Marketing expert Franziska Iseli-Hall considers the enduring value of authenticity in an age when it's all too easy to oversell yourself, your products or your services.
Over the weekend we organised a dress-up party with the theme ‘Rockstars’ and everyone got right into it. It seems that people love dressing up and it got me thinking about marketing and business in general and how some people seem to be playing the ‘dress up’ game a lot. Must be pretty exhausting to try and be something or somebody they are not. I was certainly pretty tired after a night of being a ‘rockstar’.
Especially in the consulting and online marketing world there seems to be a lot of dress up going on. Guys (and girls) making out to be much more successful than they really are only to lure in more clients. It seems to be working for some, but is it sustainable? I doubt it.
Is it going to cause an identity crisis over time? Maybe.
And then there is Facebook where people can pretty much be whoever they want, post a picture of a fancy car (they borrowed for a test drive to look good), pretend to be a good husband or wife or look like a really positive person (even though the reality might be different).
I’ve been observing a trend though of people asking for more ‘real stories’ and wanting to connect with authentic people on social media networks.
I strongly believe that in the long term it pays off to be real and authentic rather than hoping for quick success only to crash and burn because they are unable to deliver on their promises.
I recently interviewed JB. Glossinger, the founder of morningcoach.com (www.morningcaoch.com) who has attracted over 37’000 fans on Facebook and growing fast. I asked him how he managed to build his brand and community so quickly. ‘All you have to do is be real and people will follow you’ was JB’s reply (you can listen to the full interview here: http://itunes.apple.com/au/podcast/basic-bananas-small-business/id489410709?ign-mpt=uo%3D4).
When I work with clients and we figure out how they can stand out from their competitors, we often talk about how important it is to just be themselves (amongst other things, but that’s for another article). There is no one else that is exactly the same as you, you are unique. It is your personality, your experiences, your thoughts and ideas that make you unique so being true to yourself is a great starting point.
I’d love to hear your thoughts about this ‘hot’ topic. What are your experiences with being ‘real and authentic’?
Too many SMEs are making this mistake
By Adam Joy
Taking digitisation out of the ‘too hard’ basket for SMEs
By Jason Brouwers
The insanity of consumer expectations
By Jason Dooris