“Authenticity is hella sexy.”
You know those quotes we all download to share again on Instagram and Facebook? That quote has somehow become my favorite one even though I’ve only used it once. I have no idea why, it’s not like I use the word sexy a whole lot – but I think it’s just a great reminder of what being REAL is all about.
When we first get started in business, it’s easy to watch what others are doing to be successful and try to emulate or copy that in our own brands.
You know what we all (eventually) come to find out? It doesn’t work that way.
There’s a difference between inspiration and emulation. It doesn’t work to be something we’re not.
As I think about the most ‘successful’ (based on varying definitions of success) boutiques across the internet, you know what they have in common?
They’re all boutiques.
That’s it. Not one is a carbon copy of another, they each have their own twist, flavor and style. They each are comfortable in their own skin and share their unique brand with confidence.
So, you’re getting my message here right? The key to success? Being Authentic.
My faith tells me that we were all made to be unique and special, my business brain tells me people just want to know YOU and feel a connection with the brands they shop.
So what does it mean to be authentic?
Here are a few tips to help you find and love your own skin in business.
1. You can be both humble and confident.
Sometimes we shy away from sharing our true selves across social media, in the disguise of being humble. I’ve found myself in this trap not wanting to share too much, use video or post too much on my personal profile. It’s a work in progress.
But you know what? I realized it has nothing to do with being humble, I have a message to share and I am 100% confident in the mission and message I’m here to share. It’s knowing the line between being yourself and being annoying (Like posting 1000 pictures of your new baby a day, mix it up folks!) Have you been there too?
2. Don’t give a sh** about what others think.
I met with a client the other day and asked her why she was using a second fake personal profile to post in her boutique’s Facebook group. I asked why not be ‘her’ and share her message and business in an authentic way to her audience.
She paused for a moment after saying “I don’t know” – and then said “Well I guess I want them to like me”…..she’s human. It’s natural. But it’s also a curse.
If you’re happy in your own skin and are excited about your work in the world — share it. The only thing we can change in this world is our own feelings and attitude. Other people’s jealousy, snarky comments or maybe our own ‘perceived’ feelings of judgement by others (notice I said ‘perceived’ and not always actual) are road blocks that can stop us dead in our tracks.
Cut that crap out and be Y O U. Enough with letting other people’s thoughts and actions control your own.
3. Get real about who you are and what you do.
If your personal profile’s summary doesn’t say ‘#BoutiqueBoss at My Awesome Boutique’ — you’re not being real with yourself or your friends. Start by sharing your business, title and mission on all of your profiles, say it in the mirror and live with it.
Is there a mission you’re set to accomplish? You’re here to inspire others for a specific reason? Raise awareness on a topic? Use your boutique as a platform for something else? What is it that motivates you?
Say it out loud, say it to others, include it in your about pages.
4. Get some great photos taken of yourself.
Start using the other side of the camera whether it’s photos or video and introduce your real self to your customers. They want to know who they are shopping with.
They want to connect with you, trust you and relate to you. They can’t do that if they have no idea who you are! I recently had a few fun photos taken of myself just for The Hub, and you know what? It was fun!
5. Repeat after me, video is your friend.
We ran a video challenge in our Facebook Group a few weeks ago for the simple purpose of meeting one another and getting you comfortable using video.
Video is the most powerful tool in social media marketing right now because it allows brands to be their authentic selves. Start playing with it and using it to your advantage.
6. Stop painting others with a wide brush.
Sometimes boutiques fall in the trap of trying to be too generic or too broad in marketing in an attempt to reach a wider audience of shoppers.
The truth is, the more you know your best customers, and the more real you can be with your brand and your style, the more your niche base will grow.
If you target everyone, you reach no one.
So start investigating your data, ask questions and know your audience, then use your unique brand voice to reach them in a more direct way.
Authenticity is hella sexy, yes as the quote says. It’s also the stuff true success in business comes from.
Ready to start sharing the real YOU with the world?
Start by introducing yourself in our Facebook Group for members with a video, we’ll be opening our group challenge back up again and it’s your chance to give it a go!
If you need help cutting through the crap holding you back (ahem, your mindset), and having another set of eyes on your brand to see if there are ways to make your true image, voice and strategy align, let me know. I’d love to help you through it, drop me a note about how we work with one on one coaching at The Boutiue Hub.
And don’t forget, if you like getting boutique business tips to your inbox, get on our Boutique2Boutique news list!
Until next time #BoutiqueBosses,