Authenticity Is The Only Brand You Need
I had a conversation with an entrepreneur friend of mine a while ago. He was trying to figure out what his brand on social media should be. He’s multifaceted, as we all are, and he couldn’t quite pinpoint where he should put his emphasis.
We mentioned a few celebrities who are popular right now — Cardi B — being one. I asked him what he felt Cardi B’s brand is. He said, “goofy” (which is not untrue). My point to him was that Cardi B’s brand is authenticity. Whether you know her or not, you feel like you do. She shows us all of her. The sexuality, her goofiness, her political views, her motherhood, and her insecurities — she shows it all, and we love her for it.
Business should be the same. Whether we know it or not, businesses and creative entrepreneurs also have authentic personalities that should be seen and felt by their communities. That’s how you form communities. By showing who you are and how you are to the people who love you. As Vivian Kaye of Kinky Curl Yaki says “people aren’t just investing in your business, they’re investing in you.”
The word authentic means one’s true nature or beliefs — true to oneself — genuine. Something that cannot be copied no matter the attempt.
With social media culture and the transparency customers demand today, authenticity has become one of the biggest assets we look for in the companies and entrepreneurs we shop with. We become a part of their communities and their audience. We want to know what they’re doing at home on their days off. We want to know their insecurities and their triumphs. We want to know what they like and the music they dance to. We want to know they are human.
When it comes to big business, we want to know what they stand for and who they support. We want to know how much they care about their employees and what they think about policies and laws that affect their communities. We want to know who they give money to and whether or not their values align with ours. That is how we connect to businesses and that is how businesses find their audience — by being authentic.
If and when you find yourself trying to assure that your authenticity align with your audience, ask yourself:
What problem are you solving and why?
What are your main core themes?
Why did you start your business and what makes you irreplaceable?
Asking yourself these questions will tell you who you are and what you should show about yourself and your business. Your story is determined by your experiences, your mantra, and your lessons along the way. If you aren’t sure how or to whom to tell your story, start with these questions and move outward.
Authenticity isn’t hard to find. It literally lies within the why of what you’re doing and the soul of who you are — despite whether you’re a business or entrepreneur. You can look at the last fifteen years of your journey and determine your story or you can look at the core of who you are and determine what you want your story to be. The choice is yours.
Whether you’re trying to tell your story to a new market or re-introduce yourself to an old audience, authenticity is the only brand you need. In order to find yours — look within.