Are You Buzzing Your Authentic Business?
Now, here is a buzz word (or an up and coming buzz word) for you: authentic entrepreneur– and I’m going to use it interchangeably with an authentic marketer.
Did You Know You Are Already Really Good At Marketing?
I want to start by having you and I acknowledge that everything you do is marketing. You are always marketing you, which is why branding is so popular and important. After spending a decade as a personal and spiritual teacher, I can tell you that you have a story that you are telling about yourself. Now, it is a story, but to make my point I’ll go so far as to be precise and call your story an agenda.
When you are trying to look attractive during the dance of dating, your agenda is to win him or her over.
When you are meeting a new group of people, your agenda is being knowledgeable or capable to create a good impression.
More specifically, people are always trying to fulfill an agenda of being lovable, wise, a leader, a peacekeeper and all around great guy… and then some. The only issue is that your agenda tends to be about how you want other to see you, which may or may not be authentic.
Having an agenda isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but having your story based on your authenticity leads to being an authentic entrepreneur. Putting your story forward as it applies to your business, can then create authentic marketing which is likely to lead to success.
Why Bother? I’m Just Here To Sell, Sell, Sell
Why is authentic entrepreneurship becoming so popular? Why do people bother as opposed to just having a marketing and advertising agency create a campaign that will sell their product?
It no longer works. Even when you have the money to pay the big bucks (which is probably a quarter’s income for most small businesses) to hire an advertising firm that does market research to create a campaign to persuade people, it generally doesn’t work. Now, if you’ve seen the Progressive insurance commercials with Flo then you’ve seen an exception, but there is a reason the Old Spice campaign moved to YouTube and got silly… and fun… and captivating. Instead of selling men on the idea that they won’t be real men unless they use Old Spice, a brilliant person came up with idea of creating videos that kept people captivated and looking for the Old Spice man and his next YouTube adventure.
The result? We all created a positive association with Old Spice and even sought out more videos from the campaign. We all held an open-door policy in which we embraced the product.
So, selling just doesn’t work anymore. We the people got burned out on being sold to. My seven year old daughter wants to watch commercials to become educated as to which toy to bring up as we drive into Target’s parking lot, but I tell her that daddy and I grew up having to watch commercials and now we fast forward them on our DVR. A grand majority of us making purchases don’t want to be sold to. We do, however, want to a story.
Go To The Movies
Movies are a unique industry. Carl and I just paid $12 for each matinee ticket to go see the latest Star Trek movie. As it was playing on several screens, we could have caught an earlier show, but we would have missed the previews. Yes, these commercials can’t be missed.
There is a reason why movies have been depression and recession proof- and that is because we all want to watch. Included in previews was a spot that compared seeing a movie on a television-sized screen and on the full screen of the theater, making the argument that we should all go to the movies. As if the theater should worry that I’m going to stay home and pay less money for a month’s subscription to Netflix with unlimited viewing! The experience of escaping and watching a story unfold at the movies is so great that most everyone is willing to pay.
Write Your Own Movie
It may be a stretch for you, but yes, I’m saying that you telling your authentic story becomes something that others will look forward to hearing about. They will want to be on your email list or be notified by Facebook when you write an update- if your story is appealing, interesting and fun.
I know that your story may not be as glamorous as an adventure through space with amazing special effects, but neither were the Old Spice videos. People love stories, which you actually already know. At a party when you are meeting someone new, you tell them stories about yourself and what you do. Not everyone will be interested, but you don’t expect everyone you meet to become a friend and you don’t need to capture 100% of the market. Not everyone likes the same movies. You are just after capturing those who are interested in what you offer, and the best way to sell your goods- without selling- is by telling a great story. This creates an interested audience who wants to hear from your business and appreciates your offerings, as well as appreciating the opportunity to buy what they want from a reputable, honest and interesting business. An authentic entrepreneur doesn’t have to sell nor do they need to create an agenda, but they do need to authentically market.
The Magic Number – 21 Means Authenticity
In an age of the twenty-first century things have changed and authentic stories or authentic marketing have trumped an agenda. If you are anything but honest and trustworthy, someone knows and tells others via social media channels. People have a greater voice in the market than they have ever had before, a gift of the times. This gift is often used to share what people like, to re-post a delightful picture or saying, to tell their social media friends where to eat on vacation, and everyone shares their opinion about everything, including the goods and services they have experienced.
Today’s business will soon see a vital need to be social – a bit of a ‘be social or perish’ scenario. One reason for this is that we all appreciate the ability to learn more about a business and what they are all about, so that we know our money is well-spent with that business and that the things we value, such as quality products, are being delivered. So, authentic entrepreneurs always make sure their business shares their fair trade, organic, or community-benefiting ways.
Another reason why business must become social is that they need to have their own voice and create a reputation. The amount of Twitter updates, YouTube videos and Pins on Pinterest, many of which are talking about businesses, can create a reputation for an absentee business in minutes. If that reputation is negative, it can be greatly damaging. Who can trust a supermarket, a computer manufacture or a cookie maker who is spoken of adversely online with no presence or voice of their own?
Do you know anyone who would visit a new doctor or purchase from a new online store without positive recommendations? Of course not. An online social media presence sets some of your authentic story because here you can showcase testimonials and get a good word-of-mouth by followers. Add your authentic story, told via your blog and social media updates, and your business will also make a great first impression and keep your followers coming back, as if you were a movie star.