Behind the mask

We buy products and services every day.

Some we need, some we don’t. But we’ve heard good things about them so we buy them.

Who have we heard good things from?

Our friends. Our family. Our colleagues.

People we trust.

Why do we trust them? Because they’re not a mystery to us.

They don’t wear masks. They don’t hide behind veils. They don’t try and fool us with trickery.

They simply are.

You’re in business. You have a blog. You have a podcast. You want to be popular. You want people to like you; connect with you; follow you.

You want people to trust you.

We will. Just don’t wear a mask. Be yourself. Be true. Be honest.

We know you need to occasionally have your professional head on. Your business head. But does that mean you need to trick us? Does it mean you need to be the person you’re not, the business you’re not, the people we’re not?

No.

So wear the mask, but make it transparent. Wear the hat but make it your own. Pull the veil down but let us know it’s still you underneath. Make us trust you. Let us know who you are and that it’s you each time we talk.

That’s the way you’ll get our business. Our eyes on your blog. Our acceptance on Twitter. Our recommendations to our friends.

If you want us to believe, then make us believe in you. It’s not that hard.

Is it?

Image: GALERIEopWEG

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125 comments
Ari Herzog
Ari Herzog

Indeed, writing from the perspective of an elected city councilor it is imperative a voter believes you and knows you and respects you -- and believes you -- in whatever order the voter wants, before the voter votes for you.

Ari Herzog
Ari Herzog

Indeed, writing from the perspective of an elected city councilor it is imperative a voter believes you and knows you and respects you -- and believes you -- in whatever order the voter wants, before the voter votes for you.

Tom Ross
Tom Ross

Hey Danny, this is the first time I've come across your blog and I'm happy to say that I couldn't agree more with this post. I just wrote a similar article discussing the value of personality in blogging. I'm tired of bloggers hiding behind marketing hype. If a blogger uses a genuine tone, includes personal images of themselves and backs up their articles with real-life experiences then I'm 1000% more likely to trust (and buy from) them. Anyway, you've got yourself a new subscriber :).

Tom Ross
Tom Ross

Hey Danny, this is the first time I've come across your blog and I'm happy to say that I couldn't agree more with this post. I just wrote a similar article discussing the value of personality in blogging. I'm tired of bloggers hiding behind marketing hype. If a blogger uses a genuine tone, includes personal images of themselves and backs up their articles with real-life experiences then I'm 1000% more likely to trust (and buy from) them.

Anyway, you've got yourself a new subscriber :).

Cathy
Cathy

Sorry - second comment, just to get subscriptions to comments! :)

Cathy
Cathy

Sorry - second comment, just to get subscriptions to comments! :)

Cathy
Cathy

Thanks for this post - I need to figure out HOW to do that. As technical support, I am trying to answer questions and provide helpful advice... but share pics of me - or my kids? First - WHY? Second - WHO CARES? I mean, yes, I want ppl to trust me so they will have a relationship - all my sales comes from people who have spoken to me on the phone and 'like' me (not on FB, but for real). How do I volunteer that kind of stuff on my website? I *am* myself, but just not sure how to make *me* relate to my *profession*. THoughts?

Cathy
Cathy

Thanks for this post - I need to figure out HOW to do that. As technical support, I am trying to answer questions and provide helpful advice... but share pics of me - or my kids? First - WHY? Second - WHO CARES? I mean, yes, I want ppl to trust me so they will have a relationship - all my sales comes from people who have spoken to me on the phone and 'like' me (not on FB, but for real). How do I volunteer that kind of stuff on my website? I *am* myself, but just not sure how to make *me* relate to my *profession*. THoughts?

ssgrimes091
ssgrimes091

this is a very interesting blog. Trust is harder and harder to come by these day not only within people but within companies too. Who wants our bujsines and who wants to reveal themselves from the unknown and get public with their cutomers? I like the idea of people revealing themselves, having different "hats" for different styles of your buisness, is nice. Good idea.

ssgrimes091
ssgrimes091

this is a very interesting blog. Trust is harder and harder to come by these day not only within people but within companies too. Who wants our bujsines and who wants to reveal themselves from the unknown and get public with their cutomers? I like the idea of people revealing themselves, having different "hats" for different styles of your buisness, is nice. Good idea.

Daniel Milstein
Daniel Milstein

Hey Danny, Loved your this post also! I think you have made a very valid point. I think for any successful business venture it is must to have a 'Trust' factor with all your buyers and Users. I have added this section in my best selling book also.

Daniel Milstein
Daniel Milstein

Hey Danny, Loved your this post also! I think you have made a very valid point. I think for any successful business venture it is must to have a 'Trust' factor with all your buyers and Users. I have added this section in my best selling book also.

