Can You Tell An Authentic Story Through Your Brand?

Brand, branding, authenticity, authentic branding, branding yourself online,


Dec. 28 2018, Published 3:00 a.m. ET

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Your authentic story is even more important than your product. Why? People only purchase from people, companies, and brands that they know, like and trust. Your authentic story allows them to know you and like you, and if you’re engaging with your audience, followers, and subscribers, they’ll begin to trust you too.

You may already be telling your story on the About Us page of your website, but it shouldn’t stop there. It should be prevalent in all of your marketing efforts, from how you speak to how you present yourself in Instagram pictures.

Here are three simple ways to weave your story into the conversation, between product images and marketing emails.

Play Up Your Bio

Brand, branding, authenticity, authentic branding, branding yourself online,

In social media profiles, the About Us page is your bio. This is where you can tell your authentic story and drive that emotional connection with followers and potential customers or clients. Mario Natarelli, contributor for Branding Strategy Insider explains:

“We know that the majority of the decisions we make are based on emotion and instinct, not rational thought and measured consideration. It’s been revealed that our decisions are the result of less deliberate, linear, and controlled processes than many of us realize. What this suggests is that, in order to impact and affect decision making, you have to appeal and connect to people’s emotions. Playing to rational considerations is not a compelling motivator.”

That’s why your authentic story is so important and using this space to make a great first impression in the short time that you have is even more critical.  Natarelli explains, “Human beings react intuitively to everything they perceive and base their responses on those reactions rather quickly. Within the first second of seeing something, hearing something or meeting another person, impressions are made and actions are born. Intuitions come first.”

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Weave it in: As you look to spruce up your bios (remember to update all of your social media and online bios), consider how your authentic story fits with your business. For example, if your authentic story is one of a woman who is first an environmental activist and second an organic winemaker, then the environmental piece should be front and center. This allows you to connect with the eco-friendly audience who likely appreciates your fair-trade, organic practices.

Find Your Unique Brand Look and Feel

Brand, branding, authenticity, authentic branding, branding yourself online,

Your online presence, including your overall marketing aesthetic and the voice you use on social media platforms, like Instagram, is all based on your authentic story. You just need to pull that into a unique brand look and feel.

If you’re just getting started with no idea where to begin, Big Brand System shares a helpful tip:

“Using a photo as a starting point for a color palette is a good idea. Sometimes it’s easier to define your brand by how you want it to ‘feel.’” Choose a photo that truly defines your story, and take note of the colors, the mood and the voice.

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With your photo chosen, it’s time to explore different palette options and ideas. Start with the guide from MavSocial, How to Develop the Perfect Instagram Palette. Instagram is a good place to start because it’s a very aesthetic-focused platform, which allows you to show the full breadth of your authentic story and brand.

Dive into different types of color palettes for the color you choose as your brand color and then turn your focus to your authentic voice. Are you playful and fun, moody and serious, or professional and straightforward? Your captions, email content and even live social media videos need to exude this voice.

Weave it in: Once you have your brand look and feel determined, you need to weave it into everything you do, from the design of your website to the clothes you wear in your Instagram photos. You want the color, mood, and voice to be synonymous with your brand so if someone saw a photo of you without your logo, for example, they’d recognize you and your company. Check out this Instagram Authenticity Guide as a starting point.

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Focus on the 3-5 Topics Specific to Your Story

Brand, branding, authenticity, authentic branding, branding yourself online,

To weave your authentic story into your marketing, you need to boil it down to 3 to 5 main topics that people come to know you for. For example, if your unique story is that you made your own way, despite having famous parents, one of your 3 to 5 topics may be “making your own way.”

The key is determining your topics and then bringing them into the narrative in everything you do. This is how people connect with you, your brand and your story. For example, you gain followers on social media because of those people like what they see and want to hear more of it. If they connect with the “making your own” rhetoric, they follow you to feel empowered by that.

This is critical in all of your marketing because consistency is key. Hubspot gives a great example to explain why:

“Picture your favorite actor [or actress]. This person is probably in a few of your favorite movies, consistently delivering amazing performances, and you might find yourself interested in the projects he or she stars in, simply because you know and love his or her previous work. That’s powerful.”

The good news is, you can cultivate this consistency by nailing down and focusing on your 3-5 topics.

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Weave it in: Keep your 3 to 5 topics at top of mind when sourcing content for social media, sharing stories at networking events and conferences and developing messaging for email marketing or direct mail marketing. For example, if one of your 3 to 5 topics is “making your own way” and you run a skincare company, you may position your end of year marketing around finding the make up the makes you feel amazing as you interview for a new position in the New Year.

Weave in Your Authentic Story

Don’t let your authentic story come secondary to anything in your business. This will help you develop that “like, know trust factor” while connecting with potential customers who relate to you. Weave your story into your marketing, focusing on your unique look, the topics that define your story and the first impression you’re making on social media. You may be surprised to find that customers are drawn to your business more when they feel personally connected to the person who created it.

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