Why it pays to be authentic if you're strategic about it
Don’t we all crave authenticity? We live in a paradox world though when crawling through all these beautiful Instagram accounts, browsing through feeds that make you think "their life looks so perfect! How does it make you feel? Deflated, yes it does happen especially to us creatives who suffer from chronic comparitis.
I will tell you something that is no secret, Instagram feeds are not about real life they’re about brand representation and what doesn’t fit with the brand isn't shown and this should apply to your brand as well.
Now being on brand doesn’t mean that you can’t be authentic, what you have to do is apply your brand filters to everything you post out there.
If your brand has nothing to do with kids, don’t post images of your kids and family at least don’t make it your main subject.
If your brand is about, the pleasure of cooking developing wonderful recipes from scratch working with local producers you might not want to post your latest indulgence on a pack of Doritos’, you get me.
Being on brand means being authentic in relevance to your brand, think about the brand as a separate entity from you.
I very rarely mention that I have three teenage sons as it has little to do with the Elegant Brand, where I'm authentic, is with the type of business I work with, having a passion for being creative, helping a business thrive, through what makes them unique. Don’t just use authenticity for the sake of it, use it to be of service for your customer.
What is the story that you want to sell?
I.e. I'm a florist who wants to develop local sourcing of their flowers, the story is about being more ethical, supporting local businesses, being true to your values, how do you show more authenticity in that?
The authenticity will show through your brand values, why you want to work with local businesses, why you want to source ethically? That’s where you can spill the beans about what makes you tick, the purpose of your brand, how you and your clients are making a difference if they buy from you, it’s not about the product anymore it’s about the story on making a difference being part of something bigger than buying flowers.
Think where you need to show more authenticity, think about where you're speaking from the heart, showing more vulnerability?
It doesn’t necessarily mean sharing personal stuff; it means having a focus and using authenticity with relevance as I have just shown you in the example above.
Ideas about where you can be more authentic :
Your about page - it’s not about you, do we honestly care if you’ve started using a camera from the age of 2? No, what we want to hear is what’s in it for me, use a case study about how you helped a client go through a specific problem, being authentic means don’t make up the story use a real one!
Your blog posts -
Use your voice, what makes us connect with you is your unique voice, we don’t want to read about copycats, you want to focus on what makes you unique.
Skype calls - in-person meeting.
Be on brand, don’t wear a formal suit if this is not you! Be authentic which means do not target industries or clients that make you cringe, it will come across as being fake trying to fit in, while all you want is to run away.
On social media -
On your captions, open up, make clients know what you’re about why you do what you, your purpose and the difference you want to make. Don’t forget you’re curating your brand not your life, so no posting about the kids driving you mad, always think about your audience what’s in it for them?
Business is about connections and relationship by being more authentic, you will invite your audience to connect and engage with you.
Being authentic will also make you strive for your business, because everything aligns, with your values. You will want to communicate with your audience, knowing that you’re making a difference to these people as you’re speaking from the heart and that will be your biggest reward.