Rule #3: Be Casual
Something I wrestle with at 2ndSite is the tone of our communications. When Evan says “be casual”, he is literally talking about your business and the services you provide. I’m extrapolating here because I want to discuss tone.
Many successful web services today maintain a very informal tone with their corporate communications. At 2ndSite we are going to be working harder at “breaking through” with our communications. What is “breaking through”? It is reaching through the monitor and speaking to the heart of the end user so they know you know them. When you “break through” you connect with your user and their world slows a little and their relationship with your deepens. It’s a subtle and powerful thing. Photos help. So do case studies and testimonials. I believe breaking through is highly important in persuading people to use your service. At 2ndSite our voice is straightforward, professional and honest. I do not want to change these qualities one bit. Is our tone dry? I’m not certain, but I don’t think so. Can we liven up our tone and still retain its straightforward, professional and honest qualities? YES, I believe we can, but it will take some work. Is our current tone the best one for our business? Great question.
2ndSite is a billing application. We handle sensitive records for our clients and we take that responsibility very seriously. We believe our current tone meets the expectations of our target audience. The question gnawing at me is, “can we lighten things up and make the relationship we have with our users more enjoyable?” I’ll bet we can, but how and what is the cost of a misstep?
I do not think “being casual” is necessarily for us. Maybe it’s for you, but it is not necessarily for 2ndSite. This speaks to Evan’s Rule #11:
#11 (bonus!): Be Wary
Overgeneralized lists of business “rules” are not to be taken too literally. There are exceptions to everything.
So those are my questions. I’m searching for answers. Feel free to chime in. Chances are if you read this blog, you have a blog or you run a business. How have your strategies and your positioning influenced your tone? Has your tone evolved since you started? If so, how?