How to Avoid "Fake Authenticity" and Tell the Truth in Marketing.
Marketing communication is meant to be engaging. It's very different in character from a research document writing, an email or even a book. Marketing is more personable. It has a unique challenge of representing a brand and connecting with the audience at the same time.
So far, storytelling has been the most successful way of creating a meaningful connection with a brand's audience. Stories have a character and a point. The manner in which we tell them shows who we are, it reveals our authentic selves.
That said, I don't like the word "authenticity". I think that it's been dramatically misunderstood, specifically in the social media marketing realm. It has been interpreted as a permission of being your most unflattering or most perfect self. In other cases, people just adopt a persona that communicates in a way that would be attractive to a specific target market. This is an exhausting exercise, and in the end, it feels fake.
In reality, true authenticity should come from the quality and the value of your work. If you can connect with your audience through this lens, you don't need to cosmetically enhance your brand to make it seem more "authentic".
So how do you go about discovering your authentic message?
You can go through the process of brand building where you can establish your value proposition, the personality and the behavior of your brand. It's an important process and necessary when you're building a unified look and message, but it is not the first step that you need to take. The first step is asking yourself a few very honest questions about your role in the professional space you are creating as well as your personal desires. Here is where I would start.
Determining what you want will give you the focus that you need.
1. What do you want? It's very interesting to see that many business/practice owners do not start with this question. They start with defining what they can do. The problem with this formulation is that we can do many things and not all of them are the things that we enjoy doing. Just because you have many skills and abilities does not mean that you need to be offering all of them to your clients. Understanding what you want from yourself, your personal life, your clients and your work will help you determine which skills you would actually need to employ. You will be able to remove all the other topics that can only distract you from your purpose in business. Determining what you want will give you the focus that you need.
2. What problems are you interested in solving? Knowing what you want will help you frame the solutions that you can offer to your clients. This knowledge will help you do a better assessment of all the possible problems your expertise and knowledge can solve. I recommend listing them all for a written reference so you can create a better service to address and solve those problems.
3. What kind of person is having a problem that you are trying to solve? Defining who will be a direct beneficiary of your services is crucial for your marketing. Specifically, it will help you create and manage a conversation with this person or group of people. If you understand the client that you are targeting, you can have a more honest and direct conversation with them about the ways you can improve their lives. This ongoing conversation will be your authentic marketing message to your audience.
The more I read, research and work with people, the more I believe that these three questions are the cornerstones of a meaningful connection that you will be creating with your future clients. And if you are interested in a more in-depth analysis of you message, schedule a FREE Discovery Call with me now. I am looking forward to hearing from you!