This morning we attended a session about “Radical Transparency” led by Johnny B. Truant, a business consultant, website builder and general jack of all trades. Johnny spoke to the tremendous benefits of prioritizing transparency in your brand’s communication strategy. He began the session by asking the crowd, “What if we just decided to tell the truth?”
Johnny advocates for transparency in brand communication and provides several key guidelines:
- Have an opinion.
- Be honest about what’s in it for you. Consumers are naturally skeptical, especially on the internet.
- When you use other people’s thoughts or ideas, give them credit.
- Talk to people like people, not like leads or prospects.
- Be honest when you make a mistake.
- Be human. You don’t have to be your work persona 24/7. People respond to the human elements.
Johnny continued on to say that the goal of being “radically transparent” is to find a core group of fans who, in his words, “really really love you.” He added, “true fans are like pure gold. You have to sift through a lot of raw materials to find them, but once you do, they are precious.”
Citing Derek Sivers, founder of CD Baby, Johnny shared a quote, “pull in those who love what you do. Proudly alienate those who don’t.” With that in mind, Johnny urged that a transparent approach will help you find your true fans, which will deliver high engagement rates and great conversation. He instructed that you communicate in a style that resonates with your fans and the people who may become your fans, not the general public.
To close the session, Johnny shared, “people find honesty noble. They will tell their friends about you and defend you in public.” Can you really ask for more than that?
When asked where to apply this theory of “Radical Transparency,” Johnny answered, “Everywhere! Your blog, your social media channels, your email marketing and newsletters, in company announcements and at live events.”