Bailey
Bailey

I was raised in a home where "liar" wasn't in our vocabulary, we didn't need it because we didn't do it. I am so thankful to my mother for letting me realize how important it is to be your true self to everyone you come across. Yes, of course it is important to be more professional in certain situations but to simply be an authentic person is vital. I believe strongly in authenticism. If you are comfortable enough with who you are and what you stand for then there is no reason to hide behind a mask. I love this post because I am passionate about it!

Bailey
Bailey

I was raised in a home where "liar" wasn't in our vocabulary, we didn't need it because we didn't do it. I am so thankful to my mother for letting me realize how important it is to be your true self to everyone you come across. Yes, of course it is important to be more professional in certain situations but to simply be an authentic person is vital. I believe strongly in authenticism. If you are comfortable enough with who you are and what you stand for then there is no reason to hide behind a mask. I love this post because I am passionate about it!

Dillon Slattery
Dillon Slattery

I have got to agree with you. When you are yourself around people most of the time the interaction will be a pleasant one. Although there are always situations where you have to curb some of your less professional thoughts and actions, it is always the best to just say what you want to not what you feel they want to hear. I have been in the situation of the person saying what you think they want to hear and it didn't go nearly as smooth as when I said what I really wanted. Being yourself is always the best both professionally and personally.

Dillon Slattery
Dillon Slattery

I have got to agree with you. When you are yourself around people most of the time the interaction will be a pleasant one. Although there are always situations where you have to curb some of your less professional thoughts and actions, it is always the best to just say what you want to not what you feel they want to hear. I have been in the situation of the person saying what you think they want to hear and it didn't go nearly as smooth as when I said what I really wanted. Being yourself is always the best both professionally and personally.

Leon Noone
Leon Noone

G'Day Danny,
suggest you google "Bill Gove" you'll find lots of stuff about him.

In 1954 he gave an address called "Billy Be Yourself" It's what he says he would tell his four tear old son should he want to become a master salesman. Worth a look mate.
Best Wishes
Leon

Leon Noone
Leon Noone

G'Day Danny, suggest you google "Bill Gove" you'll find lots of stuff about him. In 1954 he gave an address called "Billy Be Yourself" It's what he says he would tell his four tear old son should he want to become a master salesman. Worth a look mate. Best Wishes Leon

Aaron Andrews
Aaron Andrews

Nice post Danny! This is an area where I need to improve on some times I pull myself back a lot fearing that what I'm saying will offend somebody and in the process I feel like I am not being myself. I want people to see who I am on my social networks, I have not been transparent while wearing my mask.

Aaron Andrews
Aaron Andrews

Nice post Danny! This is an area where I need to improve on some times I pull myself back a lot fearing that what I'm saying will offend somebody and in the process I feel like I am not being myself. I want people to see who I am on my social networks, I have not been transparent while wearing my mask.

Erchiust
Erchiust

Seriously those three words summarize everything that needs to be said about being a nice person. Great post Danny, have a great weekend!

Erchiust
Erchiust

Seriously those three words summarize everything that needs to be said about being a nice person. Great post Danny, have a great weekend!

Doug Gene
Doug Gene

Great post, Danny. There are some people that definitely deserve to see the mask. Some don't. All depends on judgement, which really is not an easy think to learn. Thanks for the great post!

Doug Gene
Doug Gene

Great post, Danny. There are some people that definitely deserve to see the mask. Some don't. All depends on judgement, which really is not an easy think to learn. Thanks for the great post!

Hajra
Hajra

Quite a wonderful post to be reading on a weekend! We should be knowing that how much we may lie to others, we can't lie to ourselves! :) And once you are honest and believe in yourself, others shall follow!

Hajra
Hajra

Quite a wonderful post to be reading on a weekend! We should be knowing that how much we may lie to others, we can't lie to ourselves! :) And once you are honest and believe in yourself, others shall follow!

Jens P. Berget
Jens P. Berget

Hi Danny,

I absolutely agree with everything you just said, but I have a question. I personally don't like it when companies hide behind logos and images of the business as their profile pics / avatars in social media. To me, that's like hiding behind a mask, but I understand that it's not... what is important is how you behave and that you build trust in being you and building strong relationships... I'd love to see a real human when it comes to businesses and social media.

Jens P. Berget
Jens P. Berget

Hi Danny, I absolutely agree with everything you just said, but I have a question. I personally don't like it when companies hide behind logos and images of the business as their profile pics / avatars in social media. To me, that's like hiding behind a mask, but I understand that it's not... what is important is how you behave and that you build trust in being you and building strong relationships... I'd love to see a real human when it comes to businesses and social media.

