I honestly never thought I’d be working in the field of marketing.To me, it always seemed very fake as an outsider looking in.

It certainly wasn’t like me.

Image - Taras Chernus, Unsplash

It wasn't until I started my personal branding practice and work that I started to see a different side of marketing, albeit self-marketing. I had to do it for myself at the time, and I realized that, at its heart, personal branding was about uncovering and communicating your authentic self.

Now this type of marketing I could get into to!

One where you and your business are transparent, you’re keeping the needs of your clients and customers up front, and you’re providing your audience value at every turn.

The same principles behind the authenticity and personality that a personal brand communicates can also be applied by businesses in the form of ethical content marketing.

If you’re a coach, consultant, or solopreneur…..like it or not, you are also a marketer.

But you can go about it in a way that is both effective and “feels good” to do.

Appeal to the basic human trait of wanting to keep thoughts & actions consistent

Consistency in thoughts and actions is something you promote as a coach or consultant to your clients.After all, can change really happen without consistency?You can speak to this human trait and desire even in your content marketing.If you’re a fitness coach and you ask your audience “Do you want to build a stronger you and own the day, everyday?”, you are speaking to an existing desire they already have to be stronger and wanting to own the day.If they thought “no, I don’t want to build a stronger me, and I’m certainly not interested in owning the day”, this thought would be a contradiction to their values (and they wouldn’t be part of your ideal audience!).But agreeing with this statement, reading your blog post, and downloading or signing up for your freebie are ways for them to stay consistent with a way of thinking and acting that was already there.

How you phrase your copy can enable this behavioural inclination and desire to stay consistent in thoughts and actions.It’s also an example of ethical marketing.

It must offer legitimate value to your customers

When business starts looking bleak, you can start to feel quite desperate.You may even begin leaning towards marketing tactics that sound sensational but unrealistic.

Besides the legal ramifications of making outlandish product and service claims, it just isn’t the right thing to do – plain and simple.

Here’s what I can tell you, though…….if your business, and everything you create and offer, comes from the heart and from putting the needs of your clients and customers front and centre, you will always be in a better position to communicate the legitimate value of your offerings.

Knowing your ‘why’ and creating marketing messages that focus on the pains and needs or your clients and customers (and NOT your products or services) is the foundation for ethical marketing practices.

Establish an authentic bond with your audience

Providing real value breeds trust.We never, ever want to compromise this trust that we’ve been granted, so we need to ensure that everything that we do and say is clear, consistent, and honest.When you establish an authentic bond with your audience and they become comfortable with making smaller decisions (such as giving their email address to you in exchange for a valuable freebie), they will be more inclined to feeling safe with making bigger decisions (making a small purchase, etc.).

Let’s be clear, though.Breaching that trust – such as inconsistent words and actions or lack of follow through at any point in the customer’s journey - will break that bond, and that will be the end of that.

Final Thoughts

Rest assured that if you’ve been pulling back the reins on your content marketing because you were afraid of coming across like a pushy, inauthentic salesperson, there are ways that you can ethically leverage human psychology and behaviour to both share valuable content AND win the business!