Why Authentic Branding Makes a DifferenceMar 27, 2023
In today’s world where corporations set the tone of what we consume every day, branding is so important for all of us. Whether you are pushing out a public persona, or just want to make sure your social media and online presence is professional and appropriate, authentic branding matters.
But what does authenticity mean? Authenticity is being true to yourself. It’s not about doing what you THINK others want you to do or say, but what actually matters to YOU. It means that you can share something that is important to you, something that is real about yourself. It goes so much further with an audience, big or small, than keeping up with the trends of what everyone else is doing.
So how can you embrace authenticity when it comes to branding?
Think about who you are.
What makes you who you are? What is unique about you that differentiates you from everyone else? This could be something as simple as what music or food you like, to what important causes in the world matter to you. Are you an introvert or an extrovert? Do you enjoy trying new things and engaging in new situations, or would you rather continue to focus on what you already know you love? These things and so much more make up your authentic self. Maybe you are fascinated by nature and enjoy reading stories from platforms like National Geographic. Share that! Follow people and engage with folks who feel similarly to you.
Also, be sure to talk to other people to learn what they think and feel about you. What do they see about who you are, your likes, interests, etc? What do they understand about how you are presenting yourself out there in the world already? If you’re having trouble nailing down some ideas of what makes you who you are, asking others in your circle is a good way to get started.
Share your story.
The best way to communicate who you are is through your story. Share what you feel comfortable sharing, just make sure it’s truthful and authentic to the things you know make you who you are. Don’t share something to be trendy unless it's something you actually enjoy and are authentically behind. When it comes to a brand and expressing who you are, people will know if something is inauthentic or not aligned with your values. Now, this doesn't mean that you can never share different and new things. But when you do, be sure to share WHY you've been exploring this, and how it aligns with your story and goals.
Think outside of the social media box.
There are a lot of ways to create your brand outside of what you post online. How do you show up to games, meetings, class or your job? Do you show up as your true self? Do you share your likes, interests and priorities? How you show up in real life matters SO MUCH MORE than what you share online. If your personality in person doesn't reflect what you are sharing online, it can really damage your brand.
What do people share about you?
Another key aspect of your brand is understanding how people share information about you. You want to be able to understand and set the tone for how people connect and share with others about you. How does your friend describe you to another person? How does your boss or coach describe you to someone else? This is one of the most direct ways to build your brand - reputation. Word of mouth is one of the best ways to make an impression. If someone they trust gives you a great shout out, they’ll be more likely to engage and connect with you.
Remember, you don't have to jump into everything right away. The first step is to take the time to think about who you are and what you really care about. When you start to think about those things, it may take time to explore and build on this. Once you feel comfortable and aware of who you are, then you can start to map out your story and how you’ll communicate who you are with others. Don't worry about what everyone else is doing - the point of authenticity is to do what makes sense and matters most to YOU!
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