Being Authentic: Buzzword or Accurate Advice?

People want to hire and buy from those they know, like, and trust. That’s a universally held truth across the business world and the best way to earn the trust of your clients is to be authentic in how you present yourself.

But what does it mean to be authentic? Other than being a commonly-used buzzword these last few years, being authentic means being your true self in both words and actions.

au·then·tic: not false or copied; genuine; real. Representing one’s true nature or beliefs; true to oneself or to the person identified.

Your words and actions should match; your passion should be evident but not looking like it’s an act. Your honesty and integrity should be evident when speaking to you. And your online persona should match your offline persona when people meet you in person.

Some people argue that there’s a subtle nuance to authenticity that really means being yourself in the correct setting.

For instance, wearing shorts or a business casual outfit to a corporate meeting where the other attendees are in formal suits could be seen as a sign of disrespect, even if that’s what you wear at your beach house.

If you start cursing in the middle of a staff meeting or in your emails or on your social media posts, even if that’s how you speak at home, it could be seen as disrespectful and off putting.

No matter how you define the word authenticity, it’s an important trait when it comes to branding and associating yourself as the CEO of your business.

Who Would You Do Business With?

The poor used car salesman stereotype gets a bad rep but you can immediately picture a smarmy guy who is all pleasant to your face but then bad mouths you when out of earshot for not buying his car or asking too many questions.

For most people, that would turn them off from buying because you wouldn’t know if he’s telling the truth or just wanting to sell you a car.

Someone who’s authentic would have a genuine interest in wanting to help you, in this example, by selling you a reliable used car that actually works. They would answer any questions you might have and would find the answers if they didn’t know them right off the bat.

They would be honest about the inner workings of the car and would be disappointed if you walked away from the deal, but you wouldn’t feel pressured to buy something you’re not ready for.

Which of these salespeople gives you the better authenticity vibe in this example?

Authenticity + Transparency: The Key to a Beautiful Brand

This is actually the title of the 4th module of my course, Beautiful + Smart Business Branding for Service Providers.

Your personal brand is what defines who you are and what you stand for. When people think of your brand, they’ll think of everything from your company logo to your personal blog to your social media profiles.

The brand of a business is a collection of what it says about itself and what it represents to others. In today’s world, businesses are forced to adapt to a variety of different audiences, so it’s essential for a brand to be authentic and transparent.

For example, if you’re a boutique yoga studio in New York City, your brand should convey a sense of calmness, relaxation, and an authentic atmosphere. However, if you’re a luxury car manufacturer, your brand should convey a sense of power, style, and status.

Inside the Beautiful + Smart Business Branding for Service Providers course, we will discuss more deeply on being authentic and transparent – why you don’t have to be perfect and the key to sharing painful subjects and feeling good about it; how to be brave when you’re not (and how this affects your brand); as well as defining your core brand purpose and defining your ideal client.

This is a self-paced, 4-module course that will guide you through the branding process and leave you ready to approach new clients at the end. Click here to learn more!

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Hey, I'm Tabitha!

This is my little corner of the internet where I share everything from marketing & strategy to entrepreneurship & mindset.

I believe in sharing really simple, effective advice to help you design a business you love.

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