fearWe have to dare to be ourselves, however frightening or strange that self may prove to be.
~ May Sarton

It happens every time I help someone create an authentic brand. I never know exactly when it will happen or how it will rear its head, but at some point before launch they’re going to freak out.

Some folks don’t even get to the point of investing in an authentic brand. Though they know their marketing is not a clear or compelling representation of their true essence and gifts and it’s not attracting their perfect customers, they fear they are not worth the investment.

Others will get that the investment will offer an exponential return and so they invest, but then when we get deeply into their true purpose they get itchy. They may understand that “Like Attracts Like” and that only when they’re authentic will they attract perfect customers, but when I suggest they reveal some specific vulnerable aspect of their life either through words or images, they resist.

That resistance may look like they never get to writing the copy for their website, or they reject a beautiful design I did that depicts them too deeply for comfort, or they neglect to get their profile photo taken… for months, or they miss meetings with me causing delays on the project. I’ve even had some folks neglect to get me their final website changes… ever. Their sites are still minutes from completion awaiting those final instructions to go live.

Because true belonging only happens when we present our authentic, imperfect selves to the world, our sense of belonging can never be greater than our level of self-acceptance.  ~ Brené Brown, Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead

I was recently chatting with colleague and branding expert Suzanne Falter and asked her if she had noticed this phenomenon of pre-launch freak out. She confirmed that it always happens at one point or another in the process of developing an authentic brand.

“It even happens with the most experienced marketers. On the night before their launch they’ll wonder if it’s a good idea to move forward with it,” Suzanne revealed.

I know what Suzanne says is true because I’ve experienced it myself. For years I hid the magical side of me. Not only did I not include the magical essence in my brand, I didn’t talk about it with friends either. I was afraid people would call me, “Too woo woo,” or “spaced out,” or “unrealistic.” When I finally decided to change my business name from Graphic Girlz to Magical Marketing I hired TWO very expensive branding experts to confirm I had a good idea.

Now that I’m “out” as magical, I am rewarded every day with new magical people knocking on my virtual doors, and a growing bank account as a result. I am living proof that revealing the vulnerable aspect of your inner world will make your business more successful and fulfilling than ever.

Mass advertising can help build brands, but authenticity is what makes them last. If people believe they share values with a company, they will stay loyal to the brand.  ~ Howard Schultz, Pour Your Heart Into It: How Starbucks Built a Company One Cup at a Time

So now that you know your resistance to truly shining your essence through your marketing is not original or unique, what are you going to do about it?

Here are some suggestions:

1)      Invest in your branding even if you fear you don’t have the money. The investment in creating a beautiful and magical representation of you through your brand and/or website will bring you exponential return, and the people you attract will be of a higher caliber to bring your business to the next level. If you really don’t have the money, then either find an investor, get a new credit card, or save with a real plan to move forward.

2)      If you have already invested and are in the midst of a rebrand or new website project, take note of any resistance you experience to sharing yourself authentically. You may experience this resistance as fear nobody will hire you again, or you’ll be chastised for being ‘unprofessional,’ or you will be shot. The fear is not always rational.

3)      Look the fear in the face and do it anyway. “It” may be include a revealing passage on your home page, write a blog post about what you REALLY feel, or make the decision to stop hiding what makes you tick.

4)      Help another person bravely share their authentic self. If you notice someone in your community struggling with revealing their true essence for any reason, support them in being authentic and brave. Helping another is one of the best ways to help ourselves. And in the process we’ll be creating a more authentic world.

Do you have experiences resisting putting your REAL self out there through your marketing? I’d love to hear your stories. Please share your experiences in the comment field below, and feel free to share a link to your website or blog.

WANT TO USE THIS ARTICLE IN YOUR EZINE OR WEB SITE? You can, as long as you include this complete blurb with it: Magical Marketer Julia D. Stege, MFA helps people clarify and express their purpose through branding and websites that attract their tribe and inspire a revolution.  If you’re ready to start attracting your perfect customers now, get Julia’s free Magical Marketing Toolkit at http://www.magicalmarketingtoolkit.com