Let’s talk about authenticity in business and building a trustworthy brand.
The fact that you wanna be authentic already puts on the right path.
Tune into the episode below:
- [1:17] What is authenticity
- [2:54] Examples of what it isn’t
- [5:49] The first step to being more authentic
- [7:08] What’s a framework and why you need your own
- [8:37] One of my key rules in business
- [9:56] How to give back to people and overdeliver
How to Be Authentic in Business
Before we get into the action steps I wanna share with you, let’s just quickly define what authenticity really means here.
In its simplest form, it’s about being real, being your true self.
Not copying others even though you should be learning from entrepreneurs and successful people all the time and apply that knowledge to your life.
But let’s be honest, we know when we’re genuinely taking some principles or following someone’s advice the right way. And when we don’t add anything original or just create a business model or content creation strategy based on what others told us or are doing, but which simply doesn’t feel right for us.
You don’t feel satisfied, you wonder why things aren’t working out for you and everyone else seems to be seeing progress. You become negative, you start hating the journey and not trusting the process.
This just shows you’re out of alignment so let’s be happy these signs are so obvious. Then we can just question our beliefs, our actions, the way we do business, and look at it from a different perspective.
Being authentic usually works best when you stay true to yourself no matter where you are, who you’re with, and what you’re doing.
Even when you’re alone with your thoughts, you should be living the way you want, practicing what you preach, and really trusting yourself.
Living an authentic life has its challenges of course, especially in the beginning when you’re transitioning to it and no one else around understands why you’re doing things differently now. But the end result is something so beautiful, so natural and which can help you thrive in life and business.
What authenticity is not
I’m sure you see it everywhere, and most importantly, you can feel it because it’s fake. Some might cover it really, but when you look below the surface, you see it’s just not who you wanna surround yourself with.
After being active on Instagram for a few months now, I noticed a few things.
First, many people were surprised how I do things. They asked me why I share so much free content, they expected me to be a coach and sell stuff all the time just because that’s trendy now. They didn’t understand my approach and didn’t get the idea of providing value without asking for money in return.
That showed me that not everyone is doing it.
I’ve been approached by too many people who just slided into my DMs, didn’t care about me and didn’t even take the time to check out my website, but tried to sell me stuff and to even convince me I need them to grow my business. Because of this, I opened my eyes for what’s really going on out there.
By staying away from social media for a long time, I missed out on many opportunities especially in terms of branding and connecting with people. But I also stayed away from all this, the lack of authenticity. So I’m only realizing how popular it is now.
Then many people from my community started sharing that someone they trusted charged more or didn’t deliver the content or time they promised, or didn’t make them feel good, and they even asked me what to do.
But in every situation, that person usually knew something was off and it was just better to stop trusting whoever they trusted and move onto something else.
This is an example of lack of authenticity. Playing a role online. Saying you’re earning a certain amount when it’s actually not true. Or when it’s just what you’ve earned over the course of a few years, or just saying a number that isn’t cash you got that month or year, but bookings or sales, many of which can be refunded.
Lack of authenticity is also saying you’re an entrepreneur and teaching others how to start a business, when you don’t have a registered company and are just doing this as a hobby.
I was only a hobby blogger too, but then I talked about personal development. I only started teaching business, once I was earning enough from it and have been in the industry for a few years and wanted to share my journey.
Now that defined what authenticity is and isn’t, let’s dive into the action steps I’ve prepared for you.
The first step is pretty straightforward – be honest. If you’re gonna be talking about something, creating content on it, sharing it with your audience, then keep it real.
Include the details necessary for them to understand what you’re saying. Add examples. Make sure you stand by your words and aren’t just saying it to get attention or makes sales.
If it’s a more controversial topic, that means someone can reach out and say they don’t agree or leave a nasty comment. That shouldn’t affect you in any way if you really meant what you said because then you have enough points to back it up. And it’s fine to have a different opinion, but it’s so powerful that it’s your own.
The people who go against it aren’t your people online anyways. You’re creating content for the rest. The ones who love to hear from you, take you seriously, get inspired by your posts, and love how authentic you are.
Don’t pretend you’re there yet.
You can’t teach something if you didn’t put in the work and don’t have experience with it.
However, don’t worry if you’re just starting out. You can always share your journey and grow an audience this way. That’s completely fine and it will actually help you build a strong foundation for your business.
But what I mean here is, don’t say you teach people how to earn 6 figures, if you aren’t making that yourself.
Create your own frameworks.
A framework is your own system for teaching something. For example, I’m now working on the final modules of my new course Fearless Content, and the whole program is based on a framework.
Which is basically my own combination of steps and tips that will help content creators go from being all over the place with their brand and not knowing what content to create or which platform to be on, to finding clarity, living in their zone of genius, defining exactly who they wanna help online and how, and creating their best content ever with ease and flow.
So obviously that involves a process. The framework itself is the difference between a random series of videos and a structured program that helps you achieve a certain result.
Each framework is unique and it’s something you have experience with, something that worked for you and which you now wanna share with others so it can help them.
You can do outside of your programs too, with your free content, and just with a simple graphic on Instagram where you share a 3-step process to achieving something, for example.
It’s your own combination of steps and you describe each through your own experience.
Sometimes, you’ll be seeing and learning from the frameworks of others and they will sound so good and just so valuable, that you know your audience will love them too. But you can’t just share. Actually, you can but with 1 simple rule, and that’s what the next point is about.
Always give credit where credit is due.
That’s one of my rules in business. I read so much, take amazing courses, listen to podcasts and learn powerful concepts and come to important realizations thanks to hearing what others are saying.
Then I can’t wait to share it with my audience and add my take on it. I know they will love it. For some it might be the solution to one of their problems so they will definitely thank me and keep following me.
So it’s easy to just not give credit to the person whose idea that was originally, but I do. Also, that’s yet another way to provide even more value – by referring people to your mentors and letting them learn directly from the source.
That’s why you can often see me on Instagram sharing a podcast episode I just heard and the one sentence that really stood out for me. Or re-sharing other people’s posts. Showing what book I’m reading or what account I’m following that I really love. It could be anything.
If you found value in someone else’s work, you should support them and send them love and positive vibes by spreading the word. And believe it or not, the energy you do it with, comes back to you eventually in the form of new opportunities in your business, a bigger audience, more sales, features, and so much more.
Be reliable and respectful.
The more your business grows, the more people will email you, message you and ask questions.
Many of these can be ignored of course as your time is limited and too many people are just trying to take precious minutes if your day without actually bringing anything to the table.
But there will also be good people who genuinely want to thank you, who have a specific question, who leave comments on all your posts. Well, give back to them.
They are sending you love and helping your business and brand. These are the people who smile whenever you reply to them and are honoring your time, so they’d only reach out if it’s worth it.
Be kind to them. One well-thought-out email or DM from you can make their day, and this can make yours in return.
There are people from my community that I love staying in touch with. In fact, one of the main reasons I’m active on Instagram is to get to know more of them and to form real relationships.
As for being reliable, whenever you say you’ll do something, do it. Especially if we’re talking about paid offers here. One of my rules in business is to overdeliver. That’s what a value-driven business model is based on.
And my final tip for you is to constantly ask yourself:
‘How can I get more real, how can I live in alignment with who I truly am and do business from that place?’
I’ll leave you with that question. I really loved talking about authenticity today and hope you enjoyed it too.