5 Ways to be Authentic and Connect with Your AudienceDec 05, 2021
What does it mean to be “authentic?”
Do you read blogs, listen to podcasts, or follow social media accounts? Then chances are you’ve heard a LOT about the importance of being authentic. It’s a word that is so overused it has almost lost its meaning.
To some people, authentic means sharing all the things. Letting it all hang out. Sharing your mess with the world, whatever it may be. I don’t know about y’all, but the thought of that makes this introvert want to run and hide.
If you feel the same way, I have good news! That’s not what it means to be authentic. Authentic doesn’t mean sharing every detail about your life. It means being genuine. Being true to yourself and generous with your audience.
Being authentic is how you build your know, like, trust factor. And I know you know just how important that is to your business’s success.
Today I want to talk about five ways you can show up as your genuine, authentic self. You may need to sit with a couple of these and give your mindset a chance to shift a bit. That’s okay.
1. Embrace who you are.
I mean it.
You are who you are and that’s it. Embrace all of it - the good, the bad, the ugly. We’re all human. And being human means having flaws. We all have things we don’t love about ourselves.
For so long, I was afraid to be myself on camera. I worried if I said “y’all,” people wouldn’t think I was professional. So I tried to be proper. But, guess what? Being proper wasn’t connecting with my audience!
My audience is mostly southern women. They all say “y’all!” Why was I trying to hide that? So I let my “y’all”s fly and instantly felt more like me. My audience felt that and my connection with them grew.
The other thing I struggled with was not being a size small. If someone asked me what size shirt I had on during a LIVE, I froze. I didn’t want to tell the world I wore an XL. Why?! I don’t know. They could clearly see I wasn’t a size small on camera. 🤣
When I mentioned my shirt was a size XL, it allowed my audience to understand the fit. And my sales in larger-sized t-shirts started pouring in.
Once I embraced who I was, my audience responded. They related to me because I wasn’t hiding who I was. Read more about how I overcame my fear of going LIVE.
2. It’s about THEM, not YOU.
When you share online, it’s important to make it about your audience, not you.
But wait? Didn’t I just tell you to share yourself, flaws and all?
I did. And you should. But… think about how to do that in a way that includes your audience.
Can you help your audience see themselves in you? Maybe you’re a busy mom of busy teenagers like me. How can you share your struggles to balance it all in a way that makes your audience feel like they’re working hard to figure it all out right alongside you?
How does what you’re sharing apply to your audience? You are in business for a reason. You’ve created a subscription box for a reason. You want to serve. This is a great way to serve your audience. Help them see how what you’re sharing might apply to their lives and the problems they’re trying to solve.
Can your audience relate to what you share? This week, my newly licensed, teenage driver son drove himself to school for the first time. Sharing this with my audience - not just the fact of it, but the combination of excitement and terror I felt - allowed any parent who has ever celebrated a milestone while battling a serious case of the worries to relate to me. In other words, every parent ever.
3. Being transparent builds trust.
Being transparent means sharing the good and the bad. Life and business aren’t going to be all sunshine and roses for you. And you shouldn’t pretend they are. Letting your audience see that sometimes things go wrong makes you relatable.
Shipments are going to be delayed and products are going to get damaged. This month, I realized my December product doesn’t fit in my box. Ugh! Instead of pretending everything is going smoothly, I’m choosing to be transparent. I’ll let my subscribers know I made a mistake and that I figured out how to fix it.
Listen to this episode of my podcast to find out what happened when a bunch of my subscription boxes got run over… and what I shared with my audience.
By only sharing the good, you project an image of perfection. And believe me, no one can relate to a perfect person.
4. Realize you aren’t for everyone.
You aren’t for everyone.
I’m going to say that again. You aren’t for everyone and you shouldn’t try to be. Never apologize for who you are or what you stand for.
I know it’s hard. It’s natural to want to be liked by everyone. But think about it for a minute. Think about all the people you “meet” on social media or through blogs or podcasts. Think about all the people you meet in real life. Are all of them for you? Nope. And that’s okay.
Some people will decide you are not for them. That’s a good thing because that makes more room for those people who are looking for exactly what you have to offer. Those are the people you’re here for.
5. In all things, be genuine.
If what you do on camera isn’t what you would do in real life, it’s not genuine. Your audience will see right through that and you’ll come across as phony. And phony is no way to build know, like, and trust with your audience!
I’ve been told by some of my team that being genuine is a kind of superpower of mine. My audience comes in order to learn from me and sticks around because they come to understand pretty quickly just how much I care. I don’t pretend to be super tech-savvy, because I’m not. I let them see how I get all up in my feelings sometimes. It shows them I care.
I challenge you to be genuine with your audience. Share your true self with them and keep the focus on them. Let them get to know you and the like and trust will follow.
Learn from me:
- Subscription Box Blueprint eBook: This $10 ebook covers logistics from product selection to packaging to shipping. Plus a 90-day launch plan and bonus ‘Instant Scripts’ for your social media.
- Launch Your Box: My complete training program walks you step by step through how to start, launch, and grow your subscription box business.
- Launch Your Box Podcast: I share tons of practical tips and strategies to help you start, launch, and grow your subscription box business. You’ll also hear from industry experts and current Launch Your Box members who are crushing it - get ready to get inspired!
Find me on social:
JOIN SARAH'S NEWSLETTER
Learn more about how to start and grow your own subscription box business! Subscribe to get our latest content by email.