Well Hey There Fellow Human,
I know not my usual intro. But I want to make a point. I’m Hil the writer behind Immensely Social. I’m a real human with emotions and a life and business and a family and lots and lots of things to do. I get tired and inspired. I have fears and dreams. I believe in getting dressed for work even when working from home but sometimes I don’t. Currently rocking an oversized hoodie and my workout leggings.
You caught me! It’s my human side.
You also are a human reading this, unless you are the algorithm. I see you Google.
But really, in our digital age, we forget this sometimes, the human side. The people behind the screen. To use an old-school Wizard of Oz reference, sometimes we need to peel back the curtain and see who is there.
So today, I’m talking about not social media content or blog content, or content marketing. I’m talking about Human Content and Human Business.
I know many of us are weary of the words personal branding but the reason it has become so popular is that it is a beginning move in the right direction to re-humanize branding. This is more important now than ever with bots and AI taking over the world.
I started thinking about this when I wrote a post for ClearVoice about bots taking over our jobs as freelance writers. Here’s a hint- they can’t.
“And while there are more sophisticated bots out there, a bot simply cannot think and feel and bring experience and years of skill to the job.”Can a Bot Take Your Writing Job? How to “Out Write” Bots in the Age of AI, ClearVoice
I’m not downing technology. I love it! And it presents us with so many opportunities. But we need to evaluate how and when we use it. And it’s not just our marketing to others that needs humanizing. We need to understand the human side of ourselves to make our businesses work. I know it sounds a little silly.
What does that even mean?
It means we are more often than not emotional rather than logical about our decisions and we need to adjust our systems and habits accordingly. I love how Mike talks about this in Profit First,
Mike then goes on to talk about how if we were Spock we would follow all accounting instructions, run critical ratios, evaluate Key Performance Indicators weekly, etc. and know exactly where our profit stands at all times. But we don’t. At least not most of us. We can employ Spock like accountants. That is a good plan, but we are more like Captain Kirk. Human.
I’ve never been a Trekkie.
But I like the sentiment.
Working with our humanity instead of trying to fight against it.
Our work, after all, is an art at least it should be. Thank you Jeff Goins for that reminder in The Art Of Work. I actually have a real paperback copy of that book sitting on my desk right now. As much as I adore the Kindle app on my iPad, sometimes you have to give the technology a break. Touch some paper pages, my friend.
Back to this our work is art thing, stay with me here because this is not going to be a “Follow your passion” right into bankruptcy kind of advice. You can do your art and be passionate about it and not be able to pay your bills. This is not fulfilling.
But as freelancers, entrepreneurs, creatives, side hustlers, didn’t we start to do something we love, have more freedom, and have some sort of financial gain too?
Knowing that our work is art and that we are humans in business is about giving ourselves time to grow and fail and enjoy and pursue things whatever work or field we’re in.
My goal with this post is more about reflecting on the idea of humanizing our businesses for ourselves and others. But I don’t want to just leave it at that with nothing actionable. So here are some tips we can use to humanize our marketing and also our business systems.
Let me know your ideas in the comments.
3 Ways To Get To The Human Side of Marketing
Know that it’s not people versus search engines. It’s both. But people first.
There is this debate online about if we should write and market to please our audience or the search engines. For efforts to be successful, we usually need to focus on both. But I recommend people first. Give good, valuable content. A good user experience and then see what you can add in and optimize to make the search engines happy. Because really what the search engines want is people who are happy with the results they pull up.
Think of ways to be more authentic
The authenticity thing is hit on a lot but it’s because it’s important. People have gotten wiser to inauthentic and staged content. This does not mean that you cannot put your best foot forward online and this does not mean you have to bare all. But it does mean that we can share struggles alongside successes. Let someone know when you are feeling down and unmotivated. Cue Eye Of The Tiger. My Dad always sends me that song when I tell him I’m trying to get motivated.
See. I just shared something. It’s not so painful.
Try to write as you talk
This could go with the authenticity point but it deserves a point of its own. When you write and create content online do the friends and family test. Would your friends and family know it is you or do you sound like a completely different person? I realize there is a time to write more professionally or in a certain tone, which is fine. But when you can put yourself in your content. Write those contractions. Put in some run-on sentences and some shorter three-word sentences. Break the grammar rules when appropriate and sounds, you guessed it…human. Show that human side in your writing too.
3 Ways To Get To The Human Side of Business
For the most part, we know the things that are good for us and not good for us. But we often do the not-so-good things and don’t do the good things. So, how can we work with ourselves instead of against ourselves?
Change Things Up
If you are doing something because it is the way that you think you are supposed to but it is not working for you, find a way that will work. Or delegate the task if possible. We can waste a lot of energy fighting against ourselves unnecessarily. Like Mike is saying in Profit first, we can work with the emotional side.
Take Breaks and Move to Different Environments
Sometimes when we are in the trenches, pushing ourselves through, we need to just lay off and take a break. Move to a different environment to work or take a walk. Do something to restore our minds and reset our creativity. If the work is not flowing and not happening to force it is rarely the answer. This does not mean be lazy or abandon the ship but a quick break or small change could be just what is needed.
This is something I struggle with personally and why I like Brene Brown’s book The Gifts Of Imperfection. And my most favorite book of all time that leads to a more compassionate life The Bible. If we have too much fear to make any changes we cannot grow. We hide because we are too afraid for others to see that we are, well, human.
But we are human. And that is a good thing.
The human side is delicate and beautiful and lovely. Yes, sometimes weak and vulnerable but ready to be made strong. Growing.
Hit me with your ideas in the comments! I would love to hear.
In a world with so much hostility that many are only open to your view and opinion if it agrees with theirs, it can be hard to humanize. We have to be brave. I’m talking to myself here too. Cheers to you fellow human! I see you working and trying and making the best of your days. And I’m cheering for you.