The Power of Authenticity

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Communication skills - what to do and what not to do

Being true to yourself and communicating with your people in a way that’s real increases your credibility and trust factor because it gives people something to connect with.

Let me tell you about two webinars I attended this week. One was an example of what NOT to do and the other was brilliant!  I’ll share with you who took the winner’s flag and what she did to claim it. I’ll also share with you why the other one bombed. HARD. It was a clear example of why, especially as entrepreneurs, we need to be authentic when communicating our message or we risk losing clients along with our credibility. Being real with our audience builds trust and allows our audience to get to know and like us before they do business with us.

The Epic Fail – What NOT to do…

It was a quiet morning I’d planned as I looked forward to participating in this webinar. It was on a topic I was really interested in and the draw card really resonated with me. My experience of this single one event and what followed caused me to unsubscribe from her list. #FAIL

It really demonstrated to me the power of authenticity.

It kicked off as an introductory pre-recorded video. That’s okay, I thought, we’ll get through this initial pitch soon enough. Only the pitch didn’t end. The pre-recorded video continued for the duration of the event. It turned out to be an hour-long sale’s pitch better suited to one of those TV shopping channels. There wasn’t ANY kind of human interaction and even though there was a comments box, an assistant responded later by email. It certainly wasn’t interactive. I’d signed up to this “workshop” because it had been promoted as answering something specific. Instead it was a generic pitch selling a high-end product with less than 20% interesting or relevant content. The whole event was painful to sit through.

At the end of the event, I then received a thank you email for joining in. It said: I was practically bursting at the seams to get on the training and share some of my very best tips, techniques and strategies with you… [and] I hope you had as much fun as I did! 

Really??!!!

I wondered… was this the first email that was written for the first run of this product and never updated? It felt like it must have been relevant at some point. The email was so insincere that when I received the next one, I unsubscribed; EVEN though I was initially very interested in their products/services.

The Winner’s Circle

My second experience couldn’t have been more of a contrast from the first. Let me reveal whose webinar it was first before I go on to tell you what worked.

Kathryn Hocking took out this week’s title! Kathryn is Australia’s e-course queen and I can see why. She has developed her business in a way that’s receptive to the market and continually updated. I believe that’s one of the KEY differences. She keeps it real… and current.

For the first minute or two of the webinar, Kathryn welcomed people individually as they signed on. She was present on the webinar – key difference #2. By being present, she was able to engage with and personally address all questions of the attendees during the event. There was also a good balance of introductory material, informative content and finally, the sales-related information for her product. However, the sales stuff wasn’t pitchy; it was informative – key difference # 3. Plus, it was clearly an offer during a promotional launch so I knew what I was signing up for – key difference #4.

The Takeaways

The power of authenticity and presence with your community allows you to be engaging and informative while still delivering on the purpose of selling your product.

People want to connect with real people so don’t sell yourself out to maximise leverage while under-delivering on personality. Stay interested in your community. Take the time to examine your metrics to understand what your audience responds to so you can keep your content fresh and engaging.

Be generous with your time and your offerings. The law of attraction promises it will come back to you. When you provide free but relevant content, it builds your authority as an expert in your area and allows your audience the opportunity to get to know you before doing business with you.

Learning how to communicate value involves promoting yourself in a way that is authentic to YOU. If you don’t know what this looks like yet, surround yourself with people you resonate with who are out there doing it. Learn from them. People who are genuine are always happy to share their experiences with others who are eager to learn.

Finally, if you are going to deliver a sales pitch during your free event, please make sure it’s linked to your promotion in a way that people know what they’re signing up for. Otherwise, it’s really not a good look!

I’d love to hear what you think. If you’ve had any similar experiences, please share them in the comments below.

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