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Should You Mix Personal and Business on Your Blog and Facebook?

When you write a Blog post or Facebook status update about your personal life on your business sites, it sends a message.  Is it the one you want to be sending?

Only you can answer that question. In yesterday’s MCP Actions blog post, titled The Ten Biggest Website Mistakes by Photographers, the guest writer listed number ten as, “When looking at other photographer’s blogs, one of the things that turns me off as a reader is too much personal blogging mixed in with their professional work.”  I agreed completely with her other nine points and I published the article in full. But I disagree with number ten. I do mix business and personal on both my blog and Facebook.

Last night, hours after this blog post, it struck me like a lightening bolt. I was at the orthodontist office, and was intrigued by the soft-serve ice cream machine, wall of televisions set up with wii games, and the potential cost of braces for my nine year old twins.  I picked up my iPhone and I posted the thoughts to my Facebook page. Having reached the friend limit in 2009, I find that many online friends only have the option to follow my business page, so I post most updates there.

Later, as I looked on my Facebook wall, my jaw dropped. My decision to post a status update about “braces” was under attack by a few Facebook fans. One photographer wrote, “I’m confused, is this MCP Actions a business or a personal Facebook account?” and another replied, “I’m confused too Ted – perhaps she put this on the wrong Facebook page – god knows what children’s’ braces has to do with actions!”

To answer the two comments above, “yes, it was on the correct page and yes it is my business account.  You did not misread and it was not an error.” I am about more than just “actions.”  I have a family, husband, hobbies, etc.  I occasionally mention a TV show I love, like Dexter, or that I am at a sporting event, like the Detroit Tigers. I sometimes ask about a product I am interested in, such as “Just Dance for Wii” got more than 100 comments a few days ago.  People love interacting, communicating, and feeling like that can contribute or give back. Based on sheer number of replies, off topic conversations usually are the most popular ones on my Facebook Wall.

One lesson I have learned since 2006, when I started MCP Actions, is that “you cannot be everything to everyone.” You need to run your business how it works best for you!

My decision on mixing personal with business…

This was a question I struggled with years ago. I surveyed my readers, asking if they wanted to occasionally see images from my vacations or hear stories about my kids. Most wanted to know what was going on in my life, and expressed how “real” it made me, but a small minority did not. Since you cannot please everyone, and because I did want to share, I made a conscience decision from that point to share some personal observations, images and thoughts on my social networking outlets.

I admit yesterday’s “dental debacle” stung for a moment, as I am human. It was inspiring to see how the other 60-something posters wrote interesting comments or how some even defended my status update. I loved seeing the “likes” pile up on people who supported me.

So should you mix personal and business on your photography site?

Ultimately you need to decide how much of your blog or business Facebook wall will contain personal images and thoughts. Take into consideration your audience, your desire for privacy, your personality, and your need to connect with others at a personal level. Take into consideration that some may buy solely on price, most people buy from people they like. There is a fine line between sharing too much and too little. Having seen this post on Facebook yesterday, you can see this line is different for everyone. Decide what works for you and stand strong! Take ownership of your website, blog and Facebook page and create your vision. No matter what choice you make, it can have repercussions.

Be responsible…

If you decide to mix personal and professional on the same social networking platform, remember there are some things that don’t represent you well. For example, writing about how you got hammered this weekend  is clearly a poor choice. Posting updates about illegal, immoral or ultra political opinions can reflect badly on your brand and image. Think before you type. Might people find it of interest?  Could people be offended by it? Will it represent you well?

What this means for MCP Fans…

In conclusion, some photographers “like” MCP Actions on Facebook so they can download free Photoshop actions, while others want quick access to my blog posts. Many want to learn photography or Photoshop tips and others come so they can get to know me better.  As of today 47,000 people “like” MCP Actions on Facebook. I hope most of my followers enjoy the variety on my wall, from a post about Photoshop to a post about a lens buying decision, to a place I am traveling. For those few who do not like that I come as a package, mixed with business and personal, I apologize that I am not the right fit for you.  I promise not to take it personally if you chose to “unlike” me or stop reading my blog.

Share your thoughts…

What do you think? How do you conduct your business?  Do you prefer business sites that are more personal or completely focused on professional materials?

MCPActions

No Comments

  1. Donna on February 18, 2011 at 8:40 am

    Nicely written! I saw that post last night and was bothered by the posters that made those comments. That was downright rude. They don’t have to read it if they don’t want to. I like the balance between business and personal, because like you said it helps create a connection with the business. I am more inclined to do business with someone I am comfortable with.

  2. Shelly Loree on February 18, 2011 at 8:47 am

    Jodi – I have been following you since you started and I think of you as a whole person – not just someone I purchase product/services from. I have no problem with anything you post. Do not change! There is nothing wrong with your followers knowing that you are a human being.

