Authenticity, we all talk about it or at least there’s a lot of chatter on the topic within the online marketing and entrepreneurial space, but I wonder the different interpretations and reactions there are around it. The question arises from the fact that the world is a very subjective place, and rightly so.
Each of us sees the world from our eyes, we each have feelings and reactions attached to things that happen, to a type of behavior, and so on and so forth. Yes, there are groups of this type of thinking, which is why friendships form and relationships move forth. We associate and spend time with people who we can have seamless communication with, which means they get us and us them. It doesn’t mean we have the same opinions, but somewhere in that relationship there’s a mutual understanding of what each person is expressing.
Humans gravitate to that which resonates with them in some shape or form. This brings me back to our main topic: authenticity. I’ve been mentioning Snapchat a lot lately, and it’s because it’s an awesome platform that really allows you to have great conversations with people and get to know them through their snap stories. It is a true relationship building social media platform.
As it’s grown in popularity with business owners and marketers, strategies and ads are starting to appear; but even before this I noticed something. Let me make a pre-note before I continue:
- The people I follow, I follow because I am interested in building relationships with them and I want to hear what they have to share. So, I watch every snap story I can with the time at my disposal; but lately with some of them I’ve noticed myself tuning out. I talked about this with a friend (a friend I made on Snapchat, yes 🙂 and PS if you’re looking for fitness tips and some great motivation you should definitely follow him) and our chat made me think a bit more about this reaction of mine.
- I asked myself why am I tuning out, what’s going on? My answer, after a couple days of thought on the situation was unauthentic versus authentic.
I don’t know about you, but it seems relatively easy to pick up on authentic versus scripted to me. For me, it starts with this gut feeling and then finding myself not really listening to what I’m watching. At first I thought that maybe it was my judgement, something about how I communicate that triggered a closed off response; but then it dawned on me that it’s because I feel that the person I’m listening to isn’t really sharing their life or stories or advice with me, they’re selling me on something. There’s this veiled façade of genuine with behind it a script (whether it’s an intent of getting me to do something or believe something or buy into something).
This realization doesn’t make me want to steer away from listening to what these individuals have to say, but it does make me ask another question…why is it so hard to be authentic for business owners and marketers. I focus on this group because they are the ones I see day in and day out online with their scripted snaps, tweets, Facebook posts, etc.; and I wonder how do consumers or viewers do it? How do they sit through the messages? Is it just me?
As a person who is branding online, I’ve gone through the struggle of marketing while being genuine. Every time I’ve tried to think of how to integrate what marketers or business owners say works, I just twitch. If I share something that has an end game (so to speak), that is not purely genuine to my person and heart, it just doesn’t feel right. My solution has been to just be me, it’s what keeps me going and it’s what feels right. At the end of the day, it’s the relationships we build that make our lives beautiful; and for business growth, I firmly believe that as long as you want to help others and offer value everything will work out.
So, I ask you, what are your thoughts on authenticity versus unauthentic and how do you react to unauthentic messages? How do you identify them and what do you do as a consequence?