The kind of things I share with my readers and subscribers could make my mom jealous.
The intimacy, relationship and TRUST I’ve built with my community are the most valuable assets I’ve in my business.
Unlike a laptop, it won’t crash and take with it 26 days of un-backed-up work. Unlike a website plug-in, it’s not susceptible to turning obsolete before you figure out how to use it. Unlike some strategies and tactics, it won’t go out of style when the next bright shiny object shows up.
I can take them anywhere I go.
Your content (be it video, audio, blog post, sales page or the next new thing) is the key to building this equity of trust and relationship.
You’ve probably heard a whole lot about “storytelling” and “vulnerability” these days.
Yep, these are great ways to build trust and relationship with your audience.
Sadly, IMHO, it’s been abused.
When there’s some training that gives people “templates” to “do vulnerability” – you know someone has jumped the shark.
“Emotional bait-and-switch” is making our audience skeptical. A few bad apples regurgitating copy and templates to manipulate emotions have turned our BS meter onto high alert.
The same old copy that mechanically recites “benefits and outcomes” makes you sound like everyone else and get lost in a sea of sameness.
Not only will canned copy fail to connect & convert, but it’ll also make you sound like those bad apples and turn your potential clients away before you’ve the chance to “make your case” and show them why you’re different.
Purposeful storytelling and meaningful vulnerability can be your ticket to building this equity of trust and relationship if used responsibly.
When you nail it, you can create deep connection and resonance with your readers that allow you to “sell without selling.”
You can’t just dump your life story onto your about page and hope for the best. You can’t do a whine fest and hope magic will happen. You can’t follow a template and do “fake vulnerability” hoping people can’t smell the BS. (Respect your readers’ intelligence, please.)
You know those “about” pages in which the authors just spieled out their entire life and leave you wondering – why the fruitcake do I care? Are you expecting me to sort through this glob of words to figure out why I need to listen to you?
Don’t be that guy/gal.
Your life experience is an integral part of what you bring to the table for your clients. Yet it doesn’t mean you’ve to regurgitate the same long tale every single time.
Dumping out your life story with no filter is TMI. Sharing snippets of relevant experience builds intrigue that makes your readers want more.
Telling the same story gets old quickly, and you become boring. Boring doesn’t sell because nobody is listening.
Honor every piece of your life experience by putting it in the proper spotlight.
Every piece of your experience is a mini-story that deserves its place.
Each has a lesson to teach. Each has a message to convey. Each has a purpose to serve.
Don’t overload one piece of your story with too many ideas in one go. It’s ok to use the same story to illustrate different points in various pieces of content.
To make it even better, tweak it slightly and tell it from a different perspective to highlight a different aspect of your message and communicate a different lesson so your content becomes more relevant and less boring.
Your readers don’t want a chronological rehash of your life. They want glimpses into your life that show them why you’re RELEVANT.
They want pieces they can relate to emotionally. They want to TRUST you – but first they need to be able to relate to you as a HUMAN BEING.
Responsible & Meaningful Vulnerability
Don’t do vulnerability for vulnerability’s sake just because it’s “hot.”
Vulnerability is the window to your HUMANITY.
People buy from people. Not a logo, not a website.
Being vulnerable is not “authentic” if that vulnerability is manufactured.
Being vulnerable has nothing to do with being “heart-centered” if you worry more about whether you’re “doing this vulnerability thing in the correct heart-centered way” instead of focusing on the connection with your audience when you’re being honest in your marketing.
Airing out your dirty laundry without connecting it with your bigger message from a place of service is self-gratuitous.
Don’t toss around emotions just to make a sale. Emotional connections are the jabs – they build the trust, create the resonance and solidify the relationship.
When you get the jabs right, you can throw a right hook like a right hook – ask for the sale like it is, instead of disguising it half-assed-ly as a jab which gets your copy stuck in the land of neither here nor there.
What “level” of vulnerability is appropriate in the business and marketing context, especially for us coaches, mentors, consultants, and change agents for whom the “like, know and trust” factor plays an important role in your potential clients’ decision making process?
Spilling your guts on the page, ranting and whining in an uncensored manner when you’re in the midst of a crisis is NOT constructive.
Your business blog is not a pity party.
If you’re in the midst of it, and don’t feel that you can take a step back to write from a place of service, then step back from the keyboard.
If you’re in the midst of it, and feel that you CAN see your crisis from a broader perspective (this can be a very powerful experience for your readers to “ride along with you”), or if you’ve dug yourself out and ready to share the experience without it being “too close to home” – then make sure you’re positioning the story to communicate a RELEVANT message:
- What can my readers get out of me sharing this experience?
- What can they learn from it?
- How can I translate my personal experience into content and lessons that address a broader context to highlight my expertise?
- Why is this lesson relevant to the results and transformation I create for my clients?
When you fold in Purposeful Storytelling + Responsible Vulnerability, copywriting and content creation gets a whole lot more meaningful… AND effective.
Not only will it connect you with your audience, but it will also connect you with your message in a way that you didn’t know could be possible.
When you distill all the ideas swirling in your head into a succinct piece of communication, you can OWN IT and CLAIM IT.
I’m opening my calendar for a couple more website strategy + copywriting clients. GET IN TOUCH to see how a somewhat mundane task (and even not fun for some) can FIRE you up.
This article is originally published on business-soulwork.com
Ling is an Intuitive Brainiac. Through her unique blend of Business + Marketing coaching with a Mindset + Psychic Twist, she helps the multi-talented and multi-passionate maverick solo-entrepreneurs distill ALL their big ideas into ONE cohesive Message, nail the WORDS that sell and design a Plan to cut the busywork and do what matters, through her intuitive yet rigorous iterative process born out of her Harvard Design School training and 10 years of experience in the online marketing industry.
Ling helps her clients optimize the space between individuality + originality vs. “tried-and-true” marketing so they can express their WHY unapologetically and profitably without reinventing the wheel.
Find Ling and grab her free “How to Find YOUR Winning Formula” Training Series here.