How Getting Real on Social Media Can Grow Your Business (+ Free Social Media Bundle)

Are You Sharing Your Authentic Self With Your Audience?

Followers online are fickle creatures, and they can sense when they are being sold inauthenticity. To maintain trust with your audience, you must learn to bring your most authentic self to everything you post on social media. People don’t like being kept at arm’s length and do not like being lied to. So is it possible to cultivate authenticity for your audience when sharing yourself so openly online might not be second nature to you? Absolutely!

Today’s Blog Overview 

Today we’re going to cultivate authenticity online and show you how to show your best self online and build connections with your audience!

You can click on the links below to quick jump to any section that you’d like to learn more about: 

How to Authentically Connect With Your Audience

To connect authentically with your audience, it helps to understand why they’re following (or would follow) you in the first place. Do they share common ground with your struggles, passions, or desires? Have you done the market research to determine which demographics gravitate to you, and what kinds of trials and tribulations are they going through that would make them find comfort, help, or entertainment in the services you provide?

Your Struggles Are Pure Gold

People crave being understood. It’s a natural part of being human. When someone discovers another person who relates to their struggles, worries, or problems, they feel less alone and forge connections. Connecting to your audience authentically requires you to be willing to share parts of yourself that are vulnerable. If you only convey your wins and never your mistakes or failures, that feels less authentic because audiences know that nobody is perfect, and no venture goes precisely according to plan. Sharing those bumps and swerves in your journey with your audience is intrinsically relatable because we’ve all been there! We’ve all struggled to move forward and experienced the grind of failure after failure toward a solution that works. Sharing those stories with your audience creates opportunities for them to understand more about your story and empathize with your journey, conveying a stronger sense of authenticity and integrity.

Sharing is Caring and It Equals Big Money

Understanding your own story and sharing it with others is essential to connecting with your audience. Take the time to sit down and map out what got you into your business in the first place and why you decided to pursue it. Get personal: have you always wanted to pursue your current business, or did you have other aspirations? What skills and experiences have you gone through to grow your existing business, and where do you hope to see it grow in five years? Were there people in your life who encouraged or challenged you in a way that steered you onto your current career path? These stories fascinate your audience, and sharing them will help build a greater understanding of who you are and why people should root for you!

How to Get Past the Discomfort of Authenticity

Not everyone is naturally comfortable sharing with strangers. Not everyone is comfortable speaking in public! That’s okay because you can learn how to improve your confidence in time and practice. Still, it does take serious practice, and you may need to work at it until you get to a place where you feel great about being open and vulnerable in front of your audience. 

Actors and public speakers, for example, take classes and spend a lot of time practicing and preparing to be confident speaking in front of crowds or a camera, so don’t feel overwhelmed if you’re not there yet! It takes time, and that’s okay. 

Preparedness is the Key to Skipping Discomfort

A lot of the discomfort from speaking on camera comes from lack of preparation, so the easiest way to curb that feeling is to take some time to ruin a few takes on purpose and let yourself practice talking about yourself. You’d be surprised how many seemingly improvised short videos where people are just riffing to the camera are the third, fifth, or twelfth take! As you practice, you’ll naturally edit yourself, and your thoughts will become more concise and stay ready at the forefront of your mind when you need them. 

Using Video to Build Close Connections With Your Audience

Speaking directly to your audience with a video is the quickest way to share the real you online. The less scripted or rehearsed, the more honest you sound, which makes you appear more trustworthy. 

If you’re not used to public speaking or recording and posting videos of yourself, now’s the time to start! The beauty of modern technology means that you can set up a mock video post whenever you want! Set up your phone and record a few minutes of yourself talking about who you are and what your company does, then watch it back and look at how you come across on camera and where your mind goes when you’re speaking off the cuff. 

Video Practice is Nice, But Getting it Done is More Important 

It takes practice to get good at treating a camera lens like the person listening to you on the other end of the internet, but you can erase those practice videos, and no one has to see them, so don’t worry about messing up! You’ll naturally find yourself refining how you speak about yourself and your company naturally the more you practice, which will make conversations and video posts easier the more you work at it. Eventually, you’ll be such a strong presence that you’ll be ready to try Instagram Live and talk in real-time to your audience in the chat! 

