By Lori Smith
My fear of being the real me almost killed my freelance business dreams.
Yep, I almost murdered that baby, dead. I thought nobody would like the
real me. I’m not your typical character. My humor is drier than a popcorn
fart, and I’m sarcastic as hell. Not exactly a real people magnet.
I tried desperately to give my boring clone-like content life by writing it in
my own unique style. But every time I did, that little voice (damn her), in
the back of my mind would say, “This is too brash. They won’t like you.”
It wasn’t professional and lacked cute trendy buzzwords.The real me uses
cuss words for God’s sake. How in the world am I going to get anyone to
read my blog let alone like it?
So I did what any well-respecting blogger would do. I fell victim to the
same generic tone-deaf content that I thought was more widely
accepted. The type of content that’s safe, expected, and is void of any real
And that content my friends is what almost put my business in the
grave. I spent my days writing its eulogy instead of writing articles.
Lucky for me in that final hour I had one of those stupid epiphany
moments. I finally realized that you HAVE to show up as you. No matter
how goofy, weird or brazen you are.
And you know what? After I started showing up as the real me in my
business, my tiny community started growing. I discovered there’s a
whole gang of other brash kiddos out there, and guess what, they like me.
Your brand should be unapologetically you. It should have the real YOU
splattered across every piece of content on your site. When it doesn’t, it
screams fake. Like really loud.
Why you need to convey authenticity in your content
Read any article by top marketing experts, and they all agree, that
authenticity is one of the keys to growing your business. I agree, but why
are so many still getting it wrong?
There’s this preconceived idea out there of what an online business
should look, feel, and sound like. Your brand colors should be pretty pastels
because that’s the standard. Content needs to sound professional, and
the use of industry buzzwords should reign supreme.
WRONG. So so wrong.
Look here’s the thing when it comes to marketing. Customers nowadays
no longer just want to buy a product or service. They’re looking for a
complete experience. They want the whole shebang.
They want a deeper connection with who they are buying from. They’re
looking for honesty and transparency, something that’s much more
authentic. They don’t want to buy from someone who’s in it, only for the
Today’s consumers are more socially aware and tech-savvy than of
yesteryears. You should never underestimate your followers. If something
doesn’t feel genuine, you can bet your last pair of clean underwear that
they can sniff out a fake from a million miles away.
Authenticity works because
– It helps your business rise above the competition.
– It builds your brand’s identity and image into something influential.
– It gives your business substance.
– It enables your followers to relate to you on a deeper level.
– It shows your business is reliable and trustworthy.
– It encourages your audience to engage and turns them into champions
of your message
This should be a no-brainer, right? Then why are you still hiding behind
boring ass content that has no sign of the real you in it?
Why you aren’t conveying authenticity in your content.
Because it’s hard to be yourself. Plain, and simple.
The fear of being the real you is most likely buried deep beneath all kinds
of self-doubt, imposter syndrome or a host of other insecurities.
We are all fragile at least to some extent, and we all fear rejection. It’s not
a good feeling. Name me one person who didn’t feel like total shit when
they weren’t invited to the cool kid’s table to eat lunch.
No one likes being shunned, for being different. It’s one of the reasons
why there’s so much imitation in the world of blogging. Rejection sucks. But
when you’re, rejected for being the real you, it sucks even more. It’s easier
to imitate someone else’s perfect personality filled blog when you think
yours is lame.
So you stick to the same boring, formulaic content. It keeps you out of
rejection land because no one criticizes nice neat systematic blogs.
Let me lay a little truth on you. Safe content does not necessarily keep
you out of rejection land. Nor does it build a successful business. Safe keeps
you stuck. The easiest way to marginalize your business is to imitate
I’m hoping right about now you’re starting to get on board with this
whole authenticity thing. Are you with me?
How to convey authenticity in your content.
The best way for you, and your brand to be seen as authentic is to BE
Okay, so I’m being a little facetious here, but it comes down to just being
real. It can’t get any simpler than that. It’s not hard, and it doesn’t take
much effort because you already know how to be you. You just have put
YOU in your content.
Authenticity gives your business a personality. A certain je ne sais quoi
that no one else has. It’s what sets you apart from your competition.
People need to get a sense of the real you to determine if you’re the right
fit for them. You want to forge connections with the right people – those
who will benefit from what you have to offer.
4 Ways to inject authenticity into content
1) You need to first know who you are. People don’t want to hear you
drone on and on only about what you do. They also want you to tell them
how you do it. They want to hear your story. So and share something real.
2) Authenticity is conveyed best through showing not telling, and
definitely not through overuse of buzzwords. It’s about using words that
represent your true personality and values. Please, for the love of all
things decent, don’t use the words solopreneur, heart-centered or laptop
3) Be consistent with your tone and voice across all content. Blog post,
web copy, and social media posts should all have a consistent feel. If you
stray from it, your audience will feel you’ve misrepresented yourself.
Don’t play Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde with your content.
4) Be yourself. Talk to your readers like you would a friend. Keep it
conversational and write your content in a way that is true to how you,
actually speak. Save the professional crap for cranky CEOs.
You need to communicate to your audience who you are and what you
do, in an authentic way. Otherwise, you’ll end up being just another generic
fish in big ole’ blog pond.
Authentic content can help you build a meaningful connection with your
audience. When they can relate to you, is when a true relationship, is
formed. It turns one-time visitors into can’t get enough of your stuff
In a world cluttered with spam, authenticity shines through.