Let’s talk about brand authenticity…
In this episode, what I want to talk to you about is the fact that that “picture perfect” image you are trying to portray and trying to stick with when you’re out there in your marketing efforts on social media or when you go to events is actually costing you sales.
I’m going to explain three ways that it’s costing you sales and how you can fix it.
(Beware! In this juicy episode, I do get a bit ranty.)
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I must be the first to admit that I’m also a big sucker for the gloss of some of those big marketers out there.
Those fancy videos where they’re walking around their palatial homes (if it actually is their home). Photos on boats. Perfectly manicured eyebrows. Those gorgeous photoshoots and gorgeous sets for videos.
Look, I get it! I can understand how fancy it would feel to be able to have all of that perfect imagery when you’re promoting something in your business and when you’re putting your social media together.
I know, and I get it.
However, I find that for most people, seeing that high gloss, picture-perfect stuff, just invites the fabulous guest, Comparisonitis, and her crazy cousin, Perfectionism, into the party.
What I wanted to talk about today is why racing to those types of images and that style of promo on your social media and in your marketing could actually be costing you sales.
It may be in your best interest to stick with what you’re doing or get back to being a bit more real, a bit more human, and a bit more vulnerable in your business – and particularly the way that you communicate about yourself and what you do.
I see a lot of people on social media who are either waiting to get it perfect, or they’re only sharing something that’s perfect.
It’s a reason why people tell me that they’re not doing Facebook Lives.
They say that they don’t have the right backdrop yet, or they don’t have the right lights, or they need to get a teleprompter first.
I’ve got to admit that I was the same.
I looked at why I was waiting until I had this perfect stuff and why I tried to have such perfect imagery out there…
1. It was what I was seeing online and I thought it’s just what I needed to do – that’s how you become successful.
There was this big marketer when I first started my business, and he said, “When you set up your MailChimp, if you live in a unit or house (and you’re working from home) and you don’t have an office, when putting in your address in MailChimp as it goes out to all of your people on your list, write it as Suite 1 or something.”
And so I did that because I thought that’s what you do.
You needed to look like a big business. You needed to look like you had it together.
I got sucked into that at first.
2. I realise there was a subconscious fear out there for me.
As I was starting a business as a business coach helping people with their business marketing, I didn’t want anyone (particularly some close family and friends) to see me “trying” to start a business.
I just wanted them to see me have a business.
That came from the fact that I had a couple of “random business ideas” in the past.
It also came from not wanting people to see me try. I just want people to see me succeed.
There’s a bit of a self-image thing, but really, it was this comparisonitis and perfectionism thing that was happening.
What I realised very quickly was that it was stopping me from doing the things that I needed to do – taking action, getting out there and connecting with people.
I was halfway through creating ten different things and nothing had been released because I was trying to get it perfect.
It was also making it really hard for me to have great real conversations with people on social media.
Once I got them onto Zoom or Skype and had a conversation with them, or when I met people at networking events in real life, I had such a quick connection to people.
I would make sales really quickly, but it was getting them onto the call that I was struggling with.
What I realise was that there was a big disconnect between who I was when I was having a one-on-one conversation with people, and who I was when I was out there “marketing” online.
I’ve realised very quickly (and I’m glad that I had this realisation quickly) that actually trying to present this particular image was costing me sales.
From the way that I worded my offers to the way that I engaged with my peers to the way that I showed up in terms of photos to resisting doing videos unless I had everything set up perfectly…
All of these things were actually sabotage and perfectionism that was just holding me back from making more sales.
I had to let that go.
What I wanted to do today was go through the three core ways that it’s going to be costing you sales, and how to start moving forward in those three areas…
1. It’s delaying sales and income-generating activities
Some examples of this are that you might:
- Be resisting doing video as much
- Have lots of things that you’ve created but haven’t released yet
- Be resisting sharing photos of yourself.
- Be posting less often on your Facebook Page or on social media because you need every post to be perfect, every post to have the right amount of meaning, every post to have the exact correct call-to-action, and every post to be perfectly worded
What that’s doing is you’re actually delaying those activities that are going to start to create momentum.
