How to Market Your Differences Without Sounding Phony

If you’ve read my blog before you’ll know that I often talk about being your authentic self as a business owner, but how can you portray this in your marketing without coming across as fake and phoney?

In this blog, I want to share some of my favourite tips and tricks for marketing yourself and your business in a natural and authentic way that your target audience can easily relate to.

Know your why

I’ve talked about this in a blog before and I want to emphasise it again because knowing your why is such an integral piece of your marketing. You can’t promote what you do effectively until you fully understand why you’re doing it.Picture of a stamp with the word authentic stamped on a white piece of paper

Having a read of this blog will give you a good idea of what I’m talking about here, but essentially understanding what you bring to the table and the motivations behind it will help you find the sweet spot with the audience looking for what you do. This makes it easier for them to build a rapport with you as they’ll understand how your why aligns with their needs and wishes.

Just ok is enough

I think many of our barriers in marketing and why we may feel we have to present differently than our true selves is because of perfectionism. We may have a touch of Imposter Syndrome where we feel that perhaps we aren’t good enough compared with others, that we can’t offer more than others, that we aren’t as skilled as others…

First off, stop comparing yourself to other people!

Secondly, you’re never going to get close to perfection. We’re all constantly learning new things and upskilling. The consultant surgeon with 25 years’ experience is still attending training events, reading journals, and updating their knowledge because they know things change and there is always something new to learn.

Because we can’t be ‘perfect’ many of us avoid putting ourselves out there at all, or script everything we want to say, etc. And that way lies the road to phoniness because people can tell when you’re putting on an act or hiding a piece of yourself away.

Stop striving for the impossible and accept that just ok is more than enough.

Admit when you get things wrong

There will be times when you get something wrong in your business and marketing. It’s something we all do because we’re only human after all.

Some business owners will make every effort to not only correct their mistakes but erase any evidence that they ever happened. This might be understandable from a PR point of view but wouldn’t it be better to hold your hands up, share how it happened and what you’ve learned from it?

Trying to clean up your marketing removes the natural authenticity you’re striving for, so keep it real.

Share your story

There’s a reason why anecdotes around the dinner table are popular, because we’re all human and enjoy relishing in the good and the bad, the funny and cringeworthy. Knowing that others have had similar experiences to ourselves help us feel at ease with ourselves and relate to others more easily.

The same principles apply to your marketing. I’ve found my business really started to take off when I opened up about my personal journey through my Facebook videos, shared my struggles with anxiety and depression and what I do to manage them while managing a business.

Sharing your story helps others see the individual behind the business, to see you. It’s one of the best ways to be authentic and use shared experience as a way to build those meaningful connections and working relationships.

Treat others how you’d wish to be treated

Even in marketing, I think this principle applies.

Avoid thinking of your target audience as carbon copies of your ideal client, yes. it’s a good idea to have a marketing avatar and use it as the basis of your strategy but understanding that we’re all different is equally important.

Recognise the minorities in your target audience and understand how you can serve them better. Let’s take disability as an example. You might put out an advert asking people to call you. Seems simple enough, right? But for many disabled people this is adding an extra obstacle their way, phone calls aren’t just difficult for those who are Deaf/HoH, but chronic illness, anxiety, depression, neurodiversity and other disabilities can make it near impossible to pick up a phone. So, ensure you’re offering an easy to find alternative such as an email address, or state that texts are welcome.

Caring for your customers shows that you are authentic and genuine and I think making sure that you are inclusive to everybody as much as you can be helps to get this across in your marketing.

I hope this blog has helped you understand that self-belief and just being you are the key to authenticity in marketing. It can be scary putting yourself out there but it’s the best way of finding your ideal clients and taking your business to the next level.