The Currency of Trust
Mankind’s oldest currency in business is not gold, or silver, or shell money. It is trust. Communities and companies have been built on trust, long before money or traded shares were invented.
To get clients for your business, you need to be trustful. But to thrive in a competitive environment, it won’t work if you try to lure them away from your competitors by offering more trust. Trust is binary: It’s there, or it is not. (Tertium non datur: Being doubtful about trusting someone just means that you haven’t explored the relationship far enough to own the decision.)
So if it’s impossible to out-trust your competitor, what can you do?
Authenticity is the currency of trust. Your marketing efforts will be so much more successful if you’re authentic. Your content will be so much more successful if you’re authentic. You will be so much … well, you get the idea.
But authenticity is a highly volatile currency in that it depends on many factors, most of whom you cannot control. What you see as being authentic (in marketing, content, or youself) may be perceived otherwise by your prospects or clients. Some will buy into it, some won’t.
And this is how you can thrive even when you’re surrounded by equally authentic competitors. You cannot possibly be authentic in the eyes of “the market” (i. e., everyone in your part of the ocean) at the same time. But you can always be authentic to yourself.
Authenticity is also a potent filter mechanism. If you know yourself well enough, if you know your light and your shadow, then you can sense mismatches between what is authentic for them and what you perceive as such.
Walk your talk, or walk away.