Authentic marketing has to do with being true to yourself, and who you are… that may mean being different from everybody else. Authentic marketing has to do with being genuinely interested in the people whose problems you are trying to solve. You say you’re not solving someone else’s problems? Of course you are—you have a product or a service that you offer because somebody else needs that product or service to solve a problem. You sell shoes, they need shoes. You’re a writer, somebody needs you to write for them. You’re a travel agent, somebody needs help with planning their travel.
Being authentic means not pretending to be something you are not. It means presenting yourself with your strengths, and your weaknesses. It means not needing to pretend to be perfect. When you don’t have to protect yourself or your image, you are much easier to connect with. People are actually attracted to those who are willing and courageous enough to simply be themselves.
Being authentic will help you in your business and in your marketing—any kind of business, any kind of marketing. Online marketing, offline marketing—it doesn’t matter. If you are providing people with the information they need to make an informed decision, if you are genuinely interested in helping them, not in pushing your product or service on them, if you don’t lie, distort, of pump out hype, if you listen to people, and if you are open about yourself and what matters to you and what adds richness to your live—people will connect with you. People do business with those that they know, like and trust. Being authentic, in real life, in business, in marketing, will help you succeed.
I think one of the most important skills in being authentic is LISTENING. Many think that good communication has to do with being able to clearly articulate your thoughts—but what about the other side of that? Communication is a two way street. Somebody speaks, somebody listens, and we hope that they take turns! When one or neither person is listening—guess what!? No communication really takes place—don’t you agree? Marketing may start out with you putting out information, but really effective marketing will ask for and process (listen to) feedback. When you are talking to a prospect or a customer, ask questions. Ask questions about what the problem is that your prospect/client needs to solve. Ask what their goals and aspirations are. Ask what brings them real satisfaction. Then listen. I can guarantee you that when you do that, even if you barely mention your product or service, you will establish a connection with them, and when the time is right, they will be open to listening to the information you have for them—they will actually probably ask for it.
This is why social media is such a great marketing tool. It allows you to establish real, authentic communication with people who may need what you have to offer. Think about how you can be authentic in your social media interaction, in your blogs, in your articles, and when you talk to people. Always keep in mind not what you can get, but what you can offer. Consider letting go of trying to keep up an appearance of perfection or of knowing everything and having all the answers. See what happens when you allow yourself to be you, and connect with others heart to heart. (One of the best things that can happen is that that others can be themselves!) Don’t try to separate who you are from what you do. Keeping these ideas in mind when you market will make marketing much more fun, and much more fruitful.
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