Sharing your opinion with others can be an effective means of communication. You can connect to your audience in a whole new way, creating a sense of trust and community along the way. However, there are some pros and cons to sharing your opinion with your audience.
Your opinion might turn off your audience. Instead of opening them up to more possibilities, you may end up closing them down if you're not careful.
The first key in knowing what opinions you can share with your audience is to fully understand who your audience is. For example, consider some issues that are in the press today when it comes to gay rights. More than one bakery has ended up having to close its doors by sharing their opinion about gay rights and refusing to serve gay people.
No matter your stance on the topic, was this a wise choice for a bakery to make? On a purely business perspective, of course not. The bakeries have closed down.
Separate Personal from Professional
When it comes to sharing your opinion with your audience, you need to assess whether or not your opinion is relevant to your audience in terms of your business activities. It helps to know your audience inside and out. If you have 100 repeat customers, who are they, what do they stand for, and what type of person and business are they expecting you to be?
The pros of keeping personal views personal and business to business is that you may keep your doors open longer. The con is that you may feel bad about yourself if it's a deeply held notion.
You May Feel a Moral Calling
One of the pros to sharing a deeply held belief or opinion is that you may feel a moral calling to do so regardless of how it affects your business. If that is the case, then you're going to feel more satisfied by sharing your view than if you kept it to yourself.
Perhaps it would be too hard for you to not share your view, even if you know your business may have to shut its doors due to your controversial view. The pro in this is that you will feel good about yourself in the morning. The con is that you may have to find a new line of work.
There is a way to share your ideas without alienating others. The first way to do that is to embrace the differences of others. Share your idea, but also state that you feel everyone has a right to their own views and opinions.
The pro to doing this is that you both get to share your closely held opinion, and allow others to have theirs. The con to doing this is that if your opinion is super controversial, you may still lose clients.
You might not realize how much your audience's perception of you matters, but it matters a great deal. If you are going to share a deeply held personal belief, rightly or wrongly, it will affect your customers' perception of you and might make them want to take their business elsewhere.
Alternatively, they might respect you more than ever. This is why knowing your audience before you act, is key.