How open are you with regards to your business? By that I mean the blogging, the online platforms, what you put out there? Are you all ‘take me as I am’ or are you more ‘must retain professional at all times’?
It’s a tricky dilemma when you are running your own creative business. Do you want to show the warts and all or do you want to give a glossy overview of what you do?
I get asked quite a bit about best ways to market yourself online and I do talk a lot about ‘telling your story’ and ‘finding your voice’ but what does that voice have to sound like?
It’s going to be different for every one of us, and of course there are a few things you have to figure out before you start talking to your followers online, but it’s important to get that voice right.
I spoke quite candidly recently in a blog post about my struggles in direction, and I didn’t know initially whether to share this with my readers and followers, but after a while I knew I had to. After all, what that voice has to be, how you talk, is all about authenticity.
It’s a word you hear a lot, and it’s a message that gets drummed into you – about how important it is to be authentic within your business. It makes sense. Your brand values, your message, your voice, the way you conduct yourself online, must be 100% you. It’s important to understand that. Whatever that ‘100% you’ looks like, well, only you can decide that.
What do I mean by that?
Well, take just one aspect of your online presence as an example – let’s say Blogging. You may (like me) see blogging as a hugely important element of promotion. Or you may hate it. You may not read blogs. You may never want to blog at any point in your life, you may feel uncomfortable about it, you may struggle and agonise about it. So, don’t do it. If you start blogging because everyone else tells you that you should, but you don't believe it will help you, it’s not going to sound authentic – it will make both you and your customers uncomfortable and it’s not going to do anyone any favours.
This harks back to last weeks post in that you are your own guru. You have to make the decisions that are going to suit you with regards to your business, and you have to stick to what is true for you.
What do you believe in? What do you feel passionate about? What message do you want to put across? What is it that you know you don’t want to do? By staying true to your ethos will mean that the voice you put out online will sound like you.
Remember to keep it real.
Be 100% you.
It makes you more relatable. It makes you more reliable. It makes you more recognisable.
Therefore you become more trustworthy and honest. You have more substance and it shows your customers that you think highly of them. Your audience is smart – they can spot the fake a mile off. We’re tired of being lied to, of being exploited and being ‘sold’ to. We want to be able to engage, and identify with the brands we follow online.
So, going back to my blog post a few weeks back. I am passionate about being part of your business journey, so it is important to me that I share mine with you. It is important to me that my network, my community know that I am one of them – that I am going through the same things that you go through, because it means I am more identifiable. More authentic, and therefore more trustworthy.
What is the point of going through experiences that could potentially be helpful to others if I don’t share them? I know how reassuring it is to hear others who have gone through a similar experience and I know I can learn from that, so it makes sense that you could learn from me.
As consumers, and customers, I believe it is important to understand who you are buying from has authenticity, integrity, and honesty. I will be much more likely to engage with someone I can identify with.
Now, I’m not necessarily saying that you need to share every gory detail about everything that goes into building and sustaining your business, only share what is right for you. What I do mean is that if you want to share it, and it is right for you to, then do it.
As long as it is 100% you.
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4 New Buildings,
01884 266045 / 07969 044006