By Rieva Lesonsky
Most people today can spot a fake within minutes—whether it’s a small business loan officer looking at an applicant for the first time or when you’re buying new equipment for your store. Are you willing to spend your working capital on a knock-off or do you want the real thing? Like you, your customers are suspicious of companies trying to cut corners and sell them something fake. You can make yourself stand above the crowd by flaunting your authenticity. And what’s more authentic than a small business owner trying to achieve the American dream?
Your small beginnings and your business history are what gives you your authenticity, so make sure you play it up on your website and in your marketing materials. Does your customer knows why you’re so passionate about your business, and about the struggles you went through to achieve business success? Tell them every chance you get. Then send your story to your local newspaper and bloggers like Patch.com. Everyone loves to read about a success story.
In addition, having your business featured as a local business success also projects the image of authenticity for your company. Get listed in all the local directories, make sure you’re findable on mobile search and play up how your product or service is specific to your community. Get involved and make your face known by attending city council meetings, local charity events, or you can even sponsor a local sports team. Good news about a local business travels fast.
If your business isn’t obviously authentic in some way, think about what you could add to be thought of as authentic or original. If you own a Mexican restaurant, add an authentic menu item or traditional decor. Every business owner should be able to highlight something that shows their authenticity. Also, focus on the experience your product or service evokes in your customer. Marketing authenticity is emotional and that’s what will attract customers. Whether it’s your authentic passion you show for your business or your authentic customer service, figure out what makes your business unique and market it again and again.
Rieva Lesonsky is CEO of GrowBiz Media, a media and custom content company focusing on small business and entrepreneurship. Email Rieva at email@example.com, follow her on Google+ and Twitter.com/Rieva and visit her website, SmallBizDaily.com, to get the scoop on business trends and sign up for Rieva’s free TrendCast reports