Authentic Marketing: Is It a Contradiction For Modern Day Coaches?

Authentic marketing
Authentic marketing is such a hot concept. We all want to be authentic marketers, business owners, and people.

But at what price does being authentic online really come? Now, I’m not saying that you should lie or hide things, but I think that sometimes trying to be authentic can sabotage your business growth.

How Trying to Be Authentic Can Sabotage Your Business Growth

Here’s how.

Let’s say that you’re a health coach, and for the most part you’re a healthy eater who exercises regularly. But you’ve got a big product launch coming up, and you skip a few workouts or end up drinking coffee.

Does that mean you should stop marketing your product because you’re not perfect?

No, because your program will help many people exercise more and quit coffee, so there’s no need for you to pull the plug because you had to make adjustments in your lifestyle temporarily.

You might doubt your ability to be a relationship coach when you’re having an argument with your kids or your spouse, but that doesn’t put your ability to help others at stake as much as your own confidence about it.

Yes, you don’t want to be a broke business coach or a miserable happiness coach. You need to get certain things in line in order to be confident in what you bring to the world.

And you are still a human being who will have off days and life lessons to learn along the way.

Is Being Perfect In The Way Of Authentic Marketing?

Your business can’t shut down every time you feel like you’re not being 100% perfect, because there is no such thing as perfection.

Plus, when you admit to not being perfect all the time, you’re also giving others permission to be themselves, and start with where they are on their journeys.

In my raw food coaching days, I often felt so much shame and guilt if I ate something that wasn’t raw, because it was my business.

When I went to a restaurant with friends or colleagues I always agonized over what I was going to eat. Not because I worried about the food itself, but because I didn’t want people to think I was a fraud.

And yet, the most shared and commented blog posts on my real food site were the ones where I talked about not being perfect. About my love/hate relationship with raw food, and how I got a lot of benefits out of it but I didn’t eat all raw all the time, and I snuck in some treats.

Authentic Marketing Starts With Showing People That You’re Human

You can practically feel the sigh of relief when you show people that you’re human, just like them. Yes, you have tons of amazing coaching tools and practices that you can share to help others, but you don’t need to retreat every time you’re not practicing them all in your own life.

Often times we teach what we need to learn. If relationships have been a challenge in your life, you’ve likely learned a lot and can pass that on to your clients, but it doesn’t mean you’re done learning or going through tough times.

There’s also the possibility that you’re sharing so much of yourself in your area of expertise that there isn’t a lot left to apply in your own life or business.

Just like a launch strategist might have amazing ideas for their clients but not much juice left at the end of the day for their own launches. Or, a web designer might have a really crappy website while their clients get their best work.

That’s why we hire coaches in the first place: to help us get perspective on our lives, and to help us get unstuck and moving forward.

Over to you now…

So now I’d love for you to leave a comment below on your definition of authentic marketing.

Has being authentic ever stopped you from putting yourself out there in business because you don’t have everything figured out? Leave a comment below, and let’s get moving!


  1. Lauren Garcia on July 2, 2014 at 10:36 am

    Wow, this post was so perfectly timed! I love everything you said, especially the part about being human in your business. Just yesterday I filmed a video of myself (1st one ever) and ended up making it a boosted post on my facebook business page. Then I wrote a blog article about how I was totally unprepared of it, but sick of the idea of “perfection” and so I allowed myself to be vulnerable and just post it! I have to show my fans that I’m human too, in order for them to be able to relate with me.

    If you’re interested, here’s the blog post (with a link to the actual video, too!)

    Love you, Nathalie! You’re awesome!

    • Nathalie Lussier on July 2, 2014 at 10:55 am

      Yay Lauren! Way to go on putting yourself out there! I have to admit video is one of those places where we all feel a little shy at first, but it does get easier and getting great feedback helps a lot. :) You rock!

  2. Vikash on July 2, 2014 at 10:59 am

    Hi Nathalie,
    Your video is not working…Showing this “video is private”.

    Btw, I am agree with your views…We need to draw a line which we should not cross at any cost….be it our life or someone who is reading or using our online content.

    Thanks for sharing….

