If you knew that there was only one thing that caused people to either leave your website or walk out of your store without buying anything, would you do something about it right now?
If only you could get everyone to look your way, if only you could figure out that one special offer, or the perfect Facebook post.
But, see. None of that will work, not for long anyway.
We all think the latest “tip” or “trick” will pull us out of this black hole that keeps sucking us back in.
The answer to saving your business is bigger than a one time offer, or God forbid, a sale. It’s bigger than figuring out the best time to post to Facebook or what snacks to serve at the next customer seminar.
The answer to saving your business goes all the way back to why you started this thing in the first place.
Finding your “why”
One of the biggest mistakes we make as business owners is to assume that people will care about us just because we exist. But what is it, aside from the money, that makes us love our businesses when no one else seems to?
You love your business because you know your story.
You know the reason you started this thing in the first place, why your little idea is going to change the world. But, the hard truth is that your people don’t. Your people only see another storefront, or another website.
What is the one thing that will save your business when nothing else works?
The one thing that will save your business is, simply put, your story, and you.
Your people are just that, people. They aren’t data or statistics, they aren’t a collection of “likes” on a Facebook page, they are real people looking for products and services offered by real people just like them, who understand their problems.
Authenticity. Being real and honest with people.
It should be SO easy, but it’s SO dang hard. At least it was for me.
But it’s worth it.
The 2012 Goodpurpose Study proved that authenticity is the most important thing you can possibly focus on in your business.
Ignoring it and trying to “marketing speak” your way to a paycheck will only result in failure and stress. Read more about the Goodpurpose Study and the power of authenticity here.
Being real and helping YOUR people will save your business.
6 steps to achieving authenticity in your business
(The Own Your Hill System)
- WHY – Tell people why you do exactly what you do. Photograph dogs? Tell them why it makes you happy. Tell them a story about what inspired you to do what you do, and if they feel as you do, if they’re the right people, they’ll connect with you. “People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it.” – Simon Sinek
- HOW – Tell your people what it is about your business that makes you different from everybody else (hint: it’s the thing you do that only your people care about). Tell them how you’ll solve their problem in a way that only matters to them.
- WHO – Figure out everything you can about the exact people you want to serve, the people who believe as you do. The more specific this is, the easier your life will be and the clearer your choices will be. Find the people with a UNIQUE problem that you know how to solve.
- KNOW – Bring your why, who and how together and communicate it with your people. Every word on your website, every blog post title and question asked on social media should communicate to your people that you are worth getting to know. They can’t know you if you keep all of your ideas and your connection with them hidden inside your head. This is where authenticity counts more than anywhere else, and where it leads to real change for your business.
- LIKE – Once they know you, you’ll have a chance to help your people.. You already know one problem they all have in common, figure out what else they care about and write about it on your blog, find answers for them, makes their lives better. Figure out other ways you can help them and DO IT. Your business, and your people, will never be the same.
- TRUST – Focus on growing relationships with your people and within your tribe. One of the best ways you help your people, while also lighting an unstoppable fire under your business, is to CONNECT THEM TO EACH OTHER. Give them something to talk about and a place to do it. Focus on being the first follower of your idea, not the leader. Join them.
Being authentic takes work.
We’ve been exposed to “clever” advertising our whole lives. If you’re like me, you notice every cool billboard or truly attention-grabbing commercial. You might even try to analyze what they’re really trying to achieve. But none of it really speaks to you down deep.
We’ve been drowned in the “attention” mentality. The only way you’ll learn to swim is to stop thinking about what everyone else is doing and decide how you would want a business to speak to you, and do the same for your customers.
We connect with those who not only care about us as people, but also as individuals with unique interests and problems. Recognize those problems and interests in your people and find a way to meet them on a real, human level.
As long as you are talking over their head to the crowd, you’ll never find a connection.
What are you going to do now?
You have an opportunity to save your business. You know what you need to do to completely transform the way they see you, what to do to help them learn to trust you and how to grow your business beyond anything you thought it could be.
You have permission to finally allow yourself to be truly, deeply authentic with your people. To connect with them. To help to change their lives and to solve their problems.
So, what are you going to do now?