Take a look around, does it seem that web sites, blog posts, and brand colors are all starting to look the same? It appears authenticity is being reinterpreted as copy this or that because it’s what everyone else is doing. I assure you authentic does not mean imitation.
- of undisputed origin; genuine.
In the blogging world where your visual brand image is so important to success, it’s no wonder why so many are piggy-backing off the same look and feel of others. When you see someone else who has achieved at least some success, it’s natural to take a peek around their website and see what they’ve got that you don’t.
This scenario usually ends up playing out a little something like – You click back over to your site and start making tweaks. Next thing you know, you’ve fallen into the cone trap. Any semblance of the authentic you is gone.
Building authenticity into your brand doesn’t mean trying someone else’s look on for size to see if it will work for you too. It won’t. Trust me. Being authentic is about holding true to who you are and being genuine in how you present yourself.
Authenticity is a term that gets thrown around a lot in the blogosphere. Unfortunately, it is getting a little lost in translation.
But why is it becoming so skewed? Well, it’s difficult enough putting yourself out there. Let alone putting your true authentic self out there. You might be afraid no one will like you for who you, really are. Or maybe you’re afraid of rejection. It’s easier to imitate someone’s else’s personality-filled brand when you feel yours is lacking.
Being truly authentic is not just about being comfortable with who you are, but also being comfortable in your connection with others.
So if you’re suffering from a case of clone disease don’t worry, I’ve got the cure. I’m sharing the best ways you can be authentic in your blog or business.
Ways To Grow Your Blog By Just Being You
1. Design a genuine visual brand –In a sea of pink be unabashedly green. What I mean is, choose brand elements that represent you. Don’t settle for some imitation version of what you think your brand should visually look like. If you want to be orange with blue polka dots then be that.
2. Having a unique point of view- Yes, just about anything has been written about, but not from your point of view. And definitely, not in your voice. If you have a different view on something, don’t be afraid to share. Challenge your readers with a different side of a topic. Sharing your true thoughts makes you, not only more relatable but more authentic as well.
3. Being helpful-We all get caught up in the money-making aspects of our blogs but helping someone out with free advice is one of the best ways to show your authenticity. Being helpful makes you come across as more genuine.
4. Showing your personality – We all have at least a little quirkiness. Don’t be afraid to let that shine. Be you. Don’t hold back the side of you that makes you unique because that’s what will build a tribe that really resonates with you.
5. Sharing your personal story-Sharing not only yourtriumphs but also your struggleswill help your audience relate to you on a much deeper level. When your audience can see themselves in you, that’s when you make deeper connections.
6. Enjoying the journey instead of chasing success- Nothing screams more inauthentic than being in it only for the money or fame. When you look back at your audience and all you see are dollar signs, is time to take a step back and reevaluate. You need to remember that success happens when you build a relationship of trust with your audience. Break that trust, and you break your business.
7. Loving what you do – This one is a no brainer. If you are just going through the motions every day and hating it, your audience will notice. Loving what you do shows your authenticity in a way that nothing else can. Having a passion for what you do expresses that you truly care.
8. Providing behind the scenes glimpses- In a world where social media only seem to depict perfect lives, celebrate your imperfectness by sharing a picture of your messy office. Sharing a glimpse into your imperfect world makes you real.
9. Stop being robotic- I know it’s hard to keep up with the never-ending emails, posts, and comments you need to respond to, but if you have scripted replies that you always fall back on, think before you type. Think about how that makes you sound. Nobody likes talking to robots. Make your interaction with your followers genuine by giving thoughtful responses.
10. Listen- Don’t be just adding to the noise, take the time to listen to what your followers have to say. Respond by providing answers to their questions and adding value in the form of blog posts, courses, that address the struggle they have and solves their problems. They will feel like you really get them.
Authenticity is being distorted by the need to be more. You never feel like you’re good enough. You’re afraid to let your true self, be front and center in your business. You think you have to be something or someone different than who you are in order to be successful. In the end, this practice of imitating others is nothing more than self-doubt.
You have to stop thinking this way if you want to build a blog or brand that stands out and shines like diamonds in the sky. YOU and only you have to show up in your business. Not some clone-like version of you.
Stop hiding your true authentic self behind the curtain. Bring that kiddo out of the dark. Place it right in the middle of your brand, and grow your blog by just being you because YOU are awesome. Stop letting that self-doubt monster tell you otherwise.
Lori Smith is a copywriter and content strategist. She works with brands and entrepreneurs that operate outside the typical paradigm. Brands, that require an elusive and distinctive quality to their content. She works her magic with words at www.writewordstudios.com
When she’s not obsessing over copy, you can find her on the golf course playing bad golf or in the gym pretending to work out. She’s a mom to three talented adult children and two adorable furbabies who hold her heart.