I’m sure as an online business owner you’ve asked yourself how to stand out from the crowd and gain recognition among your target audience. The not so secret way is to channel your authentic self, story and the purpose of why you started your business. Whether we’re talking about your overall brand, your website, landing pages, webinars blog post, even social media, speaking your message from the heart is a great way to express yourself authentically. Let’s call this branding from the heart as authentic branding.
Share your why
After reading Simon Sinek’s book, Start with Why a few months back, I refer to a business’s story and purpose as your why.
What’s your story for starting your online business and becoming an entrepreneur? What’s the reason? What’s your purpose? What’s your why?
If you’re having trouble putting it into words, take a timeout and think it through. This is important. The reason it’s important because being open about your story allows you to be authentic in the way you speak about your business and your clients. It also gives you clarity on what to talk about – also super important. Lastly, knowing your why allows you to set yourself up for success because you now know what you’re after and what you’re not.
The reason you want authentic branding is because you know that people don’t buy from businesses or companies they buy from brands they can connect with, brands with a purpose and on a mission that they too can get behind on and believe in. When it comes to small businesses, people also buy from other people and their stories.
Understanding your why allows you to attract the kind of fans and clients you’re dreaming of. That’s because even subconsciously you’ll be making decisions that are going to be putting you closer and closer to your goals.
On the flip side, passion is contagious. So, when your authentic branding is speaking loud and clear about your purpose and your story, you will attract people who will love to support you and be part of this story. The Law of Attraction is a great thing 😉
The easiest way to attract your target audience is to be authentic. Obviously, you understand that. In order to be authentic, you must understand why you’re doing what you’re doing, and everything else will become much easier, including the following 3 tips! Understanding your why helps you craft the story that will connect your brand with your target audience.
Your offer must get you excited
So far we’ve covered the first part of authentic branding which focuses on defining why to craft your business’s story and understand your purpose. Now, let’s shift gears towards the second part which is being true to yourself and allowing your authenticity to shine.
Let’s face it, when you’re trying to sell products or offers that you’re not really excited about it’s so much more difficult to get excited about promoting them. The way to way create magnetic offers is to make sure you’re excited about them first.
Now that you understand your why, you can much easily answer the question of what lights your heart up?
Go through your offer and eliminate parts of your service that you’re simply aren’t interested in or, worse, hate doing. This will free you up to only take on new clients for the type of work you love to do and talking about these newly redefined services will make it easier for you to talk about them with excitement or even glee.
This will make it lighter, more comfortable and more enjoyable to talk to people about the kind of work you do. It will also make it easier for you to write about it on your website, landing pages or tweets.
Don’t forget, you became an entrepreneur to live out your dream! By offering services that don’t light you up, you’re making that dream more difficult to attain then it needs to be. Even the simple decision to no longer provide social media management when all you want to do is copywriting for startups – just an example – will be a relief. Remove the stress. It’s unnecessary.
The easiest way to be yourself and create authentic branding for your business is to understand the type of what you enjoy doing and just going after it. It’s really this simple.
Stick to your own expertise and preferences.
I’ve been there myself, so I understand the temptation but try not to follow the crowd. This also goes to comparing yourself to other entrepreneurs. For instance, webinars and podcasts are all the rage nowadays. If it doesn’t float your boat, don’t do it! Don’t force yourself into running your business a certain way because it’s popular. Do it because you enjoy it, not because you feel like you have to do it.
This is a very similar idea from the previous tip. To create authentic branding for your business focus on platforms or business ventures that you’re excited about.
I have personal experience with this. Facebook groups are prevalent right now. I tried it, but it felt like a burden to me. I was stressed, and I felt everything I posted seemed forces, ignored and just a waste of time. After about a month, I called it quits. I couldn’t take it anymore. Instead, I shifted my focus on this blog and on my Instagram account. And, I must say, I feel a lot more like myself. It was a decision I made to keep myself sane but also to make sure I contributed my authentic branding in areas I felt excited about!.
This also does extend to back to services a bit too. If you’re a business coach feeling the pressure to provide life coaching services because it’s booming or everyone else is doing, stop and think! Think about whether you’re doing it out of fear. If that’s the case move on. If you’re a web designer, who feels the need to code and do graphic design or copywriting to make your clients happy, stop and consider if it’s coming from fear first. If you’re genuinely excited about extending your skills, platforms or offer then hell yes, go for it! They key here is to only move forward if your heart is in it. Otherwise, you’re not going to be as authentic as you’d like to be.
You can only thrive in places you feel comfortable in. If you must do something for your business that doesn’t excite you, delicate and hire someone to take care of it. This will give you the confidence that someone who is an expert in those tasks is contributing to your authentic branding with you instead of you forcing yourself into it.
Craft your messages from the heart
Whenever you’re writing a message for your business, write from the heart. Sales are not about convincing people to buy something from you. Think of sales – whether it’s in the form of a social media post, an ad or web page – as the process of helping your target audience achieve their goals with your services.
Doesn’t that sound so much easier to do then trying to be sale-y and convincing people that your offer is their lifesaver?
I haven’t successfully “convinced” anyone of anything since 2005. But I’ve sold plenty since then. In fact I sell daily. That’s because selling and convincing are NOT the same thing. Selling is not the process of “getting” anyone to do anything. If you’re still feeling like you’re convincing anyone of anything — you’re probably not closing many deals, helping any clients, and probably stressed about your income too much to even think about anything else.
When you craft any message keep it conversational. Keep it in your own words. Keep it real. Let yourself, especially your personality, shine. And, just like that, you’re creating and allowing your authentic branding into your landing pages, tweets or whatever else you’re crafting that massage for.
This is a simple mindset shift but will help improve your writing skills instantly giving you the authentic branding you’re looking for.
In order for you to start your journey to authentic branding, you must understand your why and then channel your enthusiasm into your business. It’s honestly this simple and if you follow the four tips outlined in this post you will be on your way to not only to practicing authentic branding but creating the authentic branding for your own business as well.