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What is vulnerability in content marketing? How to attract customers by being authentic

Simone Cunningham How to attract customers by being authentic

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You may be thinking that vulnerability in content marketing is a hot trend that will soon fizzle out, along with those long social media posts that share way too much personal information.

While I’d be happy not to read another one of those posts, I do believe that being vulnerable and authentic in our business content, and showing our human side, is one of the best ways we have to connect with our audience.

So if you’re not yet showing your vulnerable side in your content marketing, keep reading, as I’m going to take you through how to create business content that’s authentic.

I’ll also be sharing my cheatsheet so you can implement these ideas in your business to attract more of your ideal customers.

 

Listen to the podcast

 

3 steps to creating business content that’s authentic

 

 

Let’s start with Dr Brené Brown, the Godmother of vulnerability who told us in her book and TED talk, The Power of Vulnerability, that vulnerability is not something to hide from and avoid. 

Instead, it’s actually the key to deep human connection. 

 

What is vulnerability in content marketing?

 

In content marketing, being vulnerable in your social media posts, email marketing and on your website, is the act of showing who you are and what you stand for in a business context.

It makes your content authentic, thereby building trust with your audience.

Sharing vulnerable content will help separate you from your competitors and help attract new customers. 

Why? Because revealing what you stand for and ‘getting real’, creates a point of difference that your competitors can’t match.

Continue reading to find out how to be vulnerable in your content marketing in 3 easy steps.

 

Step 1: Do some self-reflection before creating vulnerable content

 

Examine your values

 

To be authentic and vulnerable in your content means you need to take a deep dive into the things you care about.

Answer these 3 questions:

  • Why does your business exist?
  • What problems are you trying to solve?
  • How are you trying to improve people’s lives?

Reflect on how you can create content that touches on those points.

 

Be transparent 

 

Think about revealing what goes on behind the scenes to show people how your business operates, or how you work.

If you sell physical products, this could include showing people how you make your products and even where you source the material from.

For digital products, you could also reveal your creation process, or include your team to show the human face behind your online store or services.

 

Be real. No sugarcoating

 

I think we all understand the importance of being real or authentic in our personal lives, however, the same principle applies to our business lives, and the content we put out there.

If you need to raise your prices, can’t fulfil orders or have made an error that affects your customers, be upfront.

Through your content, start damage control by sending people an email explaining the situation, put a notice on your website, or do a social media post. 

Hiding and dodging is bad PR. Taking responsibility and being vulnerable is respected.

Explain what you’re doing to fix the problem, and most people will understand. This makes you authentic.

Related podcast: 3 ways content marketing drives sales

Related blog: Understanding the 3 ways content marketing drives sales

 

Explain what you’re doing to fix the problem

 

Step 2: To be vulnerable share stories that are personal (not private)

 

Talk about challenges overcome

 

I’m not a huge fan of the really long posts on social media that go into private details about an emotional rollercoaster that a person is going through, especially in a business context.

However, sharing a difficult experience or a challenge you overcame in your business (after you have already processed it) can give your audience a real insight into you as a person and as a business owner.

 

Share your wisdom

 

You can also share your wisdom in your content, such as valuable lessons you’ve learned along the way that could potentially help your audience.

Be careful not to overburden them with too much detail. You’re giving them an insight into an experience, so they might relate to it and to you. 

Here, with your vulnerabilities exposed, you take the risk that some people may not agree with you, and that’s okay. 

Being authentic in your content will draw in more people that think like you and want to work with you.

 

Reveal some of your intellectual property

 

This may seem like a crazy step to take, and yes, your competitors could potentially use your ideas to attract your potential clients. But it probably won’t happen.

The more likely scenario is that by being vulnerable and sharing your passion and what’s unique about your process or methods, you’ll attract more customers. 

To know if a story is worth sharing, ask yourself these 4 questions:

  1. What’s my motivation for sharing this story?
  2. What good can come from telling it?
  3. How can it help my audience? 
  4. Is this a meaningful story worth sharing?

 

Pro tip

 

If after answering all of these questions you still want to share it, write your post or article but before you hit the publish button sleep on it overnight (particularly if it’s a sensitive or personal matter). 

If you still want to share it in the morning. Great. 

At least you’ll be posting it with a clear head and not deep in emotion, which can lead to oversharing regret.

For more content marketing tips listen to the podcast below.

