“My real life helped me sell a lot of records.” – Christopher Wallace, Born May 21, 1972.
In this age where “authenticity” is a buzzword, lots of brand wonks will tell you that what you need to do is just be yourself.
That skips a step.
Step 1: Be awesome.
Step 2: Be yourself.
That shit works like a charm. If you're awesome, being yourself just shows it off. People like you, and therefore they like what you do and what you have for them. Your audience grows, and therefore so do sales.
If you're NOT awesome, your self probably sucks. Don't be that sucky self. It will make you look bad. No one will like you or want to buy your crap. Even if you are being 100% authentic with your sucky ass.
Do you want to be awesome?
I'm going to tell you the secret of awesomeness.
“Share your attempts at doing awesome things.”
That's it. It sounds simple, but every word has an important meaning here.
1. Share. Film it. Write it up. Tell your stories and experiences to anyone who will read/watch/listen. Share regularly. Link everything you share back to the place people can find more if they like it. That's where the audience comes from.
2. Your. You have to do it. Stop pussing out. Do something interesting. Make time for it. Something fun that you really want to do. You do it. You experience it. Pay attention when it's happening, because you'll be sharing it later.
3. Attempts. You don't have to finish, or succeed, in order for an audience to find any glimpse into your life as interesting. In fact, failures can be even more interesting and valuable than successes are, lesson-wise.
Don't be afraid to be the Guinea pig for experiments your audience wants the results of. Be their brave proxy when they want to live vicariously through something risky or daring to them.
4. Doing. Don't just share stuff you read or watched or thought about. You're not just some link list curated from someone else's shit. You're generating UNIQUE material because YOU actually DO shit yourself. Taking action, creating, implementing, executing – these are what make people want to follow alongside, and not just consume by themselves.
5. Awesome things. Not boring things. Not mediocre things. Unless you're attempting them in a way that makes them awesome. Like ironing a shirt while skydiving. But maybe less extreme.
Just do things that genuinely interest you, and that's a start. Chances are, other people you can meet online will also find that thing interesting. Enthusiasm is contagious.
That's it. Share your attempts to do awesome things. That's the secret of authenticity. It's how you make it so you can make a living just being yourself, and sharing that with your fans.
And that's a pretty good way to be.