Authority Versus Authenticity

When you first start creating content for social media, you may be so concerned with stamping your authority all over your content that you may well ignore the importance of authenticity.

Being authentic, while still using tools like Grammarly to avoid making any hugely embarrassing blunders, will always win out over trying to be something you are not.

Just in those last two paragraphs, Grammerly picked up about eight corrections for me, from using Americanisms (something I’m particularly fond of), through using passive voice and unnecessary words like ‘really’, to simple mistakes such as missing off hyphens and  ‘s’s at the end of words.

Because I type at around 50-60 words a minute, and the content flows straight from my brain to the screen via the keyboard through my fingers, I accept that a tool like Grammerly will always be necessary and, every so often, when I'm catching my mental breath, I do go back and correct things.

What I try NOT to do though, is interrupt the flow of my thoughts.

The content all flows from the blog title, which may pop into my head when I’m out and about, or watching or listening to a podcast, or from doing Ideal Client Research, conducted more and more often now in conversation with my own Business Mentor App.

I’ve set up a persona there who has all the background info, qualities, hopes and fears, of my Ideal Future Client.  Whenever I have a question, I ask the App to assume the identity and answer ‘as if’.  Great fun!  Because I have over 25+ years of experience of working with this kind of client, I can tell if the App goes ‘off piste’ and I can correct it and it remembers the correction for next time.

Going back to the Authentic part, several of us were taught how to be ‘shamelessly authentic’ by one of my first business coaches, Chris Barrow, and I tell the story in my book ‘A Better Entrepreneur’.

He’s still out there, being shamelessly authentic himself every single day on his own blog, either attracting or repelling clients by telling the unvarnished truth.  Even if you are not a dentist, it's worth following his blog to see how it's done.

Many of my own clients have come to me in the past, because they were attracted to my down-to-earth, no-nonsense style.  I always tell it like it is, in the interests of saving my clients time and money, and Dodge Woodall even recommended me to other guys particularly, in his recent video testimonial, because he loved that.  If I feel that what I'm about to say may be a bit too direct, I'll ask permission first, but I don't hold back.  I respect your trust too much.

I hope to bring that same style to my 20-minute presentation at the upcoming ‘Fully Booked Fempreneur’ Virtual Festival, hosted by Cassie Hicks.  I like Cassie because she has a similar no-nonsense style that is as refreshing as it is rare.  Being almost brutally honest in that presentation will help me cut through the fluffy and attract exactly the right prospects.

Coming back to the Authority part, I think that this just naturally shines through, especially if you have years of experience.  You won’t be able to hide it, not that you’ll be trying.

It shows up as a confidence that you’ll have in everything you do, knowing that if anyone asks you a question on your specialist topic, you’ll either have the answer at your fingertips, or you’ll know where to find it, or you’ll know where to direct your potential customer to the right place to find it for themselves.

That’s another reason I’m not afraid to speak in public, to go on live podcasts, to make YouTube videos live.  Because I know my shit, inside out, upside down.

And I’m pretty sure you do too.

So stop worrying about appearing authoritative, about the opinion of your peers (none of whom are going to pay your bills by the way) and just get out there.  Stop being a secret to your potential future customers.

Just start sharing your knowledge with those who need it, in a truly authentic way, in whichever way you find easiest and most fun.

And the right people will find their way to you.

Photo by Evgeni Tcherkasski on Unsplash


Authenticity, authority, blogging, chris barrow, coachbarrow, content marketing

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