You’ve worked hard to put together a business and a plan. You are executing a solid content marketing strategy by writing and publishing high quality content. You are on social media promoting your content, building your list, and expanding your reach.
But you may have missed something without even realizing it – something that could kill your business.
Be Who You Say You Are
Writers and content marketers are masters of words; masters at drafting and crafting to draw out a response from their audience. Occasionally, this can lead to stretching or bending the truth. If it is content marketing copy about you and your business, don’t portray yourself as something you are not.Don't lie about who you are. Click To Tweet
Brand authority is built on trust. To portray yourself as something other than what you are just sets you up for failure when that becomes known. You might get away with it for awhile, but things have a way of catching up to you. (Ask Brian Williams about that.)
Yes, it is wise to craft your message. Content marketing craves that talent. Emphasize your strengths, downplay areas in which you are weak. There is nothing wrong with crafting your content marketing voice. But in the process of building your online reputation, do not lie about yourself. It’s best to just be authentic.
It takes quite a bit of time to build trust in an online relationship and that is critical to successful content marketing. That trust is built on perception of your reputation. It only takes a few seconds to tear down that reputation.
Here are some additional posts on online reputation management through content marketing:
- Content Marketing or Online Reputation Management – What’s the Difference?
- How Your Content Strategy Is Critical For Reputation Management
- 5 Ways To Enhance Your Online Reputation and Content Marketing Strategy
Present Your Business Honestly
This guy says he’ll get you 5000 Twitter followers for $29. His number of followers? 712.
Now that’s obviously an extreme example (and probably an good example of a scam). But there are more subtle similar tweeters out there. How many times have you read someone’s Twitter bio that says something to the effect that they are a social media expert, but they only have a couple hundred followers?
Sure that person may be the brains behind a branded twitter handle that has 250,000 engaged followers. But more often than not, it comes across as fake.Be honest and truthful in your portrayal about yourself and your business. Click To Tweet
If you have built a quality online reputation and have been honest in your content marketing strategy, then people will have trust to open their wallets. Don’t be tempted to deviate from an ethical approach. Sure, it may result in some fast money, but over the long term, it will hurt you. And people eventually see through that.
The days of telling people you are a multi-millionaire, a beautiful person, with a high rise ocean view condo on South Beach while you are really living in your Mom’s basement are over. Portray yourself as who you are. Be honest in building your online reputation and that honesty will serve you well in the future.
The Benefit of Doubt
If you are honest with yourself about yourself and have ethically built an online reputation, believe me, people will defend you if the need arises. They will give you the benefit of the doubt when situations arise that may affect your reputation. If an online bully speaks negatively about you and you have been true to build an honest reputation, people will give you the benefit of the doubt and defend you. But be aware that if they do give you the benefit of the doubt, you should be honest in your responses as well.
A Content Marketing Strategy That Works
I’m in my third decade of being an online entrepreneur (yes, it actually has been that long), and I have had first-hand experience with this many times. In over 15 years of working with WordPress and being involved in the community, I have had people come to my defense when needed.
I attribute this to the fact that I have always tried to hold myself out to the public in an honest fashion. Sure, I don’t tell the world everything about me. I don’t bring up every obvious weakness and flaw. But in the things that I do tell about myself, I make sure that I can back up what I have put out there.
It’s cliche, but honesty is the best policy.Businesses built on honest portrayals of their strengths are the ones that last. Click To Tweet