What does it mean to be authentic? What are the key elements to delivering an authentic message? In this episode, Chris and Ryan discuss the importance of authenticity and the three elements required to truly and authentically engage with your audience.
In this episode, we’re going to talk about authenticity in your marketing messages. And if you’ve been listening to the podcast at all, this has been a common theme through a couple episodes. Now we talked about content marketing and some of the earlier ones and some of the appropriate ways to come up with ideas, to create content that’s going to engage your audience. And then the last two episodes, we actually had a guest on, Damon Burton, who talked to us about SEO and then social proof and authenticity and transparency are some of the key components that are part of social proof.
There’s also been several books written on the subject. One that comes to mind is Trust Agents by Julian Smith and Chris Brogan. And there’s been several that talk about, you’ve heard Ryan and I talk about the riches in the niches. We’ve used a phrase like that before, and really what that is meant to refer to is how a very specific sub segment of the audience is where you’re going to have the most success. If you try to be all things to all people, you’ll be nothing to no one, the purpose of authenticity when you’ve identified who your audience is, is being true and delivering that message.
So in this episode, we’re going to talk to you about three steps used to build that trust and influence.
Here are some of the podcast episode highlights:
Ryan Smith: People are going to find the truth of whatever it is. Now, the more high profile you are, the more people are going to be out searching to see what is true and what’s not true. We’re talking about politicians, actors, celebrities, and so forth. But when he wrote that, it really resonated with me. And I think it kind of pulls us back to that sort of a reality check that you know, what you have to be mindful of your messaging, whether it’s written or verbal on video, because you’re going to get fact checked.
And again, as Chris Brogan wrote, you are one Google search away from the truth.
Chris Casale: There’s an old adage that goes ‘none of us like to be sold, but we all like to buy’. And there’s a tremendous amount of truth in that if you think about the last experience you had buying something big ticket or otherwise you don’t want to be aggressively sold to, you’ve done, perhaps a lot of research on your own, but you know, you’re going to buy it. You know, you’re going to go to the store and get exactly what you’re looking for, order it online because you’ve done that research. So we like to purchase, but we like to be the ones that hold the cards when it comes to that decision-making. And so when one of the things that we talk about with regard to authenticity is giving that power to your customers, being authentic in your messaging so that they can find the information that best serves that.
And that I think is one of the best ways to achieve a certain level of success.
Chris Casale: It doesn’t matter if you have an inner Dungeons and dragons geek, and you want to play that with a bunch of people in live action, role play. You can find people that do that the same way. You could find people that are fans of tennis on clay courts, or like to play par three golf courses. All of those micro audiences exist out there. And so you find the ones that relate to you. And that’s what Seth talks about in this book. That goes back to exactly what we’re talking about with regard to authenticity, serve your audience.
Ryan Smith: And to quote what Seth Godin says in his book, ‘weird is the new normal and only companies that figure that out. Have any chance of survival’. A couple of episodes ago, we really broke down about understanding your audience. And I think that’s still important. That’s what we’re talking about here is you have to understand their needs, understand the persona you can call them and ICA your ideal customer avatar, create that, understand all of that. And then when you talk to them and talk from the heart, be authentic in your messaging.
Chris Casale: So we’re going to give you three key elements to building trust and influence and remaining authentic. And it’s important to note that these are elements not steps. And the reason I say that is these are not things where we can say, go do step one, step two, step three. And you’re being authentic there, things that you have to think about in all of the content that you built in all of the decisions that you make for your company, they have to be part of the thought process that goes into that. Otherwise you’re going to make a misstep and you have the potential to fail this.
3 Key Elements to Building Trust and Influence
- Be transparent and honest
- Be empathetic in your messaging
- Be consistent
Ryan Smith: When you talk about empathy, I do want to clarify, there is a huge difference between empathy and sympathy. A lot of times people blur the definitions between the two. So I’m actually starting with what sympathy is. The difference is sympathy refers to the ability to take part in someone else’s feelings. Mostly usually it’s because you’re feeling sorry for them, or at least sorrowful about maybe their misfortune or whatever is happening in their life. Empathy on the other hand is when we use it for the ability to understand other people’s feelings is if we were having those same feelings, ourselves, huge distinction between the two.
Sympathy is I feel sorry for you. Empathy is when you have a bit of an understanding of what’s going on as if you were in their shoes. So when Chris talks about being empathetic, I think it’s really important to understand the difference between the two and not say you’re being empathetic, but reality being sympathetic, but truly understand and put yourself in their shoes and speak to them that way. And again, that’s how you will come across and truly be authentic to your audience.
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