Like a mantra at a high school football game — this is what small business owners should be repeating over and over to themselves. Chant it out loud, write it on a post-it note, or add it to your inspiration board — whatever you do, Be Authentic!
What do I mean? Authenticity means finding your voice and staying true. Align your brand to your voice. Stop selling — and start being you. Clients will notice. Your bottom line will too.
According to ecommerce insiders, “Building your brand is all about showcasing who you are and what you believe in i.e. being authentic. This quality is something that consumers naturally gravitate towards. Sure, there are people who will only buy the cheapest option available but there’s also a large number of customers who are looking for something more than just a product. They want a relationship with a company they like”.
Here are some tips to help you be more authentic in your business:
Incorporate Reviews from Real People on Your Website
Not only does this show that there is a population of the ecommerce world that believes in you, it also shows that you are forthcoming in your products. And by all means, include the good with the bad — with the exception of spam of course. Allow these reviews to work as testimonials for your products and brand. This is also an excellent opportunity to showcase your brand’s customer service. Respond to unhappy clients here in the reviews politely and promptly. People who take the time to read the reviews will appreciate this attention to detail.
Highlight Your Team
Last week, we shared a blog about our amazing company culture here at Solamar. We posted a video and pictures that showcase who we are and what we do. This gives our customers and audience a peek at who the real-life people are behind the services we provide. In under four minutes, we introduce viewers to our team and share tidbits of their backgrounds, work ethic and personality. Another easy way to do this is on a “Who We Are” page.
Offer up Some History
Everyone has a story. Use your “About” page to tell yours. Talk about where your brand started and why. Talk about your struggles starting out and how you’ve grown. According to inc.com you should, “Include photos and relevant milestones. List some (not all) of your biggest awards, company stats and any significant articles written about you in the press–this adds credibility and personality. And this is no place to be shy, name-drop some of your best or most well-known customers”.
You get the point. Done authentically, this is your opportunity to promote your brand. Need inspiration? Zappos and Google are two companies known for ‘thinking outside of the box’. Both companies serve up “About” pages that reinforce this company culture.
Show The Love
We’ve all heard that the best way to make a friend is to be a friend. How does this translate to your business? Customers want to know that not only is your company made up of real people — it is made up of real nice people. In an article on mashable, Jonathan Goldmann, the social media manager at Jetsetter is quoted as saying, ”Meet effort with effort. Every user who takes the time to engage with your brand should be acknowledged and cared about like they were friends of yours on your personal social networks. That means answer everything, but more importantly care about everything (and everyone) who cares about your brand. Highlighting the people who champion your brand spreads the most goodwill and usually results in the most ‘Likes’, comments, retweets, etc.”
Sounds like good advice to me. Want to learn more? Need help crafting an authentic page? We are here to help!