What is Authentic Marketing?
‘Being authentic’ is one of the phrases being banded around a lot, especially in marketing and personal branding. What does it actually mean when it comes to marketing your complementary practice? How do you market yourself ‘authentically’?
To me, authentic marketing starts with embracing who you are as a unique individual. It’s sharing the different facets of your personality, experience, knowledge, opinions, qualities and stories to build a relationship with your audience. It’s about being bold, standing up and being visible despite your fears. It’s about being a real person talking to other real people, sharing and having conversations.
It’s time to take off the mask and start to own who you really are, including the bits that scare you. The quirks that make you unique will help you stand out and connect with others.
As a therapist or practitioner, the very nature of your work requires trust between you and your client. A certificate may prove a qualification, but the therapeutic relationship requires a far deeper connection than that.
We have an idea of what it is to be the ‘perfect practitioner’ and put pressure on ourselves to be that person. If you present yourself as who you think you should be, instead of who you are, there will be a disconnect and it will be hard work to maintain.
There is only one you, you are unique and different from any other practitioner out there.
Own your uniqueness
We’ve grown up thinking different is bad or undesirable. It’s your unique characteristics that make you attractive to the right people and get the best results from working with you.
Be bold, stand up and say this is who I am, and this is what I stand for. It can be scary, and you will encounter people who don’t like it, but this is good as they aren’t your ideal client anyway. You want to repel the people who aren’t a good fit because they won’t get the results and will zap your energy.
It’s not unusual to see practitioners marketing themselves in the same way as their peers, thinking that’s what they should do too. This copycat marketing stops you from standing out and won’t be a good reflection of you, or your brand.
Before you even get to work with someone, they will want to understand what makes you tick. This is where authentic marketing is the key to helping you build the connection and trust with potential clients. This marketing will also reinforce your relationship with existing clients and reinforce why they chose you in the first place.
When it comes to personal branding and marketing yourself as a practitioner, there’s no better way to build relationships and stand out than to be yourself. It’s much easier than trying to be someone you’re not!
In my move to a personal brand, I’ve embraced my inner ‘Captain Sensible’ instead of trying to repress it. I always felt being sensible was boring! Now I use it to help position my services because it makes me, me. My level-headed approach is what attracts my clients, they want someone they can trust, they want a voice of reason, they want to be guided and supported.
What to share
I’m pretty relaxed about what I share, but I also have many private aspects of my life. You need to decide on your personal boundaries, and stick to them. Just because you share generously, it doesn’t mean you have to share everything.
If the idea of coming out from behind the mask scares you, take it in small steps. You don’t have to jump in the deep end straight away, just go for a paddle. Start by identifying something that you are willing to share about yourself and start there. Be consistent, sharing similar things and as you get more comfortable, add something else.
If you need help adding authenticity to your marketing, contact me for a chat.
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