Everyone struggles at least once in their life, but it doesn’t have to be a defining factor. The struggle isn’t something others should use as a stick to be to beat you with — on the contrary; it’s a reason to relate and show compassion.
Starting and marketing business includes a thorough evaluation of your image. People tend to support brands they believe in, not those hiding indiscretions. Embracing your past and turning it into an advantage is essential in the marketing world.
You’re starting a business, knowing the stakeholders may not like your life story. What if you found an online education organization, but you are a college dropout, and your grades were far away from perfect? Imagine you decided to create a beauty company, yet you have acne and other skin issues. What if you flirted with the law in the past, but you wish to start a charitable organization?
There can be numerous reasons why someone would worry about their brand. You may have made a mistake at some point in your life, and now, it can have become a threat — or at least, this is what you think. The truth is, no one is perfect. People don’t like being lied to, but they especially don’t favor someone who creates an ideal image, and later it turns out to be imperfect in every way.
Define your struggles — this is the first step in creating have a real, sincere, and likable brand. The marketing strategy should be interconnected with your authentic image.
People Love an Authentic Story
Compassion and relatability are crucial when building a brand. In fact, they are essential in any life situation: building relationships with other people, excelling at a new workplace, and many others. Building a brand is similar to building your image and character — something people associate with you. Even if you don’t have the intention of creating a company, branding, and marketing yourself should be an essential life skill.
People like hearing authentic life stories, which allow them to express emotions and show support. While there is nothing wrong about life without struggles, all of us are more likely to relate to someone who battled issues earlier. When your brand is relatable, you are more likely to attract attention and win people’s hearts.
I recently wrote a success story about a woman who started a multi million-organization while leaving at a homeless shelter. This is an excellent example of how you should be honest about past and life experiences and use them to your advantage. There is nothing shameful about experiencing hardship and seeking help. Brandi Leifso, the entrepreneur in the article, chose to be authentic with her audience and customers. She gave interviews to media outlets, telling her story, and using it is an example of succeeding under challenging conditions. When your brand reflects your inspiring story, you are more likely to receive a positive response from potential customers.
The World Has Changed, So Did the Views
Look around — you will see many examples of how our vision has evolved. When Bill Clinton’s scandal came out, it triggered an impeachment inquiry. But Donald Trump’s escort controversy didn’t cause such a response. Many years ago, divorce was unacceptable in society; now, it’s a normal thing. When Britney Spears hit a rough patch in 2007, we didn’t talk about mental health, and the public didn’t understand what was happening to the pop star. But now, we talk about mental health all the time, and we praise the Hollywood stars who come out about their mental issues.
The world has changed significantly. We don’t judge people the way we used to before; we don’t criticize for something we would have crucified them earlier. We are more open-minded now, which means people are more susceptible to hearing about someone else’s mistakes.
Your Struggles are Now Your Strong Suits
Virtually any struggle you can think of can be turned into a strong suit. There are exceptions, of course. But even if you have a history of bad decisions and poor behavior, you can still turn your life around and hit “restart’ — as Shea LaBeouf did.
Consider every struggle you have is a strong suit to build your brand. Did you struggle financially? Tell the story of succeeding and making it in life, despite the money problems. Did you go through a divorce? Open up about your broken heart and how it inspired you to move forward. You have a voice — use it.
Jim Carrey lived in a van before starting his acting career. Eminem was dirt poor, and his life story can easily make you cry. J.K. Rowling was on welfare while writing “Harry Potter.” All these celebrities, and many others, didn’t hide from their past and embraced it. They were sincere and never forgot where they came from.
An authentic story about your life struggles may get a few sarcastic comments, but it will also give you a lifetime of compassionate fans who love inspiring people.
Build a Genuine Brand
Use a marketing strategy to develop a genuine brand. Make a list of vulnerabilities you’d like to share with the audience and do it. Appear authentic and sincere — the next thing you know, you will have many supporters.
There are many ways to tell your story. You can do it on your own, using social media. You can connect it to your product or service. Giving interviews with media outlets is a great way, as well.
People want to see you for who you are: a genuine person. Making mistakes is not a deal-breaker.
Never Apologize for Who You are
Own it. Admit your mistakes and face your struggles. Not only will it help you, too build a brand, but it will allow you to live a fulfilling life. No one wants to see a fake — we value authenticity.