Authenticity

People want unique.  It’s why they want to buy our product.  It’s why they want to invest in us.  Ultimately, it’s what sets us apart from everyone else.   

My mom used to tell me that I needed to really “sell myself” in order to get people’s attention in the business world.  After college, my love of running burst into the fabulous idea of wanting to coach and help others use running to better their lives, achieve personal goals, and hit PRs on the road.  And thus began my search to find clients to hire me.  I was never the type to publicly glorify myself, but she gave me the idea to make a flyer.  You know the ones.  With the simple tear aways with my name and phone number at the bottom.  She would put it up at the dry-cleaners down the street. 

The whole idea got me thinking … “if I wouldn’t hire me, then why would anyone else want to?”  Then came the creativity.  Listing a few of my highest accolades (i.e. Two-time Boston Marathon finisher, former Division 1 Track Athlete) without sounding too pompous, and finding a color scheme that worked with the pictures I chose of myself (one action shot, and an old one from a Christmas card photo shoot, if you can believe it).  My flyer didn’t just say what I was offering.  It asked questions.  “Want to run your first 5K?…First half or full marathon?  Or just want to get in shape?”  It also provided reassurance to the potential client; “I’ll not only get you ready for what you’re training for … I’ll inspire and motivate you along the way!”  Talk about a guarantee!  To put it simply, I would’ve not had any business at all had I not made that silly flyer.  And who’s to call it silly… at one point, I was juggling eight clients, while still working my regular job!  

So how, as a business, do we hone in on our authenticity?  How do we harness and utilize our unique edge?  How do we turn our distinctness into growth and prosperity?  And if we don’t exactly know, how do we discover what truly does set us apart from everyone else?

Being authentic and unique is being true to yourself, not to mention your business’ core values.  One of the toughest, and yet intriguing aspects of living in this age of digital and social media, is that winning customers or clients is directly related to being personable, relatable, and (you guessed it) authentic.  In order for us to get attention in a crowded marketplace, we must stand out in some way or another. 

If we create the perception that our product or service is one-of-a-kind, there is serious potential for capturing people’s attention and their ability to remember us.     

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