  3. Stacy on February 18, 2011 at 8:48 am

    Great article and it really got me thinking. I love it when businesses mix a little personal information. It allows me to connect more with “you” the business owner.Thank you!!!

  4. Giovanna on February 18, 2011 at 8:50 am

    I don’t care what the business is, I want to know the person behind it. A business is not dollars sold, it’s clients satisfied. You make clients feel that you are approachable…that is always good business.

  5. cambrie on February 18, 2011 at 8:56 am

    I 100% love reading blogs that have personal posts mixed in. It helps you connect with the blogger on a much more personal level. There are some blogs that I follow that I feel like I have known the person my whole life…yet I have never met them. Sometime within the last six months or so, I came across a photographer’s super personal blog post…and she alluded to going through some of the same things I am going through right now [and was going through at that time]. Reading that gave me a sense of ease, knowing that there was someone else out there going through the same tough situation I was going through. I commented and thanked her for sharing her situation. Reading that post was the exact thing I needed to hear at that moment in my life. Thanks for sharing tidbits of your personal life, Jodi. I loved the post about the soft-serve ice cream on FB. 🙂

  6. Camilla on February 18, 2011 at 8:59 am

    Hello Jodi!I “like” you on FB, follow your blog, drule in your shop and love your actions! As an amateur photographer I appreciate the free samples and all the before-and-after shots as well as a huge source of inspiration. (Once I am saved up, I promise to run to your store and buy some of the goodies I crave.) Now, as a photo-happy-mom I love the updates and pics from your life, and I read your posts daily, and I love them. You are a proffesional AND a human – I wouldn’t have you any other way. 😉

  7. Tristian on February 18, 2011 at 9:00 am

    I’m not a photog Jodie (if I were I would use your stuff) but I love your page and am glad you “mix”! I’m a “mixer” too!! I want to know I’m dealing with a human and I want my customers to know they are dealing with one as well. I’m a people pleaser and am learning that I really can’t please everyone. The negative comments do sting. You keep doing just what you do! And I’m so glad you posted this article!!

  8. Erin on February 18, 2011 at 9:04 am

    I’m so thankful for everything you post, here and on your FB page. I think it’s great to show that you are human, and to not be just a photo business droid. So, don’t worry about the negative comments. Just continue being great:)

  9. Maryanne on February 18, 2011 at 9:11 am

    I think a really great example of photographers who mixed personal with business is, The Image is Found. They actually separated the two this last year, but before they did, I think it still worked great but it was a lot of posts for one blog. Now they have a link to their personal blog on their business blog. A really nice middle road in my opinion. http://www.theblogisfound.com/

  10. Adria Peaden on February 18, 2011 at 9:12 am

    It struck me yesterday when I read the top about not mixing personal and business because my business wouldn’t be what it is without myself. I want my potential clients to get to know me before they call me so they are comfortable. As a shy person myself I blog stalk a lot and don’t comment, but I still feel like I know my bloggers because of their personal sharing. One of my favorite photographers, Jasmine Star, does a wonderful job of mixing the two and she is SUPER successful. You are right, you have to decide for yourself. Those who don’t like your setup should move on. We can’t please everyone and honestly we shouldn’t try.

  11. heather johnson photography on February 18, 2011 at 9:15 am

    Great article. I love hearing personal and business together, as others have already stated you ARE a whole person and it fosters a connection on what can be an impersonal medium. (I will never forget the quote I read about facebook once….it said facebook was socializing is semi-isolation.) Anyhow–keep the posts coming!

  12. Michelle Moncure on February 18, 2011 at 9:15 am

    I rarely comment on posts, but I didn’t agree with the author yesterday, and I’m sad that people are giving you flack for a simple comment on FB. I buy, follow, recommend to my friends the BRAND MCP actions, and that includes Photoshop actions that have changed my life, as well as tutorials, tips, and the person behind them. You are a successful businesswoman, and let’s not forget that a home and family is a business in a way. Why wouldn’t I want to emulate a person that can pull all of that together and make it work and look good! Keep doing what you are doing, and post a pic of the soft serve ice cream machine!

  13. Nicole on February 18, 2011 at 9:27 am

    People are either going to like the personal stuff or they aren’t. I feel like I connect (and am more loyal) to the photographers/photography product businesses that share personal stuff, I find business only bland and boring. JStar has done so well with sharing who she is and if a customer doesn’t like me because I share personal stuff then they probably weren’t meant to be my customer anyhow. Keep rocking on Jodi!

