Scandals: Should You Wade Into The Mud Puddle?

Wading Into the Mud PuddleScandals.

Every industry has them. Controversial advice, tools that don’t work properly, people selling education who don’t have businesses to back them up. They create occasional uproars – Twitter wars, Facebook threads that turn to namecalling and personal attacks, and they often spur another thing: blog posts.

This always makes me cringe, to see a blog post about industry specific drama on a client facing blog. Can you imagine walking into your favourite store and being greeted by a loud, insistent sermon on the evils of a specific person or product that is used in running the store? Would it make you want to shop there?

So I’m going to say it: Don’t DO this.

If your blog exists for clients who are not a part of your industry (ie. you’re a yoga instructor writing blogs for yoga students, not for other yoga instructors), resist the urge to use it as your soapbox for things that, quite frankly, your clients don’t care about. Especially if your complaint lies in something you tried that didn’t work the way you wanted it to. And double especially if your complaint is a personal attack on one person.

If you tried a business practice and it didn’t work – don’t tell your clients that. They are looking to you to be the professional, running a professional business. They want to know that you are making the right choices so that you’ll stay in business. They probably won’t feel nearly as confident in it if you start to tell them that the pricing structure that Mr. Great Business Advice gave you was flawed and you lost a bunch of money. Or that -other- people did using the same system. They want to be able to trust you to be there in the long term.

And if you’re going to attack Mr. Great Business Advice directly?  Your clients are unlikely to even know who he is, so at best they lose interest and click away, and at worst they decide you aren’t the sort of person they want to work with.

Your blog is your storefront. It is the place your clients come to get to know you, your product, your work. Your industry and its associated drama belongs in the backroom. In private groups, or in industry related discussions. Everything you post on your blog should be considered – will this help my potential clients get to know me and what I want them to buy from me? Will they be interested to read this? You have very little time to grab someone’s attention. If they came for wedding flower ideas and are greeted with the latest scam from Vase Maker Company, will they want to stay? Or will they go find someone who’s talking about what they want to read about?

Photo by Scooter Lowrimore via Creative Commons


Stephanie Ostermann

I’m the sort of girl who you meet for coffee and end up pouring your entire heart out to. The friend you come to when you need someone to call it straight. No bullshit. No extras. Just truth.

I’m a communicator. That’s a PC way of saying I like to talk, but I also spend a lot of my time listening, and over the years, I’ve developed a sense for subtext – how one or two words can change your entire message, what people are really trying to say and how to weave the varied layers of your story into one cohesive brand message that your clients fall in love with.

When I'm not acting as editor in chief for Vivid & Brave, you can find me geeking out over words here.

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