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You've heard so much about authenticity that you think it's a word. It shouldn't. 88% of consumers consider it important when deciding which brand to support.
By integrity, I mean the true congruence between your inner self and the way you express it or show it to your audience. For example, your company's reliability might look like this:
Unfortunately, many brands and entrepreneurs promote authenticity, but many do not. At least not completely. After all, it's convenient to hide behind a character and mimic what our opponents do.
So I don't blame you for wanting to be more realistic but too afraid to try.
It may take some getting used to, but I promise you it's worth it!
Related Topics: Authentic Leadership: What is it and why is it important?
1. You will attract an audience who will support you and share your values
Why do many entrepreneurs hesitate to appear authentic? In my experience, this is mostly due to the fear of attracting fewer people. In fact, by hiding who you are, you lose those who might be tempted by you, hoping that they will love you more!
I am living proof of that. When I started out as a wedding photographer, I chose a traditional looking name and a traditional white and gray palette. It could not be further from my personality. I did exactly what the audience wanted and to my surprise I dressed the most traditional bride.
After transitioning into personal brand photography for female entrepreneurs and getting authentic, I started attracting clients like myself who were drawn to bright colors and exoticism. A pleasure to work with customers with a sense of humor and creativity.
If you're a service provider, working with your type gets better every day. For a product-based company, it will create an army of loyal brand ambassadors, especially on social media.
2. This will eliminate all white noise
Buzzwords, misleading headline images, the same blog post marketing copy your competitors are writing… Everyone in our industry seems to make us feel safe. So why should our audience choose us over others?
On the contrary, if you start looking real, you can attract his attention. Dare to make your B2B website less boring, impress your audience with colorful photos, write articles that bring something new to your industry, and more.
3. You need to build trust more easily
Put yourself in the shoes of your dream audience. You can choose sustainability in our value section, and then you'll find plenty of single-use plastics in real products. You read that the company's mission is to be a fun family, but all its images feature anxious employees in difficult situations.
Hard to believe them, isn't it? The problem with pretending to be authentic is that consumers, especially Gen Z, can see right through it.
When your marketing actually backs up your claims, it will be easier for your audience to trust you.
Related: 3 Ways to Use Authenticity to Build Customer Loyalty
4. You will build genuine relationships and inspire others
The truth can be scary at first! It makes us feel vulnerable and exposed. Maybe that's why I still cling to that flawless work image that always looks clean and never goes wrong.
But guess what? People buy from people just like imperfect people do in real life! As you begin to show who you are, you'll make more meaningful connections. Your credibility can inspire others (employees, customers, followers…you name it) to do the same.
For example, many business women put off their photo shoots because they are incredibly shy about photo shoots. Well, I'm not the most confident person, and I'm not the perfect height. Instead of hiding, I presented myself again and again with interesting photos and behind-the-scenes videos.
This has encouraged more and more female entrepreneurs to give it a try after admitting what they want society to see as wrong. The most original brand images are created here!
5. It will make your business work for you, not the other way around
A lack of trust often leads to adopting someone else's process or strategy because that's just the way things are.
For example, some sole proprietors feel pressured to refer to themselves because we claim to be a company. At the same time, others claim more, pointing out that there is only one.
Some photographers may be embarrassed to say they work from home. I love that my clients feel comfortable in my cozy home studio right from the start.
But if you force yourself to copy what others are doing, you won't be able to adapt your work to your unique situation.
6. You'll finally feel better
Having an identity or following someone else's definition of success can make you feel safe. But honestly, are you okay? I don't have When I'm not honest with myself, I find that my work feels like a role-playing game.
You started your business because you want a better life. How do you do this when you force yourself into a pattern that doesn't match your true shape?
Don't get me wrong. Looking authentic can be scary and uncomfortable at first. Do this for a while and you will start to feel normal and better.
You wake up every morning knowing you've built a business that reflects your current spirit and attracts like-minded people. Isn't it worth a little initial excitement?
Related: The Importance of True Passion in Business