  14. Andrea @ The Creative Junkie on February 18, 2011 at 9:32 am

    This might be the first time commenting here (I seriously can’t remember – how sad is that?) but I felt compelled to post as I’ve been wondering this as well. I’m a blogger and I have a FB fan page for my blog. I also have a personal FB account as well. 95% of the time, I post the same status update to both accounts. Why? Not all my FB friends are fans and vice versa so not everyone will see my updates twice and if they do, then they can unsubscribe from one or both if they feel like doing so. But regardless, my blog *is* my life … it is a humorous parenting blog based on my every day life. If I didn’t post about my every day life on my fan page, I’d have absolutely nothing to say.I realize that my situation is different because my “business” and my personal life are so intertwined. In a situation such as yours, I do not mind reading personal tidbits on a business page at all. It helps me get to know the person behind the brand and I think a little personalization within the confines of a faceless Internet is a good thing. Would I want to be reading *all* about your personal life on your photography page? Probably not. But that’s *my* choice and just as you have the freedom to write whatever you want on your fan page, I have the freedom to read whatever I want on that page.You’re right – you’ll never please everyone. But remaining true to yourself is not such a bad consolation prize.

  15. Tracy Anne Little on February 18, 2011 at 9:33 am

    Like you Jodi, I am a mother, a wife, and am striving to do well with my business. I have a blog and facebook page that over the years has evolved from being purely about the digital art I created to my digital scrapbooking products. Nowdays it has the life and times of my family, my photography, my art and whatever else I chose to include. I did try to run a personal and business blog and Facebook page but the same people followed me on both, so what was the point? We are all only human, I have made some wonderful online friends through reading there blogs and Facebook pages – we have connected on a more personal level. My family and friends are kept informed with what is happening the life of my family, and those that just love my products can sweep over my more personal blog posts they dingbats to read them as I do keep them separate.

  16. Tanisha on February 18, 2011 at 9:34 am

    I was one of the “likes” defending your post yesterday! Actually, I was kind of offended myself and it wasn’t even my page! LOL One of the reasons I love your site, and “liked” your facebook page is because you make everyone feel part of what your are doing. It allows us to see your human side. It makes me feel welcome, and keeps me coming back again and again! I don’t like doing business with people who seem unfriendly, uncaring, or are too busy to deal with me! My question to those people is, ” Why did they even bother to read or respond to the post?” If it bothered them that bad couldn’t they have just ignored it? WOW!! Anyway… keep up the good work, and love your actions!

  17. Jami on February 18, 2011 at 9:42 am

    Very nice post! I agree with you 100%. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion but the way some were posted were down right rude and uncalled for. Thank you for being a PERSON, not just a computer on the other end and for the wealth of information you provide.

  18. Jessica on February 18, 2011 at 9:43 am

    Honestly, I am often initially attracted to the personal / business mix. But I have also stopped following many blogs because I start to feel it’s more personal than business. Sometimes it’s because of people expressing their personal political / religious opinions; sometimes it’s because they start to sound whiny.I commend you for choosing ‘your line’. I don’t follow you on Facebook, but I do in my reader – and so far your mix has been working for me. 🙂 Thanks for the opinion.

  19. Kelly on February 18, 2011 at 9:43 am

    I have heard the balance should be 25-25-50. 25% personal, 25% promoting services and 50% talking about work you’ve done. I liked that idea, and that’s what I incorporate into my pages. However, on my facebook page, I tend to learn toward personal updates that are still art related… but that’s just me. To each his own, right?

  20. Wendy C. on February 18, 2011 at 9:45 am

    This post makes me very happy! I too have had some people express their concern about me blogging personal things. But here is how I look at it. I am a wedding photographer. And brides want to know who I am as a person. They want to know my personality. And my blog is the best outlet for that. And like you said, if you do not like what I am doing… then it is obvious that I am not the right fit for you. You are free to look elsewhere. 🙂 Keep it up Jodi! I enjoy the quirky braces and ice cream comments every now and then.

  21. Lisa Otto on February 18, 2011 at 9:49 am

    In a group on Facebook, we were discussing yesterday’s post and the “about me” section so it was nice to see you bring this up.I’m all about mixing personal and business…to a limit. As said, if I go out on the town and hoop it up, that’s not going on my business page but me finding little Hershey bars in the freezer that no one else found, I’m posting it. I’m a person, I have a life outside of clicking the shutter. Clients like to see this. I feel this allows your potential clients to understand you and who you are. My about me page on my website has all kind of quirks about me and I have gotten a huge positive response from it. I think doing a little mixing allows your client to get to know you, as a person. This will only help you in the future in making sure that you click with your client. I wouldn’t want someone shooting me that I didn’t click with so you have to look at it from a business stand point and just be comfortable in what you post.

  22. Kattrina on February 18, 2011 at 9:50 am

    Be who you are, not who you think everyone wants you to be! That’s my motto 😉 I sometimes think some people can take themselves a little too seriously, I love seeing your vacation photos and that you love Dexter 🙂 Keep it up you’re fantastic!

