At times it is a struggle to present less than perfect, because we have it so engrained in our psyche to 'look good'.
Coming into my fifth year of business, when in year one I was told how tough it would and the failure rate of startups, feels pretty damn great.
There have been times along the way I did want to throw in the towel - heck I even branched out into a corporation in one of my weaker moments.
And here I am today, successful. From my perspective it's because of the relationships I have built based on my values.
Yes, sometimes clients see me not at my best, and I often listen when they are not at theirs, and that is ok. By humanising my brand, it has helped me be ok with imperfect perfection.
People don't want corporate jargon or marketing tricks, they want you. To see you, hear you and be able to communicate with you, as a real human being.
Got two minutes to spare?
While we may spend a lot of our time in front of screens, when creating marketing communications you need to consider how you will communicate to the person behind that screen. We need to humanise our brands.
This is something I struggle with at times, honestly, the impression given out over social media is too real - life is perfect (except when it isn't) - so this year I will be sharing some of the areas I struggle with, in the hopes it may inspire someone, or make a difference, it may open the door to new relationships or even revive a business.
Our clients are humans, our kids are humans, your employees are all human, so let's communicate with them that way. Don't get so focused on the next big thing that you forget why you began your business in the first place. It doesn't have to be perfect, in fact imperfect perfection is the perfect place to start.
8 Humanising tips to try
- Who is your customer, audience, community, partners and stakeholders? What are they interested in? What do they struggle with? Where do they go for a beer or wine on a Friday? What are they talking about? And, how can you add value to the conversations they are having?
- Who are you? Are you happy? Are you organised and sensible? Are you funny? Are you a mix of both? What tone do your communications have? Knowing your own personality is key to humanising your brand personality.
- Do you show up? Are you available to your clients? Connecting with purpose, empathy, wisdom and interest when communicating? This is the foundation for building longstanding loyal relationships.
- Do you tech talk? Do you speak in your clients language. People don't want corporate jargon and yes you are an expert in your field. If you speak in rhythm with your clients, meet them at their level and use language they understand, it will inspire them to connect with you, your brand.
- Do you share information of value? Build relationships that bring value, not just increasing your blog traffic. Share photos, videos and text. Talk, listen and learn from the conversations your audience is having, so you can engage in a way that adds value.
- Do you get emotional? Do you share the moments that make you laugh, cry, or get angry? Why not do something different, and inspire others to do the same, as you lead from more than selling just a product or service.
- Did you know there is only one you? You don't need to fake it until you make it, you are the expert, remember imperfect perfection.
- Do you share the highs and the lows of business? Did you know that as your clients follow you on your journey they are helping build your business and brand? Did you know some of them will even be invested in its success as much as you? Be human.
How do these things help humanise your business? Try them and see, perhaps you have some other ideas, I would love to hear.