Keep It Real: How to Be Authentic with Your Brand

By guest contributor Mariah Danielsen. Photography by Magpie Paperworks.

The Internet is full of creative things. With sites like Pinterest, it can be hard to find your voice, and build authenticity in your own brand, without feeling like you’re copying someone else. We’re bombarded with fun ideas and beautiful design on a consistent basis.

Since it’s incredibly important that you’re representing the real you on your blog, here are a few ways you can be authentic:

Use Your Own Language
One sure way to be authentic, is to write your blog posts with the same language and tone that you would use in writing a letter to your best friend. This shows your true voice, through the language you use on a daily basis. If someone visits your website and then meets you in person, they will know right away that you are one and the same.

And the best part of using your own language - it’s easier and more enjoyable to write posts.

Share about your life
Another way to infuse your personality into your blog is to share snippets about your life. People love to see a little peek into your life; it helps them form a connection with you. The more real you seem to your readers, the more connected you’ll be.

You can do this easily by including your Instagram feed in your sidebar. This gives you, and your brand, visual representation by showing bits of your everyday life and personality. What’s more real than that?

Find Your Perfect Customer
When you’re just starting out, it can be hard to turn away customers, no matter how hard they are to work with. But if at all possible, figure out who your perfect customer would be, then design and market directly to them. In this way, you’re only focusing on pleasing this one particular person, instead of every potential client. This allows you to be more authentic, since you’re not trying to be everything to everyone. Plus, it's more fun to create the things you love.

Stay Inspired
Infuse your brand with the things you love about your favorite brands. What brands inspire you? What stores could you spend an entire day in? What is it about these brands that you like the most? Instead of getting caught up in the online world, go to physical places of inspiration and take cues from them.

For example: if you love the way Anthropologie packages their packing slips with your online order (I know I do), or if you love that Apple includes stickers with their electronics purchases; find a way to do something similar with your own brand. Just make sure you don’t copy their ideas directly.

There is only one you; only one person with your thoughts, values, and dreams. Stay true to yourself with your brand, and you’ll continue to attract customers who love your stuff and share it with everyone they know.

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Eden Hensley

Marketing creative, community engagement specialist, technophile, photographer, food and wine enthusiast, and the founder and editor-in-chief of The Road to The Good Life, a lifestyle blog about appreciating and enhancing your life by being grateful for the "haves" instead of lingering on the "wants." There you will find personal stories about my life and family weaved in with real-life, achievable entertaining tips, recipes for hearty home cooked meals, and DIY projects for capturing and sharing memories. I believe the best place to swap stories is over a shared meal, preferably a Thai-meal served family style, and teach an online introduction class to Thai Flavors and host the Family Dinners at The Station supper club in San Francisco.