You’re better off to be imperfectly consistent than to be perfect but completely inconsistent.
I would, as a turnaround, encourage you to look at how you can go from having perfect stuff to having consistent stuff.
Regardless of whether your newsletter every couple of weeks just needs to be a little love note (nothing else, as long as you get it out every single week), I would much rather see you do that.
Maybe you need to do a newsletter with no blog this week because you forgot to do your blog or things didn’t work out or you didn’t get time.
Just do a newsletter without necessarily having to record a perfect blog.
It has taken me years to get to this level of consistency.
Maybe it’s about sharing selfies and photos of what you’re doing more on social media especially when it’s not perfect.
For me, it’s the wind-swept selfies at the beach because I’m always at the beach going for walks.
Or it’s those random puppy snuggle cuddles where I don’t look perfect and the dog is doing something funny.
But it’s completely engaging.
Or it’s turning up and doing a Facebook Live when I’m just sitting working at my desk in my activewear and I haven’t had my hair and makeup done.
I won’t let that stop me from doing a Facebook Live or from showing up in my business these days.
What I’d love you to do is jot down two to three things that you’ve been resisting doing because you wanted to get it perfect.
2. It’s disconnecting; it decreases conversion
The more streamlined and sleek something looks, the fewer people can connect and resonate with it – particularly if you are a woman marketing to other women – therefore, the lower your conversion rates will be.
For me, my Facebook Lives (particularly the ones that I just do on the spur of the moment) are the ones that usually make the most sales for me.
They’re the ones who have the most real conversations with people – we’re really getting engaged.
Where I do this blog post where I got my makeup on sitting at my desk and everything is perfectly polished, they don’t get as much viewership as a Facebook Live on my Facebook Page – even though I distribute this more than I distribute my Facebook Lives.
I think that there’s a reason for that.
It’s very connecting to see someone in their natural state.
It’s very connecting to be able to ask a question of someone and have it answered there on the spot as well.
You may have seen a post from Denise Duffield-Thomas about this where she said that in 2017 she prerecorded all of her videos for the year.
She recreated her living room in a studio, she hired a studio for a few days, and she had professional photography, professional editing, professional this and professional that.
It ended up costing her multiple hundreds of dollars per video (like $750 a video).
They had less traction than when the previous year, she’d prerecorded all her videos but did them sitting at her desk.
Letting go of that picture-perfect style and doing it in a more connected and real style can create better results, and it definitely creates more connection.
Maybe try doing things in a less polished way and see how it goes.
3. Subconscious assumptions
We make subconscious assumptions about our own readiness to work with someone, and our own abilities compared to someone based on how they’re showing up.
If you’re the picture-perfect totally polished person, people may make assumptions that they’re not ready to work with you yet because they’re not at your level.
I find myself saying this as well.
I see a lot of polished marketers share about their 6- or 7-figure launch and I make an assumption that they’ve spent an F-tonne of money on advertising because I know they’ve spent tonnes of money on producing this video.
If you’re going to spend tonnes of money on producing a video, you’re probably going to spend tonnes of money on marketing it and advertising it.
For me, I’m not at the point where I’m investing tens of thousands of dollars in Facebook Ads yet.
I’m just not there.
I’m making enough money and growing my business in a way that I’m slowly increasing the amount of money that I’m spending on my advertising.
But I make assumptions, and I know other people make those assumptions as well.
There’s real subconscious assumption-making by your viewers about whether they’re ready for you purely based on whether you show up in the picture-perfect way or whether you show up as a real, vulnerable human being.
Have a think about the ways that you might be able to just show up more consistently – maybe a little less polished.
You never know, it may just be the thing that creates more connection, increases conversion and helps you make more sales.
If you want to continue this conversation or ask some questions, join us in the Heart-Centred Soul-Driven Entrepreneurs community and share using #podcastaha and the episode number (152).
Until next time, I cannot WAIT to see you SHINE.