So much of the way we connect gets lost in translation when we text or email. Building your confidence enough to post videos of yourself sharing your message on social media is the best way to convey who you are, what you’re about, and why people should listen to what you have to say!

The Benefits of Authenticity (Your Business will Grow)

There are so many natural upsides to being your authentic self online. Most importantly, it’s easier to keep a consistent brand if your brand is YOU! If you’re trying to be someone else or an inauthentic version of you that you think your audience wants, that’s not sustainable. 

When your audience feels like they understand you and where you’re coming from, they are much more willing to go to bat for you and root for your success than if they were communicating with your brand. On social media, effective small business owners build the core integrity of their brand around their authentic drive, character, and passion for what they do, and audiences can feel that and relate to those highs and lows. 

Your Vulnerability is the Key to Your Success 

People want to support the underdog, the tenacious inventor, the passionate hobbyist, the risk-takers, the entertainers, the movers, and shakers! They don’t care about brands on their own; there will always be another brand to come along and do what you do in a slightly different way, but there will forever and always only be ONE of you. That makes you unique and someone worth rooting for!

Free Getting the Most of Social Media Download 

By the way, I’ve got a great free download you can use to make the most of social media you can grab here! And I have a ton of other social media workbooks, checklists, templates and freebies that will help you grow your social media by leaps and bounds. 

Making the Most of Social Media

My Challenge For You 

First: Record Your First Authentic Video

  1. Schedule 30 minutes to record your first authentic video
  2. Set up your phone and record yourself speaking to the camera as if you were communicating with a new client
  3. Tell them about yourself and your business. 
  4. Watch the video playback and try not to pay too much attention to how you look on camera. 
  5. Note which parts of your story came to mind quickly and where you had to collect your thoughts. 

Second: Record the Real One 

  1. This time, your story should be more concise.
  2. This time, make sure to weave in more vulnerability into your video. 
  3. Focus on the REAL reason why you do what you do. 
  4. Focus on how to got to where you are today! 
  5. More importantly, focus on your audience – talk directly to them. Tell them you understand where they are coming from, that you’ve been there, and that you would love to guide them to where they want to be (that’s where you are right now!)

Third: Post it 

  1. Choose your favorite social media platform and post it
  2. Write content for your post that will hook your audience immediately
  3. Make sure to use hashtags!
  4. Spend some time drumming up awareness by liking/commenting on other people (your ICAs) posts

Fourth: Take a Break & Check In

  1. Once you’ve done steps 1-3, take a break and come back later to check out your analytics and insights. 
  2. Take note, and adjust your video strategy for the next video.
  3. Were you vulnerable enough? Too vulnerable? Did the topic speak to your ideal client? Make adjustments to each new video you post until you find your sweet spot.  
  4. Rinse & Repeat

So What Did We Learn?

  • Your audience will know when you’re not being authentic (and when you aren’t – they’re smart like that!)
  • Being vulnerable with your audience builds connection which in turn will equal a larger following, more engaged audience and more customers!
  • Video is the best way to convey who you are and what you’re about. Video is the king of content delivery right now! 
  • Practice builds confidence, and confidence builds connection! But don’t overthink it. A finished video is better than spending ½ a day re-recording the same video (and again, we’re trying to be authethenic, not perfect!)
  • Authenticity builds audiences and grows businesses. It works, give it a go. 

How We Can Help! 

My team at Jennie Lyon Digital Marketing Services Inc. and I are passionate about maximizing your online presence and building your brand. Social media is our jam and it’s something that we help almost all of our clients with. 

Whether you’re just starting out or are ready to run ads on Facebook, Instagram, or TikTok, we’ve got you covered. 

We’re happy to help you take your business to the next level. Set up a free 15-minute call with me anytime. I’d love to see how we can help you connect with your audience and grow your business through authenticity! 

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About Jennie Lyon

Jennie Lyon is the founder of Jennie Lyon Virtual Assistant Services. Jennie specializes in helping busy entrepreneurs organize, manage, develop and promote their brand! She is devoted to helping small business owners and entrepreneurs with social media, content creation, email marketing, client relations, website management, and administration services. If you are a small business owner, coach or self-employed entrepreneur struggling to find enough time in your day to focus on what you really love - schedule a free 15 minute consultation with Jennie.

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