d come back to though is that there is still an interesting question about what your *blog* is about which isn’t the same as you or the work that you do.

    When I thought about I realised it wasn’t even just about the words that I wrote there.

    It was about the people that came there, and why, and the things they tell me about what they get out of the visit.

    Have fun chewing!

    Joanna

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