A webinar I attended a few months ago by Debbie Dooodah1 was about being authentic in business, what that really means, and why its important. She went into depth on why we all need to show up online as our authentic selves. As our real, in-person selves. This is something I have preached for a while.
She echoes my thinking. When you’re presenting yourself online as someone completely different than you are in-person, a follower won’t recognize you when they meet you in real life. It creates a huge lack of trust that could be insurmountable.
Debbie talked about being your authentic *and quirky* self.
We all see the stories. The ones that almost make you start doubting. That almost make you wonder ‘if they can do it, what am I doing wrong?’ (talking to myself here…)
But, you don’t need some rags to riches story. You just need to be you, and not in some heart bearing overly personal way.
You need to be You in your own, individual quirky way
Everyone has a story others can relate to. You don’t need to ‘have a story’ to make an impact.
About the same time I heard Debbie, there was a “10% Braver” challenge that Jaz Ampaw-Farr2 put on. Jaz *does* have an amazing story you’d find interesting!
Through simple daily prompts, she urged me to start revealing the real me in the way I show up online. (Although I know I don’t show up often enough. I’ll always be working on that.)
One super challenging task was asking several friends what they truly thought of me. Oh, I had to strap on my braveness to do that!
Needless to say, I thought I was bland, plain Jane, but my close friends don’t ‘define’ me that way. So eye opening! I might not have an intricate, convoluted story, but I have traits that are unique to me.
Showing up authentically, quirkiness and all, sets me apart from those with the rags to riches stories. And showing up online as you, will set you apart as well. People will relate to and be inspired by your stories. Some say this is the secret sauce to connecting with your ideal audience!
You may be thinking this doesn’t align with the way you want to show up online professionally. But hear me out on this one.
Sometimes it takes bravery to show up in this online world as your authentic self.
What’s it mean to ‘bring *you* to your business’?
Bring words and phrases that you would normally use in real life to social media. Use them on your website instead of industry jargon or phrases your competitors use that are so *not* you. Pay attention to words and phrases your ideal audience uses. Then use those phrases as well, but don’t try to talk somehow completely other than you do in real life.
Show your face on your website and social media so people can see you’re a real person. Don’t dance on tik tok if you’re uncomfortable with it (you know people can tell *just* how awkward you feel, right?) or continue to show up where you *think* your audience is just because everyone else is posting there.
Be brave and *actually show up* online where your audience spends time…on social and on your website. (…preaching to myself here!) Interact with them. This can be as simple as sharing snippets of your life and your business as a start.
We need to show up, or we’ll continue to be the best kept secret that no one ever finds. (again, I’m speaking to myself here. No ‘you’…’we’!)
We need to show up, or those word of mouth referrals may never realize we’re the perfect fit for their project. They may only see the ultra polished persona and not the ‘real’ us – the one that might just fit the personality they want for the project.
We need to show up, or whatever impact we could have made, may not be executed to its fullest.
It’s hard to take the steps out of our comfort zone and show up for our business.
Try being 10% braver. Making even small steps forward every day and imagine the impact that can be made! Take small steps to show up as the authority and expert you are. Sharing wisdom shows and builds credibility and legitimacy.
A successful consultant website needs to be clean, have organized navigation, and have an end goal for the website. It needs a clear purpose for each page of the site that also supports the larger goal of the website. (See 3 Most Important Things Every Successful Website Includes3 if you aren’t familiar with this.).
Yet, your site, or at least your social, should be authentic in how it portrays you. It can and should still be professional. But it also should be reflective of the real you.
Take a moment to reassess your website with fresh eyes. Is the real, authentic you shining through? Do you need an impartial opinion? Sign up for a free 15 minute call for a new perspective!
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A worksheet to make it easier to find & use words, phrases and branding elements your ideal client will relate to
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Links & Resources:
1. Debbie Dooodah: https://debbiedooodah.co.uk
2. Jaz Ampaw-Farr: https://jazampawfarr.com/how-being-10-braver-leads-to-a-tedx-talk/
3. 3 Most Important Things Every Successful Website Includes: https://triciaisham.com/3-most-important-things-every-successful-consultant-website-includes/