It goes without saying that the old adage, “Honesty is the best policy” is true in both personal life and in business. Beyond building a brand, today’s society not only demands transparency from businesses, we expect it. In a world in which it’s estimated that we’re exposed to over 5,000 ads per day, being sincere with your clients about your brand will allow you to make a connection and ultimately, gain their trust. But how exactly do you humanize your brand when you’re trying to grow your business? We’ve got five tips to keep you on track for the human approach to business growth:
Be real with your pitfalls.
Even if you’re experiencing a bump in the business road, it’s okay to let people know. And hey, no one is perfect. People relate to the struggle and come to appreciate your brand more when they can see the human side of things, including your less-than-perfect moments (or dare we say failures). End up with a bad review from a disgruntled customer on a review site? That’s okay! Over 289 million complaints go unanswered each year. Instead of falling into that statistic, respond to negative comments in the most professional way you can, and leave it there for everyone to see. Admitting your flaws shows that you’re in tune with your business and are working to refine it daily. Clients will appreciate the transparency from you, making your brand more relatable and appreciated.
Make your brand voice more personal, not corporate.
Speaking of humanization, don’t forget to humanize the voice behind your brand, too. This means building a more relatable tone with everything from collateral to social media accounts. Don’t be afraid to include casual lingo alongside your savvy business knowledge. In other words, drop the jargon and buzzwords. Using intentionally personal words (like “I” and “we,”) will not only make your brand approachable, but will help your followers and clients feel more connected to the brand, too. Being genuine isn’t something you can fake, either, so let your brand’s true personality shine through. Experts recommend incorporating humor, developing a unique voice and even signing your posts with a name to show your brand’s personality. Humanization is something we’re a big fan of around these parts, and we always try to keep the concept in mind with our own brand. After all, practice what you preach.
Build relationships with your team members.
If you’re not building relationships when you’re building your team, you’re missing the mark. Even if you’re working virtually, it’s important to get to know each other beyond the computer screen. Plan training in a common city and encourage everyone to attend, or check-in every now and then about a team member’s children or hobbies. And don’t be afraid to post photos of the team on your social media platforms, too. Plan to post photos and videos from that team training. Just seeing the faces behind the brand will immediately showcase the human aspect of your business.
It’s okay for business growth to be slow.
In a world in which companies with speedy success are praised in a society that values immediacy, patience often gets pushed to the wayside. Remember that it’s okay to grow slowly over time. Not getting thousands of followers? It’s okay. Not having a great return on your latest email marketing campaign? That’s okay. Not seeing vast, quick returns on investments? That’s okay, too. Do whatever you can to learn from your current growth models and work to continually improve them. Don’t forget to let your teammates know that growing slow is a part of the startup culture, too. You’re all in this together.
Be deliberate with your actions.
Hire the best team you can find and get your accounting ducks in a row all without losing focus on growing. Everything you do and say is a representation of your brand. If you’re not an expert in a particular facet of business, hire someone who is. Beyond being deliberate with your actions, be confident in them, too. Oh, and definitely plan to share them with others. Authenticity isn’t something that can be taught or bought; it’s something that has to be genuine from within. Share your story as you grow, and allow your clients to see that journey and even join you on it.