We all know that being authentic in our business is vital for reaching the right audience and building the know, like, and trust factor.
Today, my guest is sharing how she built her business, being okay with the pivots along the way, and how gratitude is the key to building brand authenticity.
IE 258: Building Brand Authenticity in order to Stay True to Your Truth with Altimese Curry
Altimese Nichole is a founder, speaker, and best-selling author. She founded The Ezer Agency as a marketing and PR firm focused on diversity, inclusion, and the heart of each client’s message. The Ezer Agency currently spans five continents.
Getting To The Heart of the Message
Digital marketing and social media are genuinely human experiences now. We are no longer just looking at television or billboard ads.
This is why getting to the heart of each message is essential to Altimese. Knowing the heart provides a better opportunity to build a brand that stays true to who the person is.
Altimese uses The Ezer Agency to work with her clients to find their personal boundaries. This helps them know what areas of their lives are entirely open to the public and what areas are not.
If you don’t have clarity on your boundaries, you will have moments when you are put on the spot, which will be very uncomfortable for you. You will feel pushed to share more than you want to.
Why Being Authentic Is So Important
We talk about being authentic in your brand all the time, but why is it so important to have that authenticity?
You are connecting to other human beings. The days of having one piece of marketing that will resonate with just about everyone and almost always create results are long gone. With Google Ads, social media ads, etc., you are relating directly to another person.
The person you are connecting with on the other side of the screen has a life of their own; they have problems, questions, aspirations, desires. You have to think about your brand’s message and mission and what experience you are creating for that person.
Being authentic in your brand allows you the opportunity to reach out to your person and say, “I see you, I understand what you’re experiencing, and I’m here to help.” Your authenticity is what will cause others to respond to, trust, and depend on you.
Having a mission for your business might feel overwhelming. You might think you need to be working to change the whole world.
It doesn’t have to be that way. Having a mission can be as simple as saying, “we want to help you create another revenue stream.” As long as you are being open and honest, your audience will appreciate your transparency.
Creating your list of boundaries and your mission are the first steps to creating your brand authenticity.
Be Okay With the Pivots
Think about where you would like your business to be five years from now and write it down, using a pencil. As you grow and evolve, your business will also develop and evolve. You don’t have to stick to one plan for your business. If you are changing, your business can change with you.
Be relentless with your five-year plan, while being flexible with how you get there. You have to remain open to all the pivots along the way.
Altimese first created her business in 2016 as a side hustle. She was working on climbing the ladder of corporate America while running her side hustle. She became a director of social media and loved her work but was unfortunately laid off. Her husband at the time encouraged her to solely pursue her side hustle and she decided to fully focus on that in 2019.
At the time, Altimese was running her business under her own name but she knew that needed to change if she was going to be working with clients, so she changed it to The Ezer Agency. Ezer is a Hebrew word for “helper” or “warrior.”
She has been evolving as an individual since then, even going through a divorce, and she has learned to be okay with those things changing her and her business.
When Is the Right Time to Share?
One tip that Altimese shares with her clients about setting boundaries around what to share is never to share when you are still in a sensitive place. If you are healed or are in the process of healing, you might feel safer to share.
Everything we go through allows us to be there for someone else who might be going through the same thing or something similar.
If you are still in the middle of a trial and test, it is sometimes best to keep your journey to yourself, just like you would a pop quiz in school. Make sure you have some of the answers before you decide to share.
Be open to both options: keeping some things to yourself and sharing what you feel comfortable with.
Appreciate Your Circumstances
One of the important parts of being okay when it comes to pivots within your business is learning to face the changes with gratitude and appreciation.
We often talk about how we need to enjoy each phase with our children because they will continue to grow and change before our eyes.
Our business is the same. As it evolves and grows, we need to appreciate where we are right now.
As women, we look at our goals and constantly think about how we are not where we want to be. Instead, let’s take the time to look at how far we’ve come and all we’ve overcome to get there.
Tips for Building Authenticity
One of the first things you can do to build authenticity in your brand is to start a gratitude journal. Be intentional with recording everything you are grateful for. This keeps you zoned in on the present and prevents you from constantly focusing on the future.
Get rid of your long to-do lists and create actions lists that are made up of 2 or 3 things to accomplish each day. Those long to-do lists become overwhelming. We can never accomplish everything, and then we feel like we’ve failed.
Another important part of building your authenticity in your brand is to not compare yourself to other brands. You can research other brands and what is working for them. You can then filter through that and see if any of it will work for you and your business, and if it won’t, throw it out without playing the comparison game.
You also don’t want to imitate others when you are trying to build your brand authenticity. This immediately destroys your authenticity. Continue to be yourself and be focused on what you can provide to your audience, not what someone else is doing.
Social Media and SEO Go Together
We have talked about this many times before, and we’ll say it again: while social media is important, it is not the most important thing.
Social media is not 100% dependable. It can go away at any time. You have to have a robust website because even if you have a great social media presence, that presence needs to convert somewhere.
It is so important to have a strong email marketing strategy. You want to be building your email list and nurturing the people already on the list.
Remember that your social media presence and your website presence need to be cohesive because Google will always connect the two.
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