Mark Longbottom
Mark Longbottom

Just be you the rest will follow, especially if you become a trend - they understand those now.

Seriously though the best advice comes from Dr Suess:

Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You.

Surrealism as a child is fun as an adult it becomes pretentious. Drop that and have fun at work like you do at home or did when a kid, being real, being you kicks all doors down. Think most people know the MC5 song Kick out the Jams song if not catch it here: http://youtu.be/yvJGQ_piwI0

Whatever you do be you not me or anyone else, it's the way forward. Simple reality inside and out :)

Mark Longbottom
Mark Longbottom

Just be you the rest will follow, especially if you become a trend - they understand those now. Seriously though the best advice comes from Dr Suess: Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You. Surrealism as a child is fun as an adult it becomes pretentious. Drop that and have fun at work like you do at home or did when a kid, being real, being you kicks all doors down. Think most people know the MC5 song Kick out the Jams song if not catch it here: http://youtu.be/yvJGQ_piwI0 Whatever you do be you not me or anyone else, it's the way forward. Simple reality inside and out :)

Brian Driggs
Brian Driggs

Without trust, there is no TRIP; only RIP. #clever

For those who've not read Dov Seidman's book, "How" (which I highly, HIGHLY recommend) TRIP stands for Trust, Risk, Innovation, Progress. If we can't trust others to support us when we take risks, we're less likely to discover innovation, which is the foundation of progress.

How do we engender trust with our customers? Simple. Make promises. Keep them. Fewer goals. More commitments.

Brian Driggs
Brian Driggs

Without trust, there is no TRIP; only RIP. #clever For those who've not read Dov Seidman's book, "How" (which I highly, HIGHLY recommend) TRIP stands for Trust, Risk, Innovation, Progress. If we can't trust others to support us when we take risks, we're less likely to discover innovation, which is the foundation of progress. How do we engender trust with our customers? Simple. Make promises. Keep them. Fewer goals. More commitments.

Danny
Danny

Your mother sounds like someone we can all learn from, Bailey - here's to more like her.

Danny
Danny

Your mother sounds like someone we can all learn from, Bailey - here's to more like her.

Danny
Danny

The great thing about actually being yourself is people know exactly what they're going to get with you. And that simply saves time on both ends, to decide if there's going to be a synergy for working together.

Danny
Danny

The great thing about actually being yourself is people know exactly what they're going to get with you. And that simply saves time on both ends, to decide if there's going to be a synergy for working together.

Danny
Danny

Done and done, mate, just ordered. Cheers for the recommendation!

Danny
Danny

Done and done, mate, just ordered. Cheers for the recommendation!

Danny
Danny

You know, mate, I was the same for a long time. But then I realized two things - if people are offended by something I say or write, then we probably weren't a good mix to start with.

And, more importantly, if it passes muster with my wife and children, then that's all that really matters at the end of the day. :)

Danny
Danny

You know, mate, I was the same for a long time. But then I realized two things - if people are offended by something I say or write, then we probably weren't a good mix to start with. And, more importantly, if it passes muster with my wife and children, then that's all that really matters at the end of the day. :)

Danny
Danny

Judgement calls are always fun to make, aren't they? ;-)

Danny
Danny

Judgement calls are always fun to make, aren't they? ;-)

Danny
Danny

Yeah, that can be a funny one, mate. I'm a big fan of having the person primarily, and then the logo as a swish or bottom banner. But, I guess the bigger the brand the less the need for faces? Or so it would see, anyhoo.

Danny
Danny

Yeah, that can be a funny one, mate. I'm a big fan of having the person primarily, and then the logo as a swish or bottom banner. But, I guess the bigger the brand the less the need for faces? Or so it would see, anyhoo.

Danny
Danny

You know, it's funny mate - I never knew who Dr. Seuss was prior to moving to Canada, and then once I started reading his stuff, was amazed at how on the money he was. Sometimes we really just need the simple approach, eh?

Danny
Danny

You know, it's funny mate - I never knew who Dr. Seuss was prior to moving to Canada, and then once I started reading his stuff, was amazed at how on the money he was. Sometimes we really just need the simple approach, eh?

Danny
Danny

Liking the acronym - will have to check the book out, mate, cheers.

Danny
Danny

Liking the acronym - will have to check the book out, mate, cheers.

Mark Longbottom
Mark Longbottom

Missed out in youor childhood not reading Dr Seuss :)

Simple is so right though, how can yu deny a cat in a hat or talking fish jumping out of a bowl.....

Mark Longbottom
Mark Longbottom

Missed out in youor childhood not reading Dr Seuss :) Simple is so right though, how can yu deny a cat in a hat or talking fish jumping out of a bowl.....