  23. katie on February 18, 2011 at 9:54 am

    I “liked” your page for easy access to your posts 🙂 I own several of your action sets and HONESTLY LOVE them the best…. It is sad that ppl are giving you flack… Honestly when I see a blog that has mixed even as a photographer feel like I know them now… It’s more of a personal and Love for what they do vs. just a business and making money… If that makes sense… Thanks for ALL YOU DO…

  24. Lori on February 18, 2011 at 9:55 am

    You are always going to have someone that tries to take the wind out of your sails, so to speak. Personally I love reading your blog whether it be a post that is personal or business. I know for me, I would much rather do business with someone that I can connect with on a personal level. Keep up the good work.

  25. Shantel on February 18, 2011 at 9:56 am

    Mix it up Jodi – there are always going to be haters…just let it roll off your back. Obviously what you are doing is working for you…keep up the good work – and mixing 🙂

  26. Mandi on February 18, 2011 at 9:57 am

    Yay, Jodi! First and foremost, the comments you received on FB about the dentist WERE rude. LAME. You can do whatever the heck you want.Second, thanks for bringing this up– I spent much-o time reading all the comments last night on that post, to see if I was the only one who disagreed with number 10. Turns out most of us DO want the personal stuff. I said it yesterday, I’ll say it again:my favorite pro bloggers ARE the ones who post personally.

  27. Kasia Gilbert on February 18, 2011 at 10:00 am

    Well said. One of my favorite photog blogs to read is that of Jasmine Star. She puts herself out there and it makes me feel like I have a connection with her. Also, I have been reading a book by Dane Sanders and he talks about how to survive the transition in the current photography market as a Signature brand you have to remember that YOU the photographer are the commodity and your uniqueness is what is going to keep you viable in this market. So I say show it! but you’re right, be smart about it!

  28. Jennifer Blakeley on February 18, 2011 at 10:05 am

    Good article!

  29. Erica on February 18, 2011 at 10:05 am

    Very nicely written. 🙂 I enjoy reading things about you and other professional photographers real lives as long as the photography side of things. I can see you as a real person and not just some robot behind a website…but I guess thats just me being a people person. 🙂 Keep doing what your doing, because most of us enjoy it!

  30. Misty Costa on February 18, 2011 at 10:37 am

    I like your choice to mix in some personal with business. I too mix in a little “me”. As a full time Mom, I find it difficult not to mix that in. My kids have given me most of my inspiration for what I do. Learning about your personal life doesn’t make me like your actions less. It actually impresses me. I love hearing about successful parents. Balancing work and kids can get tough sometimes. Thank you for all that you do :O)

  31. Marina on February 18, 2011 at 10:37 am

    For me, businesses that are all business turn me off. It makes me feel like all they want is my money. I am more than just a “business profit” I am a person who enjoys interacting and sharing with others. Businesses that are not afraid to show their “human” side and get personal with me always are my first choice. I think it is that personal touch that makes the difference between a good business and a great one (and I am not talking in terms of profit).My dad’s business has always felt like “home”. Tons of family pictures and personal touches. Very different feel than most offices in his line of work. It is something that his clients have always appreciated because they were treated as a person and not just another client.

  32. michelle on February 18, 2011 at 10:39 am

    Agreed! So well written, and I agree completely with your opinions. Its so true, you really can’t please everyone all of the time, but I think what matters is that you first please yourself, and do what’s right for you. I’m so glad I learned this early on, I think its a great lesson for people just starting out! Thanks so much for sharing.

  33. Tiffany on February 18, 2011 at 10:49 am

    Thank you! I also disagreed with number 10. I think that people need to know the person behind the photographs- as long as the posts are carefully chosen. It gives people a personal connection to the photographer which is a great marketing tool. It’s too easy to hide behind the internet these days. There’s not a whole lot of personalization. Great article!

  34. Tiffany on February 18, 2011 at 10:50 am

    Good for you! That’s what photography is all about, real life, real emothions. What better way to connect to people then to know we all share the same experiences. If everyone is comfortable then that’s when you can capure true life in your photographes. We can’t make EVERYONE happy so those that don’t want to read about your day in the dentist or how you had a cup of great coffee then they can turn it off….

  35. Linda D on February 18, 2011 at 10:59 am

    While most of the article was interesting, the last comment on the mix of personal and business on a blog bothered me as well. Regardless of whether it’s a photography blog or not, the blog is by nature, a personal outlet. This is where the photographer gets to share a piece of herself other than images and most recent work. for the reader, it’s a place where you can get to know a photographer outside his professional web site and bio. I say, go for it. Share personal stories and such but with discretion. I also would not want to read about someone’s unending saga with the insurance company but I’d love to see how a photographer captures her own children. So for me, the personal aspect of a blog post gives a level of uniqueness that helps the reader understand this single person…and ultimately why she/he would/wouldn’t want to work with him. With discretion, I think mixing personal and business posts makes for a far more interesting blog and offers the potential to really engage readers such that they would want to come back for more.

