You're a smart business owner. You've probably heard so many people say how important it is to be authentic and act with integrity, but with all the talk about it I'm amazed how many stories I hear about us saying something to sell ourselves or our products, making a big deal about our authenticity and integrity, and then not delivering on the implied promises inherent in our marketing messages in our after sales service.
When this happens in a society the meaning of words can lose their potency, their meaning no longer as definitive and emotionally convincing as they were originally.
So for clarity between you and me, here is how I define authenticity and integrity:
Authenticity: I think of authenticity as being genuine, being real. When you are authentic you are not pretending, nor are you fooling yourself about who you really are; you share your vulnerabilities, strengths and successes appropriately.
Integrity: I think of integrity as honour. When you have integrity you not only honour and respect yourself but you also honour and respect others. You keep your promises to yourself and others. You are honest (especially with yourself) about who you are and what you believe in, and you consistently act in alignment with your highest values; you treat yourself and your needs with love and respect.
Presumably you tend to still think of these words in a similar way. The problem is, do you read these words as meaning this when you hear other business owners talking about themselves this way?
Buyers still put a higher value on what they buy being genuine, real and authentic. They still want to be reassured they are doing business with someone who will keep the promises they make to them, i.e act with integrity.
So, should we still be marketing ourselves as being authentic and having integrity?
Personally I don't think so.
There should be no need to say you are either of these things; your authenticity should come across in the stories you tell, and your integrity be clear in your testimonials. The values and beliefs on which your integrity is based can be articulated in your content marketing too.
When you describe yourself as being authentic or someone who acts with integrity, it's like you are trying too hard to convince the potential buyer, and it can put them off.
If being genuine, real, authentic and acting with honour, respect and integrity are important values of yours, they should be evident in everything you say and do.
What do you think?
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I'm Helen Elizabeth Evans, a London based business mentor and life consultant. I work with women in business (and open-minded men!) to powerfully awaken their life purpose work, using a unique combination of scientific hand and fingerprint analysis, deep intuitive skills and practical business acumen running my own businesses for the last 21 years.
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I have been running my own businesses from a home office since 1996 and am passionate about business being the vehicle for our freedom. I am also deeply passionate about us each having a purpose on this planet and it's my job to help you find and live yours. I am known as the UK's No.1 Scientific Hand & Fingerprint Analyst as I introduced the system to the UK in 2010. It is the most accurate profiling tool I have encountered. I also have a masters in NLP and have studied astrology and psychology for years - getting your mind to work for you rather than against you!
My clients tell me I am a powerful kick-starter for their purpose, helping them clarify their focus and create an inspired vision aligned with their purpose. They describe me as a highly intuitive, deeply powerful, passionate, authentic and an extremely practical truth teller who makes them laugh, feel safe and free to be their true selves. I help them discover who they really are, find their true purpose, give them a spiritual blueprint for their life expression and help them create a business that is based on their life purpose, so that they can live happy, fulfilled lives without feeling like its all a struggle or just hum drum.