Business and marketing mentors and coaches talk about being authentic and being unique in business, but what does this really mean?
Why does being authentic really matter? And how can you be 100% authentically YOU more of the time?
What being authentic means in business
My dictionary defines authentic as ‘real or genuine; not copied or false; true to one’s own personality, spirit, or character.’ So being true to yourself is the essence of authenticity. When you are true to yourself you cannot be imitated, and do not imitate others. There may be similarities with others in terms of your appearance, your approach or in the language you use, but each of us has a purpose, each has lived a unique life, with unique experiences, and learning. It’s how you understand, claim and articulate these that makes the difference in your business.
Why being authentic in business really matters
So why does this really matter to your business? It matters because when you’re willing to be vulnerable you show that you understand and can empathise with your clients’ problems. When you talk honestly and openly about problems you’ve encountered and the ways you’ve overcome them, you demonstrate your credibility.
You are more trustworthy and likeable to clients and prospects when they perceive you as genuine. And ‘people work with those they know, like and trust’.
You enable people to know you and your business better and to trust you more, when how you look, what you say, what you do and how you do it is in alignment with your brand and business promise, with your marketing messages, and communication methods. When there is consistency of communication, approach, and delivery.
When this happens your ideal clients get to identify with you, to resonate with your story and your approach. They pre-select and qualify themselves.
How to be 100% authentically You more of the time
So now you know what being authentic in business really means, and why it matters, how can you be authentically You more of the time?
We’ll consider You as an individual first, then you as a business owner or leader.
Top Tips to be fully authentic in your life:
- Acknowledge and own who you are as a powerful and creative person. Your talents, skills, knowledge, experience, and expertise; your strengths and internal resources. Write them down, and speak them out loud so you fully believe and confidently own them.
- Understand and be comfortable with your needs and desires. Again write them down, check how you’re getting your needs met, and embrace your true desires.
- Access your intuition. Be still and check in with your inner guidance often. You always know when you’re being true to yourself. Make choices from that place.
- Top Tips to be fully authentic in your business:
- Craft your personal story to share the reason you do what you do in the way you do it, so your ideal clients can identify with it.
- Ensure your marketing and service messages are consistent with your personal image and brand.
- Check in with yourself when making decisions. Rather than basing your decisions on what your competitors are doing, filter them through your own internal compass. (When you’re feeling great about who you are and what you’re doing you’re more likely to achieve meaningful success.)
And a Bonus Tip:
- Be prepared to put your stake in the ground, to show what you stand for, and to stand out. You cannot expect to help many more people by being one more dancer on a crowded dance floor. Get on stage, up front and in your spotlight. Your audience needs to see you as the star dancer – so be You and be proud.
And next time someone talks about being authentic, or having an authentic brand, they can use you as an example!
Julie Johnson, Leading Success Coach, Speaker and Author, teaches women around the world how to be successful and happy in business and in life.
For access to ‘The 3 Show-Stopping Mistakes Made by Women Entrepreneurs Every Day’ visit [http://www.juliejohnsoncoaching.com] ‘