“Good writing can take you a long way in life, especially finance. Have you ever noticed: the people who become really successful in finance generally aren’t the best investors. The people who become really successful in finance are the best communicators, which includes speaking skills as well as writing.” – Jared Dillian

After seventeen years I have read A LOT of finance-related content. For a range of reasons, the vast majority of it isn’t great. However there is a common thread about the content that succeeds. It’s authentic.

You would think that in a field like finance, where numbers dominate, authenticity would be a nice to have, as opposed to a must have. You would be wrong. The only way forward for a content creator is to be authentic, open and honest.*

Authenticity can’t be faked indefinitely. You can fool people for for a little while, but ultimately you will be found out. If you love what you are doing, it will seem natural and easy. That is why most creative endeavors, whether they be a blog, podcast, etc., end with a whimper and not a bang.

Don’t kid yourself that being authentic online is easy. The sad fact is that outrageous behavior garners attention, likes, retweets and the like. The algorithms that increasingly drive content consumption eat that stuff up. That attention can be seductive, but it is not sustainable.

It’s not always to recognize authenticity at first. Sometimes we mistake effort for authenticity. Putting together a twenty tweet thread isn’t easy. But if it looks like you are trying too hard, you are going to turn readers off.

If you are in the content game for more than just a quick dopamine hit, authenticity pays off over the long run. We don’t want to be influenced. We ultimately want to trust the people we interact with online. That connection isn’t easy to create or maintain, but it is the only path forward.

*Don’t forget that everybody talks their book, everybody.