    • Nathalie Lussier on July 2, 2014 at 11:31 am

      Hi Vikash! Sorry about that – the video should be working now. We had a little glitch this morning with YouTube. :)

  3. claire stone on July 2, 2014 at 11:35 am

    Great video – and I love the honesty coming up. I recently wrote a post about not being a skinny nutritionist (took me ages to write, and even longer to post) but I figured that being honest about my body shape would be helpful to my readers/clients because it would show them that I might be great at helping them but that there is plenty of room for messing up!

    thank you!!!

    • Nathalie Lussier on July 2, 2014 at 12:38 pm

      YES! I love that Claire – you can help so many people by sharing your truth and not trying to fit into a stereotype of what a nutritionist is supposed to look like. Thank you so much for sharing that. :)

  4. Charlie on July 2, 2014 at 11:40 am

    Hi Natalie

    I haven’t commented on one of your posts before, but I felt I wanted to say thank you for this one. The timing was spot on for me, I’ve been beating myself up for the past week and starting to let all those self-doubting thoughts creep in. Its not easy sometimes, but I have to remember I’m only human!

    • Nathalie Lussier on July 2, 2014 at 12:39 pm

      Thanks so much for commenting Charlie. You’ve taken a great step today and I totally hear you – it’s not always easy, but it’s important to remind yourself you’re human and you need to start from where you are today. :)

  5. To me, being authentic or “authentic marketing” as you call it is being open to showing vulnerability and being candid with their audience. It’s about showing respect for the audience and not talking down to them, but being on the same level playing field and assisting them in a way that draws from their own life as well as expertise. I believe I’ve been doing a good job in being authentic and I do not let mishaps stand in the way of being authentic or continuing to market myself. No one is perfect. Great post :)

    • Nathalie Lussier on July 2, 2014 at 12:41 pm

      Thanks so much Kamila! I totally agree with your definition of authentic marketing. I also don’t think that we need to share everything or hold back on everything, but that we can choose what would serve our audience best… sometimes over-sharing can be too much, too. ;)

  6. Sydney Seymour on July 2, 2014 at 12:39 pm

    Loved the video. I use to struggle with this all the time. But I finally gave myself permission last year to be human. So that doesn’t mean that I “over-share” in my attempt to “keep it real” but I do give my audience a sneak peek into my not so perfect life. LOL! Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

    • Nathalie Lussier on July 2, 2014 at 12:51 pm

      That’s awesome Sydney, it sounds like you found a great balance and that it’s really working for you! Rock on :)

  7. Nat, Website Superhero on July 3, 2014 at 9:12 pm

    Loved this! Thank you for writing it, Nath. Sweet reminder that we’re all human haha.

    • Nathalie Lussier on July 6, 2014 at 7:46 pm

      Yes absolutely – so glad you enjoyed it Nat! :)

  8. Naomi Goodlet on July 3, 2014 at 10:48 pm

    I’m so glad that you’re starting a conversation about this! (loved your little giggle at the beginning)
    I think that it’s so important to be honest about what’s happening in your life, even if it’s difficult or would be considered a set-back. Like you say, it invites people to feel comfortable with their own struggles and feel validated by your openness. x

  9. Paola Devescovi on July 6, 2014 at 10:40 am

    Loved the video. I have been struggling a lot with that because I thought I needed to be “perfect” in order to teach and coach others. I finally gave myself permission to be myself with all my struggles. I started to share my story and the mistakes I was making and learning from. And you know what? It was then that things started to change for the best for my business!

    • Nathalie Lussier on July 6, 2014 at 7:47 pm

      Yesss! Isn’t it amazing that giving yourself permission to just go for it allows so much space for things to shift and happen? :) Magic.

  10. Rahul Venkat on July 11, 2014 at 10:27 am

    Great video and post. As an emerging communication coach and writer, I recall the times I’ve stumbled and continue to stumble with my communication.

    One positive byproduct is learning from imperfections, writing about them, and ingraining them into your behavior going forward. This is true whether you’re a coach or a client.

    Thanks for the post today.

    – Rahul Venkat

  11. Sed on July 22, 2014 at 2:13 am

    Hi Nathalie! I like your topic especially your quote.I can’t cut my hair at the back. It gave me a smile.