Authentic Marketing: Why Rocking YOUR Brand Is Important
Brand authenticity is about more than just providing your customers with authentic products. It’s about more then being honest about your materials and prices. Brand authenticity is about anchoring yourself to what your brand stands for and the customer base or audience you are trying to attract.
If you want to build a successful business with customers or followers who are loyal to YOUR product, service, or information – then you need to build it with brand authenticity. You need your business to represent your own unique voice and values. You need to be honest with your customers, ABSOLUTELY. But you also need to be honest with yourself – with who you are and what you are trying to achieve.
Below are 4 simple steps to help you build an authentic brand for your business – whether it’s as a blogger or influencer or for a product line or professional service (or something else!).
If you’re more of a video person you can watch for most of the same info….
How To Build Authentic Marketing & Branding
1. Stop playing the comparison game!
The last couple of weeks I have been playing this game. It is what prompted me to write this post. You see, I’ve been spending a lot of time on Instagram lately and I’ve been observing other business influencers (and by observing I mean that I have been fawning over their beautiful professional images of themselves, their trendy styles, their perfect looking lives, their organized office set ups, etc.) While observing other brands in your industry is a GOOD thing (think competitor analysis), I realized today that I have been caught up in trying to think through all of the ways that I need to change my brand image to look like these other accounts.
I found myself dreaming about creating a perfect looking office backdrop to film videos for my site and training courses (and getting discouraged that I have no space to do this). I was dreaming about picking different fonts for my graphics to look as delicate and beautiful as their’s. I was dreaming about buying trendier clothing and having a professional photographer take perfectly staged photos of myself and my family to use for marketing. The list goes on…
And then I stopped myself and realized… what am I thinking? These others that I am observing – they have AWESOME businesses. They are building AWESOME things. I look up to many of them. But they are doing their thing, selling their thing. If I try to become them – then what am I selling that the market doesn’t already have? I’m never going to be able to become them. I will always just feel discouraged and, quite honestly, I wouldn’t be doing truthful business that way. I need to do MY thing.
If you want to build an authentic brand and practice authentic marketing, then DON’T PLAY THE COMPARISON GAME. Competitor analysis is a helpful and good thing, but if you are stuck on trying to imitate and become another brand then you need to take a step back.
2. Focus on who YOU want to be and who you are trying to attract.
After I peeled my eyes away from the other beautiful and perfect looking brands in my niche I refocused on my own business and target market. (If you haven’t established a target market, you can read my post about doing that here.) I thought through the below critically important questions:
- Who do I want to be (or want my business to be)?
- Who am I trying to attract?
For me – I’m trying to attract and help moms who are working to build a business in messy mom life. I want to be a mom building in the mess beside them.
For me to authentically build my brand, I don’t want to feature picturesque imagery with trendy styles and a perfectly staged video backdrop. I want to meet moms where they are in the mess and be real with letting them see some of my own mess. Those other brands are not wrong for their polished look – they are rocking it! However, for MY brand, I want to be a little bit messy. I might take my videos sitting on the floor in front of the one blank wall I can find in the house. I might post Instagram photos of my kids on my cluttered living room floor. I might not have delicate marketing graphics – because my brand isn’t about being clean, elegant, or polished. My brand is about messy motherhood and growing something great out of it.
Figure out what you want your brand to be about and who you want to gravitate to it.
3. Don’t neglect quality marketing and design.
What I am NOT trying to say when I talk about not comparing ourselves to pretty examples is that you should be content with low quality marketing and/or design. You don’t want to market terrible images and disjointed content just because you’re not trying to attract designers or CEOs. We all have an eye for beauty, which is what draws us toward those polished accounts – and it is important to remember that.
I absolutely want to meet moms where they’re at in the messiness of life, but I’m daily working to improve the quality of my marketing and graphics. Don’t compare – but DO work to consistently improve the presentation of your own brand.
I’m going to take pictures of my kids on the messy living room floor – but I’m going to edit them to the best of my ability to make them eye-appealing. I’m going to take a video sitting on my floor – but I’m going to work to make that video with the best lighting and sound quality that I can. I’m going to create less delicate marketing graphics – but I’m going to do my best to keep my fonts and colors uniform. You get the idea.
4. Be thankful for unsubscribes or rejections.
I just want to make a note about this because I think it is important to remember…
Do you have an email list and get discouraged every time you get an unsubscribe? (I still struggle with this.) Or have you lost motivation after a pitch got rejected? DON’T LET YOURSELF SIT THERE. Let it roll and be GLAD! You don’t want to pay for contacts on your mailing list who aren’t after what you’re offering. You don’t want to stop offering value to people who DO want it just because one person wasn’t into what you have to offer.
Your brand, unless you are some kind of extreme outlier, is not going to be for everyone! You don’t want to attract everyone.
In summary, if you try to BE someone else you’re not going to gain followers, customers, or prospects who are into what YOU are trying to do or sell… Just be you!
→ ATTRACT YOUR CLAN. DON’T AIM TO STEAL SOMEONE ELSE’S ←
I recently saw this quote someone posted on Instagram and it really resonated with me as I laid out this content:
“If sunflowers tried to be roses, they would lose their strength.” ~Matshona Dhliwayo
If you’re trying to be someone else your business won’t be near as strong as it could be if you leverage what YOU have to offer.