It’s a bit of a buzz word, nowadays, isn’t it? Authentic marketing. But what does it actually mean? What is the definition of authentic marketing? And how does it apply to your own creative little business? In this blog post I will tell you a bit more about what this type of marketing means and how you can implement some aspects in the way you promote yourself online.
Authentic marketing versus old-style marketing
So, what is it all about, and how is authentic marketing different from the kind of marketing we’re used to? Until not so long ago, marketing was something that mainly belonged in the corporate world. You know, companies with a ‘marketing department’, and an advertising budget, looking at the best ways and places to present products, so you would buy them. Marketing meant boasting about a product or business, making it look all shiny, shouting about how good it is and why you should not miss out on buying.
Those days are over.
Marketing trends show us that, undoubtedly because of the influence of social media, that customers don’t simply trust a brand any more by seeing a flashy advertisement. People are doing a lot more background checks before parting with their money. They read reviews, listen to what their friends recommend, and may follow your business on social media for a while before deciding to buy from you. They want to get to know you.
Honest, transparent and personable
What does this mean in terms of your marketing message? First, you need to be honest. Authentic marketing means being transparent. If you are a bad lier, then you’re likely pretty authentic already in what you put out, but if you have been bigging up your business online big time, you’d better stop. You’ll get found out at some point, either through reviews or because people simply don’t find your business very relatable.
Don’t make your product look or sound better than it really is. Be honest and transparent. It goes a long way.
What does this authentic marketing look like?
1. Share your story
Show the human face behind your business. Tap into the emotions of your clients, by sharing your passion, your big ‘why‘ behind the business. People want to buy from a real person, not from a faceless shopfront. So show your passion in pictures of your work space, show yourself making stuff, show your messy desk. Keep it real. People love seeing the story behind the product that they buy, and they love buying from a real person with a passion.
2. Go Live and share your life
If you feel confident enough, go Live on Instagram or Facebook and talk about your business. Tell people about your week, share some insights, maybe even give a mini masterclass about something you know and your clients would love to learn. Going Live is scary (I know!), but the more you do it, the easier it gets, and it is a great way of letting your personality shine through.
If video is not your thing (yet), start with photos. Share an honest selfie of you at work or out and about, and write something that adds value to your business. A bit of background info, a fun fact about you, a useful tip. You can also have some good photos and headshots taken by a professional photographer, which you can start dotting around your website and social media accounts. Do what feels natural to you. Don’t compare yourself to others. If sharing pictures of your family feels too private, then don’t. Stick to yourself and your business. There is plenty to share and photograph.
3. Look at the pain points of your client
No, I don’t mean whether they’ve got a sore back, or a migraine. I mean the problems they have that you can solve. Although authentic marketing is all about being yourself and building trust, at the end of the day you are a business, and you have to try and sell stuff. By looking at the needs of your client, and highlighting those in your marketing, they will be more likely to come to you for help. If you can solve their problem, they are willing to buy.
If you tap into the pain points of your customer, and make them feel understood, you are one step closer to making a sale. And there is nothing sleazy or sneaky about that! Selling is not sleazy, it is nothing more than offering a solution to someone with a problem. This problem could be an empty wall in a new house, and they don’t know what kind of painting would look good in their home. If you have an eye for decor, and a collection of suitable artworks, you are the right person to advise them.
4. Keep it real, but show up consistently
So keep it real, be relatable, be yourself. But the most important thing: be visible! No matter how much of an introvert you are, if you want to grow your business you have to show up. There is no way around it. Post every day, ideally, and be consistent and clear in your message. Show people who you are, and why you do what you do. Talk about it, share your story, show your work, show face. And it does get easier, I promise.