  36. Andrew Miller on February 18, 2011 at 10:59 am

    I mix business with pleasure and find that being open and honest about who you are is a bonus. Having a totally professional page where you are totally professional is great – but is anyone that perfect?!At least my couples know that I am human and like / hate the same things they do… well most of the time!

  37. Crystal on February 18, 2011 at 11:11 am

    I like to keep my privacy ‘private’. I rarely post my kids on facebook or my blog…and try to keep my business page about business…but I do think on some level, you need to ‘connect’ with your readers/fans/blog followers…so I try to include some of my personality…while not revealing too much.I saw your post on the braces yesterday, and thought nothing of it being on your business page…after all, you are a mom 🙂

  38. Sarah on February 18, 2011 at 11:29 am

    I think you are a huge blessing & major contributor to photographers and wannabe’s! If you decide to share some of your personal life- go for it… those who are negative about it, just need to get a life of their own. Sheesh! That said, this is an interesting topic which as a newbie to the pro photog community, I have thought about and decided to limit my personal posts on my business. However, I think it can definitely be done tastefully, and as I grow in business- I may be adding in a little personal content occasionally. 🙂 Have a wonderful day, Jodi.

  39. Laura on February 18, 2011 at 11:32 am

    I have noticed too that personal posts to our fan page get a lot of comments. People seem to like to know more about us as a family, not just a business. However, I have seen some blogs and fan pages that are more personal than business. You don’t want to come across as having no business so you are always talking about and posting personal things, so there is a balance. I think that’s more what the website article was referring too. I really enjoyed that article.

  40. Heidi Lowery on February 18, 2011 at 11:36 am

    Amen! You make real connections with your customers, and make yourself one of their “warm comforts.” Good business any way you look at it. I’d much rather buy from someone I feel I can talk to than someone I don’t.

  41. Becky Campbell on February 18, 2011 at 11:42 am

    Jasmine Star! Exactly! She blogs about her dog/husband/vacation at least half the time. She’s UBER successful. Obviously some people like it.

  42. Doni Brinkman on February 18, 2011 at 12:06 pm

    I appreciated your words this morning Jodi. I have been thinking about this decision as well. I was blogging WAY before blogging was cool. My first personal website was up a decade ago and I started daily blogging when my second child was born at 25 weeks in Jan of 2004. When I started my business 2 years ago it was at the urging of family and friends and blog readers so it made sence to slowly incorporate my business into my personal blog (NOT the other way around). My blog is dedicated more to my family than my business but as my business grows, it is becoming a little more evenly split. Not sure what the future holds, but for today, keeping them together seems more relational and that is who I am.

  43. Deborah Marquez on February 18, 2011 at 12:07 pm

    Hey, I’m just starting out in this whole business and I want to learn from as many people as possible. I “liked” your page because I liked what I saw and read. You put a picture to the voice in your writing. You make me comfortable when I visit your page or website. You’re right about not being able to please everyone. I’ve learned so much from you and I really appreciate your candor. The people that posted those remarks, could and should have just left your page. If they couldn’t say something nice, they shouldn’t have said anything at all. Too many people don’t follow that and they don’t realize or care how badly they end up looking.

  44. Eric Brown on February 18, 2011 at 12:11 pm

    Thank you for this post! I, too, have struggled with this same thing. I just recently closed my business page because I realized that my friends on Facebook didn’t associate my business with me. I guess they didn’t realize that I’m the face behind Panther Phitography. So I switched everything over to my personal page. Yes, I still make personal updates and such on Facebook. But I want them to know these are MY pictures! I liked MCP Actions for all the reasons you stated above. Yes, I like getting free actions. I can’t wait to try the Mini-Fusion action! But I like getting wick access to your blog, which ha many fabulous posts in it. Plus, it doesn’t hurt that you’re a Tigers fan! Go Tigers!

