There’s a problem going on. A very real dilemma.
A dilemma of small businesses like yours and mine sounding like big box stores instead of like real people behind the brand.
A problem with faking business—not in the sense of anything unethical but in the words we use to share your services and products, because that’s “how everyone is doing it.” We sound stiff, unnatural, fake.
And portraying our businesses this way is not encouraging growth. It’s stifling momentum because we are not allowing our audience to see inside of the person behind the brand.
It’s the on-going struggle of wondering how much we share, what we should share, what’ll attract our audience to our business, and what will make a difference.
Preaching to the choir, you might say? I know. I am.
THIS IS THE STUFF I TELL MYSELF ALL THE TIME.
Be more authentic.
Share more of the everyday.
Give your people the inside scoop on life and business and the heart behind your brand.
Give voice to why you do what you do and why that should matter to your people.
But then I think:
My life feels pretty boring. I mean, we’re busy with life stuff just like everyone else, but it doesn’t feel like it would be interesting to other people.
My house is not stylish and usually messy (oh hey, three kids).
I don’t live in a bright, white home that I feel like I should in order to exemplify my online brand.
Unless I’m going out that day, I typically live in a tee or hoodie and very little makeup.
And the culmination of these things isn’t very professional.
And guys, my thoughts fly in and out so fast that the time between thinking of a good idea or helpful tidbit for a live video, story, or even photograph and the time that I can prepare and share said content, I’ve lost it. Poof. Entirely gone. And I don’t even know what’s going on with my brain (again, hey three kids!).
A sweet friend shared an article with me, and guys, pieces of it struck me so profoundly:
“Why does it matter?Why does being ourselves in our business, telling our story authentically, and allowing our “outsides” to match our “insides” matter?It matters because…the only advantage you have in the marketplace is your story. What you make is not the cheapest. It’s not guaranteed to not break. What you make is not world famous or perfectly executed. The reason that stores choose to buy what you make over something else is because they are buying into your perspective, your story, your voice.Every photo we make, every sentence we write, and every aesthetic decision we make is a part of communicating who we are and, if done well, inviting people to be a part of that.”
The reason more of us aren’t doing it?
IT’S HARD. IT’S SO HARD.
It’s not as simple as waking up one morning and deciding to be more of yourself on social media. You can have all of the grit in the world and it still won’t be easy.
Being more authentic takes practice. It takes writing and rewriting those social media posts. It means posting words that aren’t perfect because you know that by bravely posting, you’ll get better. It means jotting down thoughts that aren’t necessarily selling something in your business but sharing them anyway because it gives a peek into your heart. And this is your most significant advantage when it comes to growing YOUR business.
Do it afraid.
NO MORE FAKING IT
If you think it will build your business by allowing people in to see a tiny piece of your life that will encourage them to be a part of what you’re doing, it will make a difference.
I know it’s hard. I have to pep talk myself every. single. day. And seriously, I’m not encouraging you to throw all inhibitions to the wind. I’m a very private person and hold my personal life pretty sacred when it comes to my online business. You can be discreet and sensitive and still share a life and business that people want to be a part of.
That’s all that people long to see anyway. <3
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I struggle with this so hard! On the one hand I want to be “professional” and always put the “we” and keep it centered on the work – but on the other hand my heart is pressing me to be real. This is not easy but I love the encouragement to share from the heart & story. xo