In business, authenticity is key to building trust with your customers. Customers can smell BS from a mile away, right? They see through empty marketing speak and phony promises and call it out. As a customer, you know when a business isn’t genuine, and it doesn’t instil trust or inspire you to do business with them, does it?
A Stackla consumer content report revealed that 86% of respondents said authenticity was important when deciding which brand to support. While authenticity ranked high across the generations, Millennials valued authenticity the most at 90%, followed by Gen X at 85% and Baby Boomers at 80%.
That’s why it’s so important for you to be authentic in your business communications. But what does it mean to be authentic, and how can you embed it in your brand?
First. Be True to Yourself
The first step to being more authentic in your business writing is to be true to yourself.
In the words of Oscar Wilde:
After all, you’re the point of difference to your competitors, right? No one else can do you.
The tone of your writing communicates your brand’s personality. How do you want customers to feel about your brand? More importantly, how do you feel about your brand and the message you want to send to your customers?
Not being true to yourself can mean you miss out on attracting your ideal customer. If you write with a particular tone because you think you need to sound professional to impress your audience, you could be turning away the customer your service or product is designed for.
This means being honest about who you are, what you do, and what you offer.
Be genuine in your communication and your interactions
Think about how you talk to your ideal customer. Are you relaxed and casual, perhaps throwing in a swear word here or there? Or are you more old-school, where you were told never to swear in front of customers?
What works for your brand? What works for one organisation won’t work for another. For example, a finance institution targeting Gen Xers generally won’t use the same tone as a casual clothing brand that targets Gen Z. This is all part of finding and deciding on your business tone of voice.
Whatever your style, get comfortable with it, own it, and communicate your brand message in that tone—whether that’s old school or new age. An authentic tone of voice will shine through and attract your ideal customer.
But being authentic isn’t just about your tone of voice. Authenticity means being genuine in your daily interactions and getting to know your customers and their needs.
Don’t always go in with the hard sell. If you’re a member of an online forum and someone asks a question in your area of expertise, offer advice and support free of charge. Be prepared to forgo short-term profit to build lifetime customer trust. Karley Beadman consistently does this on Findheronlinedirectory.com.
Educate and inform instead of push. Don’t try to beat someone over the head with your product or service. If you educate correctly, the customer will understand how your product or service can help them.
Respond to queries in a timely and personal manner.
Be transparent about your business processes and prices. Honesty and transparency go a long way toward building trust with your customers.
By being genuine in your interactions and authentic in your communication, you’ll show your customers they’re more than just another sale; they’re valued members of your community.
Then they’ll make a buying decision.
Be consistent with your message
Once you’ve decided your tone of voice, your message must be consistent. This means staying true to your brand voice and values across all communications. Whether you’re sending an email newsletter or posting on socials, ensure the message you’re sending is consistent with the image you want to project. By being consistent in your message, you’ll build trust and credibility with your customers.
Customers want to know that they can trust the businesses they’re dealing with. The best way to build that trust is by being truthful, transparent, and consistent in everything you do.
Need help delivering authentic business content?
Get in touch. I’d love to help you out.