My new book Louder Than Words: Harness The Power Of Your Authentic Voice is available now.
It’s noisy. Not physically noisy, but culturally noisy.
Everyone is clamoring for attention, and clanging their gongs trying to win a few seconds of your precious time. Clickbait, shock tactics, and distractions are so commonplace that they are now used even by previously “credible” institutions. It’s tempting to follow suit and fall into these tactics with your own work.
It’s almost as if we’ve suddenly decided that attention is the magic elixir that will solve all of our problems. Except that it won’t. Attention means little. Sustained attention, over long period of time, is better, but still not the solution. Attention alone doesn’t move the needle. Not really.
What does? Resonance.
When your work resonates with your intended audience, others become carriers of your ideas. They then take your ideas into the world and share them with their own audience. When your work resonates, it changes people. It is impossible for their perspective to remain fixed. You’ve caused an epiphany.
I believe the key to resonance is authenticity, but not as we typically consider it. We tend to think that authenticity means transparency alone – simply showing everything in its rawness – but I don’t think that’s the best definition. Rather, I’d argue that transparency is only one element of authenticity. The more important element is ownership. Are you deeply invested in your message or work? Do people see you have “skin in the game”? That you care?
You must invest yourself in the work if you want people to resonate. They have to feel that you are in it with them. They have to know that you are not simply fabricating an external, manipulative shell. The work matters to you. It doesn’t matter if your audience is your manager, your readers, or your potential customers. They need to know that you mean it.
How can you infuse more authenticity into your work? Is there a way you can show your audience that you truly care?
As Tim Schigel, co-founder of ShareThis, told me in an interview, “Authenticity doesn’t have to amplify.” When your work is infused with authenticity, and founded upon something of substance, your audience will do it for you.