  45. Kimi P. on February 18, 2011 at 1:09 pm

    After reading this post I had to zip back over and read the comments on FB. Being a member of a Mommy forum, I was expecting to see all kinds of flames and snark, not just two comments asking if she had accidentally posted an update to the wrong page and one voicing a polite opinion that she prefers things a little less personal! :)I love how Jodi mixes the personal in with the professional, that is my opinion and why I continue to ‘like’ her page when I regularly go through and ‘unlike’ other businesses.One thing we often seem to forget, though, is that the typed word has no nuances. Often we can’t tell if a person is being questioning, rude, concerned or trying to be funny. We don’t know that those first two people were trying to be rude. When I read the first comment I honestly thought he must have been new to the page and was sincerely questioning if Jodi had accidentally swapped her posts. The third post was a thoughtful response and, as a business owner, it is exactly the kind of feedback I *want* from my clients. Before we go about tar and feathering those who have a differing opinion we may want to re-read their posts, and if there is any other way it could be taken lets give them the benefit of the doubt unless/until they remove all doubt for us. 🙂

  46. Amy on February 18, 2011 at 1:11 pm

    I have chosen to keep my personal blog and FB separate from my business because I don’t want to feel censored about what I’m comfortable writeing about on my blog. But it was a conscious choice (and frankly, I’m not sure it’s working that well as I feel that I sometimes have to double-post to reach everyone). But I’m working through it and figuring out what feels right to me.As for your experience – I appreciate the conversation and the idea that everyone has to do what feels best for the image they are trying to convey. I only disagree with one thing you said: “I apologize that I am not the right fit for you. I promise not to take it personally if you chose to “unlike” me or stop reading my blog.” I don’t see what you have to apologize for – you are being you and people don’t have to choose to follow you. And if you do take it personally – I wouldn’t blame you. After all, you are putting yourself out there and people opting out could sting. I guess thick skin is important to develop here. Good luck.

  47. Dianne on February 18, 2011 at 1:43 pm

    I have been keeping it professional on my blog and on my fan page and guess what? It is BORING! And people just tend to cruise on by. I get plenty of action on my personal facebook page so I figure it makes sense to mix it up a bit. But you are right. Actually, I have business contacts that use both facebook pages to follow me, so I temper my posts to both page types, keeping the whiny stuff to a minimum and just try to share things that edify and inspire, which does fit my general philosophy on life, so there you go! 😉

  48. Brad on February 18, 2011 at 2:37 pm

    Since I believe that relationships are paramount, and that the internet has become impersonal, I like that you mix personal info and comments with your business ones. It makes you come across as a real person and not just an impersonal face behind a business name. You always do a great job with everything related to MCP Actions. Don’t change the way you relate to us all.

  49. Andie on February 18, 2011 at 2:41 pm

    I think people like to do biz with people they “know”. People they can relate too, people they like and people they feel a connection with. I think its personally OK to mix biz with personal especially as photographers. Our business is personal. Clients open their homes, trust us with their children as young as a few days old and let us in to their lives by photographing their connections. There will ALWAYS be haters – ignore them. You rock Jodi!

  50. megan on February 18, 2011 at 3:48 pm

    Interestingly enough – I had the same EXACT feelings about yesterday’s post…loved everything EXCEPT for the no mixing business and personal…I get WAY more comments on the personal stuff…I think it lets clients (women) know that you are human and NOT supermom – thank you for posting.

  51. Sue on February 18, 2011 at 3:48 pm

    I’m glad to see this post because after I read #10, I was thinking maybe I should reconsider posting personal things on my blog, but then I thought why? I’m not one to bear it all even on a good day so if I felt like posting something personal, why not? So I did. Thank you for your personal opinion, and your facebook status’, I like them!

  52. Mishka on February 18, 2011 at 4:11 pm

    Since I don’t have a business, I come at this from a different perspective. I have several blogs, a facebook acct, a twitter acct, and a pretty large Google presence (since I am a official tech support volunteer for them). I only use my real name(first and middle, no last) on my FB account….and I only friend people that I actually know. I do share some of my blog posts and tweets on my FB but not the otherway around. My blog is known to my family and friends but they know that I don’t use my name on there and if they post a comment with my name in there, I delete it. I do this mostly for privacy reasons since I have many readers on my blog and on twitter and on the Google help forums that are not people I know and I don’t need any of them knowing more about me than I am willing to share.I think it is great that you mix it up. If I had a business, I would mix it up too. Daily Coyote is one of my favorite reads and she mixes her work and personal life quite nicely…it makes her blog fun to read, and it makes yours fun to read as well. Some of my favorite photos are those from “real” life so don’t let the naysayers get you down…tweet, share and post as much as you want from all sides of your life!!

  53. Veronica on February 18, 2011 at 4:54 pm

    I love when my favourite photographers shared their life with us all, is fun, honest, genuine and that’s real. We are all people, is cool when we can all shared thoughts, advises…etc…Great article!

  54. I struggled with this myself. I finally got tired of people telling me what I should be doing and started doing what I wanted to do. The blogs that I most enjoy have some of the writer included too.

  55. Angela Smith on February 18, 2011 at 7:10 pm

    Not only do I love your products, but I like to read about you as well. I like to know I am getting my products from a mom and wife much like myself. I blog about my kids, hubby life also. I think it makes you a real person people can relate to.

