Honesty is fundamental to advertising, marketing and sales, but very few businesses are willing to be insanely honest; so honest that it's a little bit (or a lot) uncomfortable.

Being insanely honest means actively volunteering the weakest parts of your business. That's a terrifying prospect, especially in your marketing. Conventional wisdom tells us to put our best foot forward, making sure our prospects get the best picture of our businesses from the very start.

But what if instead of your best foot, we put your "worst foot" forward?

At INBOUND15 Doug Kessler, co-founder and creative director at London based B2B content marketing firm Velocity, gave us his thoughts on insanely honest content marketing. Here are his 6 reasons you should put your worst foot forward in your marketing and advertising:

1. It Surprises and Charms

No one likes people who boast about themselves day in and day out. Does your marketing function the same way?

  • “We’re industry leaders”
  • “Our solutions are best in class”
  • “We’re the world's largest supplier”

Sound familiar? None of those statements are particularly compelling, convincing or charming. Even worse, they are the same things your competitors are saying. Maybe its time to change your approach:

  • “Being number two means we can’t afford to provide bad service.”

Being honest about where your weaknesses are is surprising and creates an approachability not afforded by traditional marketing.

2. It Signals Confidence

Successful companies have a clear picture of themselves, their products, their competition and their customers. It's this confidence that lets companies be strategic about the clients they take on or the services they offer; saying "no" to short term revenue to better capitalize on opportunities more inline with their business.

Communicating this confidence is extremely difficult.

One of the easiest ways to show your business’ confidence is to admit where it's weakest. Being up front with what your business doesn’t do (and why that is) could be the first step to showing your prospects how confident you are in your strengths.

3. It Builds Trust

Gaining trust is the most important part of marketing and sales. Without trust, converting leads and customers is nearly impossible.

What better way to build trust than being honest? Being up front with your business’ weaknesses means your prospects can trust you when you talk about your strengths.

4. It Alienates Unlikely Buyers

Wasting your time on leads that aren’t qualified isn’t just inconvenient, it costs your business time and money. Being precise with your audiences and marketing will improve the percentage of qualified leads.

The best way to filter out less than qualified leads is to be honest with your business’ weaknesses. Those weaknesses will inevitably come up in your sales process, so why not be up front with them?

Instead of wasting your valuable time on deals that are far less likely to close, why not filter them out early and spend more time on those leads you know you can win?

5. It Attracts Ideal Customers

While honest content filters out unqualified leads, it also attracts ideal leads. Your ideal leads are those prospects that won’t be turned away by what your company doesn’t do, and are inherently more interested in your strengths.

6. It Focuses The Conversation On The Battles You Can Win

Your sales and marketing teams shouldn't be wasting their time fighting battles they know they can’t win. Trying to spin your negatives into positives isn’t just a time sink, it can cause prospects to lose trust in your business.

Instead, focus your conversations on battles you can win. Addressing your weaknesses head on means you can more effectively talk about your strengths.

How can honest content marketing improve your position in the marketplace?

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