As a creative business owner it can be all too easy to compare yourself to others, look at what other people in your industry are doing and how they are doing it and comparing that with how you do things. We notice industry trends, and a lot of people doing things a certain way, having a certain style, and a certain personality. And if we don’t quite fit into that, it is easy to think that maybe we are not good enough, would not be successful or people wouldn’t like what we put out there.
Being true to who you are is more powerful then you may realise when it comes to your branding. I was recently reading Russell Brunson’s ‘DotCom Secrets‘ Book, and he talked about the importance of the ‘attractive character’ in marketing a business. People want to buy from people. They want someone they feel they can relate to, flaws and all. Your unique personality and character and all your flaws and strengths, all play a part in attracting the right people who will want to work with you and buy from you. Because they feel a connection to you.
They identify a part of themselves in your story, and personality.
I recently had the pleasure of asking the lovely and very insightful Kim Argetsinger to guest this post and bring you her thoughts on the importance of being authentic in your branding. Kim is a success and mindset business coach for Creatives. Her past in acting has helped open her eyes up to the importance of authenticity and how we can slip into ‘play a role’ and behaving how we think we ought to. But there is a downfall to taking on a part rather then letting our true selves shine.
I hope you get some great take aways from her thoughts and it helps you to see how you can ‘do you‘ more in your own business.
“I had no idea that being your authentic self could make me as rich as I’ve become. If I had, I’d have done it a lot earlier.” -Oprah Winfrey
THE MISTAKE MANY BUSINESS OWNERS MAKE
Before I became a became a coach and obsessed with all things business, I spent ten years as an actress in Los Angeles.
When I first moved to LA, I promptly found a well-respected acting class that had trained a few of the greats and had some well-established actors in it.
I remember sitting in that class and watching as one person after another went up to perform their work. They’d walk to the stage and suddenly they transformed into ACTORS. You know, doing special breathing exercises, warming up, and other such (apparently) “actor behavior.”
Then, they’d start their scene, and man did they Act with a capital “A”. They’d take a simple few lines and overdramatize it. They’d add an accent or behavioral tick to the scene. They get loud. They’d get angry or intense, when nothing in the material called for it. They’d turn a scene with two people having a casual conversation into a melodramatic meeting. Then, I watched one of the well-established actors get up to showcase their work, and they’d just BE. It would be them and their work -no pretenses, no filters, nothing extra. Sometimes they were so quiet and still, you’d have to lean in to hear them. And, we’d all lean in, hanging on their every breath.
They would fill the room with who they were and what they had to bring to the role instead of covering it up with layers of what they thought it was supposed to be. In the process they transformed and transfixed the entire room. I’m not here to wax poetic about acting technique, but I think we can take a cue from acting when it comes to our businesses and brands. Great branding is all about coming to the scene authentically and showing who we really are so we can connect with and captivate our audience.
Yet, how many of us are playing the part of who we think we’re supposed to be when it comes to our businesses and end up in roles we don’t want to play?
When we don’t show up as ourselves in our work, we miss connecting with the very people we can best serve because they can’t see us underneath all the pretense.
Like attracts like.
WHY TRYING TO BE SOMEONE YOU ARE NOT WILL HARM YOUR BRAND
We attract exactly who we aren’t when we’re wearing the mask of supposed-to- be. Then, we wonder why the clients that come to us aren’t a fit or why we don’t have any clients at all. “Overacting” in our branding can be a quick way to disconnect and miss “booking the part.” I see this with my coaching clients. For example, the wonderfully goofy, creative entertainer type who has stiff corporate lingo and a picture of them in a business suit on their website. (btw, nothing wrong with a snazzy business suit if that’s your thing!)
Or the introverted, quiet type with bold, loud colors and photos all over their website. It’s a huge disconnect to who they are and what their work is all about. It’s taking that role and filling it in with what they think they’re supposed be instead of who they really are. This lands them in roles that aren’t a good fit and causes the people who would love what they have to offer to pass them by completely. In a crowded online space, it’s more essential than ever that we’re louder than the noise with our branding. We don’t do this by “overacting” and shouting louder, we do this by authentically representing ourselves and finding ways to own the “part.”
Showing up authentically doesn’t have to mean baring our soul and sharing our deepest secrets. Authenticity in business is all about showing up and owning who you are. It’s getting rid of the role of who you think you’re supposed to be in every aspect of your business from your photos, to your copy, to your website messaging and social media. Which can be scary. Having a role or persona can take some of the edge off and make it easier to put ourselves out there. It’s a way to hide in plain sight.
THE BENEFITS OF BEING AUTHENTIC IN YOUR BRAND
But, I gotta tell you, the more you show up as you, as you relate to your business, the easier it is for your ideal clients and people to find you.
You won’t need to create a persona. You won’t need to try to stand out. You won’t need to reinvent yourself. You won’t need to explain why you’re so different from everyone else. You won’t need to shout. Instead, like the established actor I watched, you’ll be able to simple BE and have people lean in to get more.
MAKE A CHANGE AND “DO YOU”
This week, I’d love to invite you to take a look at your business and brand. Where might you be “overacting” or playing a role of how you think you’re supposed to be? How can you “do you”?
How can you find ways to show up as more of yourself? From the clothes you wear to the words you use, find ways to strip down and BE. It’s easier said than done, but let’s all stop hiding behind personas of who we think we’re supposed to be and create more human brands that connect us with the people we can best serve.
Sending you big love and wishing you your version of success,