THE PROBLEM: You love your business but dread marketing. The real problem then, is that you don’t equate marketing as a good thing. Years of spamming and sleazy tactics have conditioned us to believe that marketing is something to be afraid of or something to stay away from. But at the heart of it you know that to run a profitable business, you DO need to promote yourself.

FORTUNATELY, you are in the era of authentic promotion, where more and more people are turning their backs on spammy tactics and in-your-face promotions and choosing to serve from a place of honesty and transparency.

The 80/20 rule of authentic promotion.

Spend 80% of your time: showing up to serve

Serve your community by being present, by listening to their needs, by being approachable, by putting out offers that people need and by being genuine and generous in your efforts. Figure out what amount of time you can give freely and then give it.

Spend 20% of your time: thriving & benefitting from results

See, when you give freely, it build the know-like-trust factor and remember, people like doing business with people they trust. So if you have spent 80% of your time giving value, then don’t be afraid to claim the 20% for yourself. You can do that by asking for the sale, or by asking your community to sign up to your newsletter, or download something or attend your webinar. Make the ask. It’s a lot easier to do so when you have been proving your worth in the other 80%.

If you’re wondering how you can be more authentic in your business, I’ve got some tips for you!

Practice authenticity.

1. Remember, authenticity is a process. The more you practice it the more naturally it will come to you. Practice talking about your business: talk about why you started, what your business means to you, who do you serve, what do you hope to help them with.

2. Expect to meet some resistance. Sharing details about your business and practices is not easy. Expect to meet some resistance, even from yourself. And here I want to remind you of a tweetable: “Haters are a sign of success”. Remember that you will alienate some people as you start to become more authentic and that’s a GOOD thing. Because there will be more room to serve the people who are genuinely attracted to you.

3. Authenticity means growth. It means you will have to step out of your comfort zone. You will have to become very clear in what you offer. It means you will have to embrace commerce and marketing as a good thing, as a process of creating value in the world. It means you will have to find a fit between what the world needs and what you offer in line with your values.

Take the authenticity challenge!

Answer the following three questions in your About Page (or any other business info page).

– Why did you feel compelled to start your business?
– Who do you serve?
– How does your audience benefit from you?

Go ahead and do that now. Your answers can be short or long, doesn’t matter as long as you start the process.

 

 

This article was written by Salma Jafri from Business2Community and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.