As a content creator, your authenticity – or lack of – can make or break you.
The influence you hold over consumers’ purchasing decisions is incredible. In Australia, 2 in 5 people are more likely to purchase a product after they see an influencer post about it. But with this power comes a huge responsibility to remain open and honest.
It’s a word you’ll hear a lot in the influencer marketing space. But simply put, being an authentic content creator can help you build your integrity and reputation. It can even help set you apart from the hundreds of other creators, all competing to win the attention of brands and social users.
Yes, being authentic means you should portray your true self. But it isn’t just about that. You also need to be open and honest with your community, the brands you collaborate with and of course, yourself. Here’s how to be an authentic content creator.
To me, authenticity is all about having the courage to be your true self and in turn creating a space for others to do the same, unapologetically.
– @days.with.shathie, Vamp creator
Why should you be an authentic creator?
From a brand’s point of view
Brands are more likely to work with you if they know you’re an honest creator. This means you can maximise your earning potential. They want to collaborate with creators who have a real audience and real engagements as they can trust your content will be effective in driving real results for them.
Genuine collaborations is also something brands look for when running a campaign. They want to work with a creator who authentically aligns with their messaging and goals. So, it’s important you consider how well you personally connect with a brief before applying for it. A vegan cheese brand won’t want to collaborate with a creator who isn’t vegan.
Authenticity is finding your groove within your community. It won’t happen over night but as you grow you’ll find a beautiful way to express your honest self. It’s always going to be an evolving process but that’s what makes content creation so exciting. At the end of the day you have to do what makes you happy, so make sure you maintain your true authentic self, no matter what obstacles come your way.
From your audience’s point of view
Your audience is going to appreciate your honesty, which can lead to them becoming a loyal follower. When you’re only engaging in authentic collaborations, their trust will only grow stronger for you. This can help improve your content’s performance and will keep them part of your community.
This can even help you grow your audience. People value openness and honesty, especially on social media. Their feeds are always trying to sell them something, so when they come across a creator who is genuinely recommending great products, there’s a higher chance they’re going to follow you for more.
The dos and don’ts to being an authentic creator
It’s not enough to just say you’re authentic. You need to do the continuous work. Here’s the dos and don’ts you should follow:
Don’t opt into or say yes to every campaign opportunity
We get it, more work means more money. But working on a campaign that doesn’t align with your personal brand could cost you loyal followers and future brand collaborations.
Do be selective when working with brands
Instead, read briefs thoroughly to check the content will suit your feed, the brand aligns with your lifestyle and beliefs. If you haven’t heard of the brand before, research them to decide if they’re a perfect fit for you.
Don’t lie to your audience about paid partnerships
Nobody likes a liar, especially your followers who’ll expect your honesty. Don’t be the creator who doesn’t communicate with their audience about paid partnerships. They won’t appreciate it and may just hit that unfollow button.
Do disclose all of your paid collaborations with your audience
You should always actively disclose all of your paid collaborations. Use the correct hashtags such as #ad or #sponsored, or better yet, use Instagram’s Paid Partnership Tag.
Don’t put up a facade and be someone you’re not
There’s never any value in pretending to be someone you’re not, just to impress others. We see this happen a lot on social media since it’s so easy to do behind a screen. But this will only get you so far until people start to notice your inauthenticity.
Do portray your true self online
Alternatively, get real with your audience and always aim to be as open and honest about yourself as possible. Some great features to help you do this are Stories and Lives. These features allow for more authentic and spontaneous video content that your followers can personally interact with.
Don’t join an engagement pod
Engagement pods are groups of creators who get together and commit to engaging with every member’s posts. Although these sound good from the surface, as the engagement is coming from real people, they aren’t genuine and brands tend to avoid working with creators who get this type of engagement.
Do encourage genuine community engagement
Rather than joining an engagement pod – or worse, paying for your engagements – you should commit to daily community management. This is where you authentically engage with your audience through comments, DMs and Stories and form genuine connections with your community.
Don’t forget about non-sponsored content
Keep in mind that not all of your posts should be sponsored. There’s nothing worse than seeing a feed that’s full of ads. So make sure you’re still sharing personal content with your audience, such as what you created on the weekend for fun and what you like to do in your spare time.