WHY YOU NEED TO Be Fearlessly Authentic

Typically, entertainers travel by limo to the red carpet at awards shows. Granger Smith isn’t normal. He insisted on planing a trip to the recent Country Music Awards red carpet in a Chevy Silverado. It’s authentically who he’s: Smith has always owned a Silverado and it’s what his “customers” expect from him.

It reminded me of an identical incident twenty years earlier at the ACM awards. Alan Jackson walked the red carpet in jeans and a T-shirt. The show producers told Jackson to “play along” with a pre-recorded track. Jackson disagreed, so he previously his drummer play along without drumsticks as a weird method of clueing in his audience. He walked away with the male vocalist of the entire year award and I’d argue his authenticity is the key reason why fans love him.

Are You Living Your Most Authentic Self?

Neither Smith nor Jackson were afraid to produce a statement. Think about you? We ought to all strive to become more like them because we all have been entertainers, delivering a performance each and every time we step on the stage that’s our businesses. If your performance isn’t authentic, it won’t resonate.

To put it simply, authenticity is staying true to who you are and everything you do. You can’t “act” authentic, you can only just be authentic. Authenticity is made around substance and purpose. As cowboys prefer to say, don’t be all hat no cattle. Put simply, don’t make a claim you can’t back up. (Just to illustrate: Volkswagen.)

In late 2009, Domino’s launched a campaign admitting its pizza was lousy. The business then introduced a fresh recipe with a money-back guarantee on every pizza. Domino’s honesty and transparency led to 14.3 percent revenue growth in Q1 2010 and since that time its stock has risen 400 percent.

Criticizing your own product is weird, but it’s also authentic and memorable. Why? Since it builds substance, so when you’re authentic it turns customers into fanatics.

Over the weekend, I saw authenticity doing his thing when I attended Brett Eldredge’s Suits and Boots concert. Eldredge distributed to the audience how nervous he was five years earlier at the same venue since it was his first major stadium tour when he opened for mega-star Tim McGraw. He told the sold-out arena that he always appreciated how receptive and forgiving the crowd was in the past despite the fact that he was so nervous he forgot the lyrics to his own song at one point. It had been a dangerous thing to admit but fearlessly authentic and that got him a standing ovation between songs.

The audience witnessed a performance by a person who wasn’t trying to impress. He told stories of his career and that embarrassing moment five years earlier. He was on a stage however, not a pedestal. There have been no walls or filter. It had been about connection.

5 Steps to Build YOUR INDIVIDUAL Brand

That experience allowed me some reflection on who I am and what I really do. I encourage you to think about your authenticity aswell.

No-one understands and embraces this idea much better than Jon Loba, executive vice-president of BBR GROUP. Loba distributed to me that what has attracted BBR to the artists it has signed is authenticity and uniqueness.

“Many artists allow Nashville, their managers, agents or record labels to improve them in the hopes of achieving greater fame and fortune," he says. "If indeed they do morph into what these were coached to be, it usually serves to alienate them from their previously existing audience and their ‘new found success’ is normally temporary because it’s not from the host to authenticity."

It’s not only the music industry. In 2007, soon after I began my career as a speaker and author I was told by a marketing and image consultant to ditch my jeans and boots for a suit. She said they looked weird and I will also change how I spoke and the looks of my marketing collateral. EASILY didn’t easily fit into, I didn’t stand a potential for succeeding. I made the mistake of letting the industry change me.

It didn’t help. It actually hurt my results. I finished up needing to compete for business because I wasn’t attracting business simply by being my authentic self. Shortly thereafter, I ditched the herd mentality and returned to employed in an environment of suits wearing my boots and made my website, marketing materials and message reflect my authentic self. When I shared my very own struggles with my audience, not merely did my message improve but their response did too. It’s weird how that works.

Brett Eldredge’s Twitter profile reads “Step in to the weirdness." That weirdness he identifies is actually authenticity. Why is authenticity weird is merely that so many brands don’t practice it. Step into your weirdness — it’s your competitive advantage.

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