When discussing how to be successful online, many online marketers and successful business people tell you that you must be authentic with your brand. However, no one explains how to be authentic online. This turns out to be incredibly frustrating for people who are looking for practical advice.
While in some ways, you can’t teach people how to be authentic online, I’m going to try my best to de-mistify it for your in this article.
Why Is It Important to Be Authentic Online
The reason it’s so important to be authentic online is because people can now smell BS from a mile away, this is especially true of the millennial generation. We understand a lot of things online are seen through the lens of Instagram filters, and we know a phony when we see one.
It used to be that as a business owner you needed to keep up certain appearances. Now, it seems like the more transparent you are, the more you’re seen as being authentic online, and the more people actually like you. So don’t worry about having too many “ums” in a podcast, because to a certain extent, people dig it.
I regularly proclaim that I’m kind of a hot mess sometimes and that I’m nowhere near perfect, and I’ve noticed that the more honest I am about it, the more people subscribe to my blog and buy my stuff. Coincidence? I think not. The more honest I am, the more people actually trust me.
How to Be Authentic Online
As I already mentioned, it’s kind of hard to teach people how to be authentic. There’s really no way I can teach you how to be more like yourself because, quite frankly, I don’t know you the way you know yourself. However, these are a few of the things that helped me have more confidence in being authentic online.
The entire reason I started blogging was because my finances were a mess. I publicly proclaimed it and started documenting my way out of it. By outing myself like that I related to people, I made it so that I wasn’t hiding anything, and I had a story. I didn’t actually know that back then, but in retrospect, I see how being public about my mistakes actually helped me build my business.
Stop trying to be perfect.
No one is perfect and everyone knows it, so you can stop trying to portray yourself perfectly online. In fact, trying to be perfect can actually backfire because people won’t relate to you. If they can’t relate to you, they probably won’t continue following you.
This is the hardest part of being authentic online. You need to accept yourself as you are and be willing to put that out there publicly. Truthfully, this is a major practice and it doesn’t happen overnight, but the more you accept yourself the more confident you become in allowing yourself to be authentic online.
Realize it’s not about you.
The final step in being authentic online is to realize that none of this is really about you. You started a business to help other people, not necessarily to help yourself. I have found that the best way to accept myself and allow myself to be authentic online, is to make sure I’m focusing on providing value and helping others.