 

 

Related blog: 3 ways to expertly tell your story through content marketing

 

Pro tip content marketing

 

Step 3: Pay attention to your audience and the analytics after posting vulnerable content

 

Think about your audience

 

Carefully consider who your audience is and the sort of content they’re interested in engaging with.

It may be your business and your content, but it’s not really about you. 

You need to cater to your people.

Normally, from a business perspective, the top 4 motivators are ideas that benefit them, such as:

  1. How to save money
  2. How to make more money
  3. How to save time and
  4. How to save effort.

You can see that it’s all about them, not you! 

So create content that speaks to these pain points and shows how engaging with you will make their lives better.

 

Ask your audience for feedback and participation

 

Next, you can ask your audience for their feedback and participation. 

If you want your audience to follow, like, read more, book a call, or visit your website – you need to tell them.

People don’t want to guess what they have to do next. 

This is where your calls-to-action are critical in your blog articles, and social media posts. Here you can also ask questions to invite engagement.

If you can get your audience to interact with your content, they’ll feel more connected to you, increasing your authenticity in their eyes.

 

Review your online analytics

 

Finally, you need to review your social media, website, and email analytics. 

Many clients forget this step of the process in content marketing. 

They work hard to put all this great content out there, but forget to go back and check out what worked and what didn’t.

Set a calendar reminder every 3 months to review the analytics of your social media, email marketing, and website.

Take a look at your:

  • Insights on Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn
  • Email open and click-through rates
  • Website page views, bounce rates and comments
  • The number of cheatsheet or freebie downloads
  • Your podcast downloads
  • Video views.

Note the content that got the highest engagement (open, clicks, and comments) and look for content themes that generated the most interest. 

This is content that your current audience relates to. 

Look to share more of what’s working, and while still exploring themes that align with your values and show your vulnerability. 

This will ultimately ensure you’re sharing content that’s not only effective, but also authentic to you and your business.

Related blog: Business owners STOP doing these 3 things when creating marketing content [If you want results]

Or listen to the podcast episode.

 

 

In summary

 

What is vulnerability in content marketing? How to attract customers by being authentic:

Step 1: Do some self-reflection

  • Examine your values
  • Be transparent 
  • Be real. No sugarcoating.

Step 2: Share stories that are personal (not private)

  • Talk about challenges overcome 
  • Share your wisdom
  • Reveal your intellectual property.

Step 3: Pay attention to your audience and the analytics

  • Think about who your audience is
  • Ask your audience for feedback and participation
  • Review your social media, website and email analytics.

 

[Infographic] 3 steps to creating business content that’s authentic

 

For a visual summary of today’s blog read the infographic below.

 

3 steps to creating business content that’s authentic

Source

 

Download your cheatsheet – How to Implement Vulnerability in Content Marketing

 

Don’t forget to download your free How to Implement Vulnerability in Content Marketing Cheatsheet.

It’s a summary of all the key questions you need to answer to get you started, plus mistakes to avoid.

 

Ready to find more stories in your business?

 

If you want to learn more about how to use stories effectively in your content marketing, PLUS MORE, you can enrol in my Content Boss 1:2:1 online training courses. 

Over 3, 6 or 12 weeks, we review, clarify and amplify your content marketing to generate more sales and attract customers you want to work with.

These are practical training sessions where we work directly on your business’s content marketing. No time is wasted. We get it done!

The end result is content marketing that connects and converts to sales!

Learn more by booking your free 30-minute chat today.

You can also email me by visiting my website contact page or by clicking here.

Want more public relations and content marketing tips? 

For more great resources about public relations, interviewing, podcasting content creation, content marketing, and video marketing be sure to check out my new podcast ‘Improve Your Content in 7 Minutes’, or find me on your favourite streaming app.

If you want to learn more about content marketing tactics to implement in your business listen to my podcast episode ‘3 essential types of content marketing to attract and convert customers’.

Related blog: How to Create an Effective Content Marketing Funnel That Converts

Simone Cunningham

Simone Cunningham

CEO Simone Cunningham Media & eWords Agency

Simone is a public relations and content marketing strategist. Partnering with businesses and individuals over the last 20 years to achieve their content and publicity goals.

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SIMONE CUNNINGHAM

SIMONE CUNNINGHAM

CEO Simone Cunningham Media & eWords Agency

Simone is a public relations and content marketing strategist. Partnering with businesses and individuals over the last 20 years to achieve their content and publicity goals.

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