by Ali Brown
Most businesspeople present themselves as who they want to be instead of who they really are. Now, I believe in thinking big, but not at the expense of being true to ourselves. When we start off in business, we often have visions of who we think we need to be in order to please (or convince) our clients or customers.
We envision our model of business success, and we chase that model, often to the exclusion of our own true selves. We may look, act, and speak the way we think our customers expect us to. But when we create a disingenuous version of ourselves, our business suffers.
Here's why authenticity is crucial to your business success.
*Authenticity builds trust. Today's customers are discerning and often skeptical. One of the problems with many online businesses is that they lack humanity. Customers don't know if they can trust you or not. But incorporating your personality into your website helps create a human connection that reassures customers and convinces them that you are a person they like and want to do business with. This is also true with a brick-and-mortar business. If you're accessible and personable to customers, then it goes a long way toward building confidence in your business.
*Clicks don't buy - people do. A lot of internet marketers are obsessed with stats like clicks and conversions. But your customers are more than numbers. They are people! And people buy from people. The truth is in the practice. As you begin to open up to your customers, you'll notice that they'll feel a stronger connection and loyalty to you personally, which will carry over to your business. You'll stop being a big, impersonal conglomerate and start being someone real, someone people can count on to do the right thing.
*Being true to yourself sets you apart. You could be like all the other bland, sanitized businesses, or you could be yourself. And by being yourself, you eliminate the competition, because no other business can offer the same blend of personality and authenticity that you can. You don't need to compete. You just have to be yourself.
*Your personality will attract customers who appreciate it. Anyone who is put off by you being yourself probably wasn't going to buy from you anyway. And they certainly weren't going to be repeat customers. As Dr. Seuss said, "be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don't matter, and those who matter don't mind." The customers you attract will be people who relate to you, for whom your personality resonates, and those are people who are willing to build long-lasting relationships with you. It's the ultimate target marketing.
So, how do you incorporate your authentic self into your business? That's up to you. There is no formula to follow or any textbooks to read. All it takes is tapping into your unique personality and letting it shine through in your business. It's a simple, yet powerful concept.
© 2009 Ali International, LLC
Self-made multimillionaire entrepreneur Ali Brown is devoted to creating financial freedom for women globally through the power of entrepreneurship. To learn how to create wealth and live an extraordinary life now, register for her free weekly articles at www.AliBrown.com