How to Build Your Brand with Authentic Leadership
As a small business owner, it can feel like you spend all your time at the office. When it comes to your energy, are you bringing your authentic self to work? Here, UE.co, a San Diego-based, tech-enabled marketing services company shares why authentic leadership makes a difference in motivating your employees and increasing your competitive edge within your niche.
How Authentic Leadership Benefits You
Maybe you’ve heard that people tend to vote for the presidential candidate they’d want to have a beer with. The same holds true for companies: customers want to shop at stores where they like the shopkeeper, and support small business owners who feel trustworthy and authentic.
Being authentic also has benefits for you. When you are not trying to act the way you think someone should act, because you are acting like yourself, you have more energy left to focus on your passions. Getting things done energizes you, which can boost productivity. Conversely, putting on an act is draining and if you’re acting like someone else, you may actually get less done at work!
Your employees and customers will feel the difference when they are getting the true you, rather than the act. This can positively impact your customer and employee retention rate, your sale average, and your referral rate. Yes, just by being your authentic self, you can attract a stream of new customers and sell more products to your current brand fans.
Last but not least, being authentic in your business is a risk. It’s easier to act the way you think a business owner should act, even if it’s a mask. By taking the risk of being authentic, you open the door to take more risks, which could pay off in increased revenue. Companies such as UE.co that have rebranded with the intention to authentically promote their business have become more successful overall due to increased employee and customer satisfaction. Because of this increase in success, UE.co is able to give back to its community through a scholarship program, which was created to support innovators and leaders in the community. This is an authentic way to get involved with the community and demonstrate that the company is committed to helping the people who are helping them.
How Authenticity Boosts Your Brand
Let’s think about the benefits to your brand of authentic leadership. Your brand appeals to a demographic, whether you sell custom dog collars or run a bed and breakfast.
When you let customers behind the scenes by sharing scenes from your life on Instagram or blogging about something that really happened to you, you’re inviting your audience to connect with the face behind the brand. Customers like to see the behind the scenes, and engagement via social media boosts your reach.
By being authentic, you also encourage your staff to be their full selves on the job. Happier employees equal less churn. Employees who are positively engaged on the job will do better when serving customers and making sales pitches, so this also translates to happier customers and increased revenue.
To start sharing authentically, think about why you started your business and what inspires you. Then share content that explains your brand’s origin story, work your personal story into blog posts or newsletters, or speak from the heart in your next keynote or client pitch.
There are all sorts of strategies to hack short term growth. However, the only businesses that survive are those that live their mission and vision: those that feel authentic to customers. To build a strong brand and grow your revenue exponentially, strive to be an authentic leader every day.