  56. Jo Ann on February 18, 2011 at 7:32 pm

    Keep on doing what you’ve been doing. I for one love to read some personal tidbits. It humanizes the business. I like dealing with people, real people. I like to know if I buy something it goes to a person and their quest to live life, not some number.

  57. Victoria on February 18, 2011 at 8:01 pm

    This seems to only be an issue w/ mainly female photographers. While male photographers can be more cut-throat and direct, they don’t worry about what people think about them or feel a comment is an attack. I agree whole-heartedly that it’s up to everyone to make their own decision and stand strong, but I like places like dps & borrowlenses – they are humorous, personal, but always pertaining to the business at hand.

  58. Laurie on February 18, 2011 at 8:21 pm

    I have the right to choose. I can read your post or not, I can like or unlike, I can also unsubscribe. With that being said, I like to see what is going on in the blog writers life. It does make us real, with real life going on. I choose to mix, and I find myself drawn to those who do also.

  59. Molly on February 18, 2011 at 8:28 pm

    The whole thing about social media is to be “authentic” and there is no better way to do that than share who you really are online…my “day job” is for a real estate company and I am ALWAYS telling people do NOT start a facebook page if you are going to be strictly business all the time, it irritates people. But, I also don’t think that they want to have a separate page for business because that wouldn’t get the same exposure that their friends list would.In your case, I think there are just some people who will whine and moan because they can, yesterday it was braces, tomorrow it will be to much sunshine 😉

  60. Brandie Medina on February 18, 2011 at 9:36 pm

    Seeing twins, orthodontist, wii and softserve in the same sentence caught my attention and I read your post along with some of those negative comments. It seems that a few of your fans are very opinionated…too bad you can’t unlike them. It’s your facebook page and your business and you can run it any way you want and share anything you want. I have 2 year old twins and it’s nice to know there are other people out there like me who manage to function everyday in other capacities than just momma. I have hidden or unliked many other businesses for posting 3,4,5,6 posts per day relating to their business (how many hair bows, headbands and blankets does a girl need?) but your posts are useful and thought provoking and if I read about your adventures with the dentist once in awhile then it’s worth it, just don’t ask me what to make for dinner:)

  61. Velvet Lotus Photography on February 18, 2011 at 10:43 pm

    Jodi, I enjoy reading your posts. Like you said, it makes you more real. For people who don’t know you personally (only for your products), it is nice to see that you have a life outside of your business. I think it helps, or should help people to not take advantage of your time. I say, if it makes you happy to post thoughts, observations, or questions about things on your page, then go for it! You have a fan here!

  62. Ryan on February 18, 2011 at 10:49 pm

    I personally prefer those who do mix business with pleasure. I generally enjoy the personal posts far more than the business ones.

  63. Rhonda on February 19, 2011 at 12:16 am

    Keep doing what you’re doing Jodi. You do it well!

  64. Michelle R Photography on February 19, 2011 at 9:44 am

    I only recently made the decision of merging my personal and business blog at the beginning of the year – after deciding more than two blogs, a personal FB page and a business FB page was just too much to maintain. I am so glad I did!! As I get into my busy season, my blog will be less about my family and more about my business, but I think it is ok to mix the two. As I think about my favorite photographer blogs, I lean towards those that include some personal information as well as business. I want to get to know them as a person; not just a photographer. There are many professional photographers out there and sharing some of your personality and family life can help tip the scales in your favor if your personalities mesh. I agree, there is absolutely too much to share! I do share my faith a bit, but would never share politics or anything that could be considered controversial. And on a side note, I love when you post pics of your adorable twins!! Keep the personal stuff coming!! 😉

  65. Kristie Escoe on February 19, 2011 at 10:02 am

    I follow both your FB pages, and never even gave the orthodontist comment a second thought (beyong the initial, yep, it’s dang expensive thought of empathy!) Why would anyone NOT want to know a little about someone’s personal life? Like many others, I think it helps the reader get to know the writer a bit better …. I’m sorry not everyone agrees.

  66. Talitha on February 19, 2011 at 10:33 am

    A point that hasn’t been mentioned – I think a very successful, well known photographer such as Jodi (or JS) will have a lot more leeway about posting personal tibits as opposed to someone just starting out. When someone is famous, we WANT to know about the personal things. As for a lot of photographers, balance as well as the main purpose of one’s blog should be considered.It also seems FB offers a more casual platform for posting the personal day-to-day stuff. It is quick and easy to digest. I would get a little more annoyed with your average photographer’s blog containing a lot of personal content only sprinkled with the professional (unless it is a personal blog).

  67. Katie Deobald on February 19, 2011 at 3:10 pm

    This really struck a cord with me, and I thank you for sharing it. I’ve been frustrated for a LONG time with how little of myself I allow to show through in my online presence as a photographer.I feel like a cardboard cutout.I really think that as long as it doesn’t overshadow the regular content, occasional personal posts when you have a funny moment or interesting observation to share make a photographer easier to relate to.

