I had a project this past weekend, the repair of some charming little "antiques." These 1960s or 70s vintage hand-carved-and-painted little fish belonged to my late father-in-law and have aged pretty well save for some brittle, detached fins. With a steadied hand and some Exacto® knife precautions, there’s a chance they’ll end up better when I’m done. Tucked away from dust, they’ve waited a year or two for some TLC and the right wall to be hung on. Below is a link to one of my two Instagram posts, each with 4 or 5 pics, that dramatizes the repairs.
I like fish art. I have a handful of other piscine pieces, in metal, wood and fiberglass, none overly precious, and none requiring any real maintenance. But the unusual craft and nostalgia of a bygone world imbues these little guys. I’m not an art collector, and for a designer, the interior decorating gene is severely lacking. But in the course of cleaning up my office for video call purposes, I saw an opportune location for their display. Which meant their repair was now urgent. If successful, the surgery will lead to their appearance, however small, behind me during our next Skype sessions or in impromptu video promotions at my desk.
There, you now know something [new] about me. It may mildly interest you or bore you to tears, but I doubt it’s enough to actually repel you. By you seeing this, odds are that I'm now slightly less of a two-dimensional business entity and a tad more human. People do business with people, especially solo businesses (me) with relatively small businesses or departments (you). Real, important work gets done in very small, know-the-other-person teams.
“This sounds like Facebook oversharing to me.” I hear you but no, you still need to be business-generous with that other 75 to 80 percent of your content marketing messaging in some mix of words and images, on whatever platform/s. Use this idea of appropriately revealing hobbies or interests, or some other content curation, as a means to refresh your sleepy or non-existent chats with your audience.
Finally, if you’ve read this far, you’re asking, “Bruce, what does content marketing advice have to do with creating results-oriented marketing materials?” The parallel is that like it or not, every business is now in publishing (to small audiences) and marketers need to acknowledge the power of casual and authentic conversation and let it seep into the core messaging you share at trade shows and sales meetings. I'm not saying to list your hobbies in your business literature, but in person, online or in print, walk and talk more like a real human to improve business – and human – relationships.