The 4 Layers of Authentic Business

An authentic business feels deeply meaningful, and financially supports you.

Layer 1: Authentic Content Marketing

The most generous — and authentic to the soul — way of starting or growing a business is through content. This is the first layer, the foundation.

Where to create & share content?

I’d recommend using a larger platform such as Facebook, Youtube, Instagram, Reddit, Medium, or Quora.

  1. Relevant — Within your area of expertise, focus on answering the questions that your ideal clients/audience have, and talking about the things that energize them. Make list of problems you love to solve. Which ones could you create a quick solution for? Which problems are most popular or do you hear the most? Create or curate content for these.
  2. Consistent — Commit to posting content regularly. No matter what. You might commit to a daily (M-F if you take weekends off) or a weekly rhythm, but keep at it. Follow a schedule (practice creating on demand). Of course having occasional respites of 1–2 weeks, e.g. Christmas break, is acceptable to any audience.

How to measure progress?

Are you getting real engagers? People who post comments saying that your content is helpful and/or uplifting for them.

Layer 2: Audience Research

You’ve started to gather a real audience (engagers, subscribers, sharers). These are your “tribe”, the village you’ve created on the internet.

  • Ask in Online Groups
  • Email a survey to your list
  • Listen in your everyday “conversations” with clients & pros clients
  • Ask other industry influencers what they’re hearing

Layer 3: Launch to Learn

When you have some clarity from these conversations, when you start to notice a pattern of what product/service seems to be missing (or not good enough) for the audience members you’re talking to, then it’s time to add the third layer — launch your offerings with learning as the key priority.

You can speed up the above layers with:

Layer 4: Growing What Works

Through your various launches, you’ll discover some offering that your audience likes the best, that they’re most likely to buy.

  • Keep improving the alignment & accuracy between your marketing materials and the actual customer/client experience. In other words, sell only what your average client actually experiences by using your services/products. This is different from most (inauthentic) marketing which hypes up the minority of the most unusual successes.
  • Grow your marketing via paid ads.
  • Be doing 1–1 outreach to influencers of your network to let them know which product/service is being of most impact to your audience.
  • Explore joint-ventures and collaborations with other authentic businesses.

Written by

Authentic Business Coach & Author of 4 Books including "Authentic Content Marketing" and "Joyful Productivity"

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