  68. CorriAnne on February 19, 2011 at 8:37 pm

    Well said. I must say that after reading yesterdays post I felt really conflicted about #10. Who I am is part of what makes me see the world the way I do and makes me the photographer I am. I love seeing how other photographers work is affected by the rest of their lives. Glad to hear that you agree!

  69. Elena on February 19, 2011 at 10:48 pm

    I like a balanced mixture of both. Businesses should be about business, but I always want to know the PERSON behind business. Had I not gotten to know a little bit about and your family through blog and FB I probably would not have followed you after downloading your wonderful free actions. But I got to know the person behind the blog and stuck around to eventually buy actions, and plan to stick around longer. I think getting to personal is a turn off. Too personal would be sharing things that public should know nothing about, i.e. I just had a fight with my husband, or “my client was nasty”, etc. However, sharing POSITIVE personal info [but not too much of it] I see as good, i.e. my children made me breakfast, or “my hubby got me flowers, etc.”

  70. Breanne on February 20, 2011 at 12:12 am

    I have to agree that I like seeing some personal on professional blogs – I feel like I have a better sense of who the person is and especially with businesses where, if you hire them, you will be directly interacting with the people (photographer, wedding coordinator, etc) you want to make sure you’re a good match. The personal touch in the blog helps your prospective client to see “hey, she seems really fun and I think we’d get along great.” It could also lead to “yeah, I don’t think we’d mesh well.” I think that’s okay.

  71. Lori K on February 20, 2011 at 11:47 am

    I say to each their own. I can’t stand when people don’t think before sharing their opinion. I whole-heartedly appreciate opinions that come from a genuine place, and are intended to be constructive… but when people share their opinions just to be rude or to ‘hear’ themselves speak… then they know where they can take the opinion… I personally enjoy knowing more about who I am reading blogs from ~ when it gets overwhelming and I don’t feel like I can keep up with the business and personal stuff… I skip over it. Plain and simple.

  72. Trudy on February 20, 2011 at 11:12 pm

    I do business with people, not buildings, computers or robots. Thus, I expect a human being. And unlike those with tunnel vision, I will not cancel a vendor because their personal, political, religious, entertainment, appearance or private opinions vary from mine. Three things determine business, 1)product quality 2)pricing I accept 3)customer service. Unless the person is ultra polarizing like some of the political figure heads out there on TV, who they are as a person is not used as excuse for me to try to control their brand or decline them business. What is most important to me is that 1, 2, and 3. So many people engage in so much business theatre trying to be the person they “think” a potential customer wants instead of being a real person. People should read Seth Godin’s post on the 98% / 2%. Stop engaging in theatrics hoping to win over people who will never like you and focus on those who want the real you, your products and your services. I agree with being who you are, a full human being and interacting with clients who want full human beings. If you have to think about what authenticity is, you aren’t authentic. I like your approach to how you used FB in the example in this blog.

  73. Danielle on February 21, 2011 at 6:20 am

    Well said! I’m a mixer too and proud of it!

  74. jeni on February 21, 2011 at 10:58 pm

    i love dexter, too.

  75. Valerie Mitchell Photography on February 21, 2011 at 11:01 pm

    I absolutely agree with mixing business with personal life. When you are picking a business to use, would you be more willing to go with someone you felt like you knew alot about that did good work or someone you know nothing about that does good work? The more clients know about you, the more they can decide if they like you or don’t. My business is who I am, and I want every potential client to know who I am as a person not just as a business. I want them to be able to confidently walk into my business already aware of who I am and what I stand for! I want there to be a true connection with me before I ever even pick up my camera for them so I am already starting off with a more comfortable environment for them!

  76. Emily Dobson on February 23, 2011 at 2:17 pm

    Thank you for this post! I haven’t stopped by in awhile, and I’m so glad I did. It hurts to receive “attacks” such as the ones you mentioned when we are in fact REAL people living REAL lives just like everyone else. I mix business and personal because I want people to know there is a real person behind the camera and not just some business minded individual who only cares about making money and furthering my business. So far no complaints, but now I’ll be prepared!!

  77. Kim Kravitz on February 25, 2011 at 9:56 am

    I love this post! Very well written. I have no issues posting some personal things on my business pages and blogs. It keeps me “real.” I agree with you as well, that somethings should be left unsaid. I’m not a huge confrontational type of person so any political, religious, etc. things are not discussed.

  78. Mia on March 3, 2011 at 7:26 am

    I would have to agree that the family pics and personal updates make seem real and not some robot popping out actions. With all of this technology and the the ease of communicating without ever having any face time it is nice to know that you are a real being. To ME it makes it seem like you really care about your “fans” as people.

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