A piece of advice that a lot of entrepreneurs receive when they’re first starting out is to “fake it ’til you make it.”  That’s really helpful for people who are entering uncharted territory because it encourages confidence and positive thinking, even when the reality is that you have no idea what you’re doing.

Then your business takes off and you get hit with a bout of “imposter syndrome” where you can’t believe you’ve really earned this success because you’ve been winging it half the time. You worry that you’ve somehow deceived your customers and your confidence comes crashing down.

Well, I’m here to tell you that your success is very much real. People believe in your brand and what you sell because you believe in it too. Whether or not you started this journey believing in yourself all the way, you believed in your product enough to get it this far. And I’m going to help you take it further.

Why do your customers patronize your business? Is it because you have the best product? The best prices? The most innovative ideas?

The truth is, most consumer loyalty is based on buying into the lifestyle that a brand presents, more than on the actual products a brand is selling. What kind of life do you promise your customer if they buy your products or engage with your brand?

“People don’t buy what you do; they buy why you do it.” – Simon Sinek, Start With Why

Take a moment to review your brand’s mission and its promises. For example, if you’re selling an elevated, healthy lifestyle that’s eco-conscious and well-rounded via products that are organic and high quality, your marketing materials are most likely geared towards images of active, happy people with a motif around earthy elements. From a marketing perspective, your brand and its products inspire and promote this green, healthy lifestyle and draw customers in with the promise of elevating their lives to this standard.

So how do you build more trust between your brand and the people you’re engaging with? In my checklist for how to build a more valuable brand, I go through some thought-provoking questions on how to develop a mission statement that keeps your brand in check for authenticity and trustworthiness.

Your brand, from its promises down to its supply chain, should fully embrace the lifestyle that it’s portraying. Is your health product company culture aligned to its brand values by promoting a healthy work-life balance and paid mental health leave or is your office littered with paper printouts of unimportant documentation and vending machines stocked with junk food and sugary drinks? Are the products you source truly fair trade or are you unintentionally taking advantage of impoverished farmers to keep costs low?

Authenticity is a huge marker for how valuable a brand is perceived by its consumers. Your mission statement is a central part of what you are promising your customers and it’s important to define that statement in a way that is honest to yourself and your goals. Sign up for my checklist now to start working on a brand mission and foundation that inspires trust from your audience.