In a noisy and crowded world, how do you stand out and connect with those who want and even need what you’re offering? The answer is surprisingly simple: By sharing your stories and vulnerabilities. Before you think, “I know that!” and stop reading right here, I have to ask you…
- Are you doing it? Are you opening up about your fears, vulnerabilities, and the things that light you up?
- Do the stories you share really connect with your target market and, specifically, your ideal clients?
- Or are you only sharing your knowledge or technical expertise and, therefore, coming across as professional but somewhat unapproachable?
The fears that keep you from sharing your stories
Until fairly recently, I wasn’t sharing my stories as much as I should’ve been and I realized why. When I had been the behind-the-scenes miracle worker for a personal development superstar, I felt very comfortable being more open. After all, he was the one standing on the stage in front of thousands, he was the expert, he was the brand. But when I made the transition to launching my own business, even with a wealth of know-how in my back pocket, I felt insecure. I felt like I needed to “act like an expert”, i.e., business-y in my case.
I also feared that if people knew the struggles I’d been through the ugly parts of my life’s story, they would judge me as someone less than qualified to help them. At some level I was afraid of the criticism that might come, so I had compartmentalized my life: there was my business and then there was the rest of my life. The problem was that what I was sharing had lost a lot of the flavor of who I really am. And, when you are your brand, who you are as a person is a vital part of why people decide to work with you.
There’s so much impersonal marketing and selling going on that you can stand out by simply being authentic and truly interested in your audience, their needs and their dreams. People crave connections. When you’re sharing from a place of service and positive contribution, I think it’s hard to say something “wrong”. Something you share from your heart might make all the difference to someone. A deeply personal story you tell might profoundly change their life and they might just love you for that. And, through sharing your personal stories – especially the ugly parts – you’ll likely connect with people who you otherwise wouldn’t.
But, remember, context and timing count a lot
Of course, there is a right place and time for sharing certain stories – like the saying goes, timing is everything – and I give an example of how stories could be shared at the wrong time (even if the story itself is of value) at minute 5:30 in this video. A great story shared at the wrong time could alienate your audience from you and yield the exact opposite results you're going for.
Care to share one of your stories?
I’d love to hear about one of your stories that you’ll share with your audience.
- What are some of your life experiences which might resonate with your audience?
- What’s a story you’ve been afraid to share because of what people might think about you?
I challenge you to start sharing more deeply of yourself – I think you’ll be surprised at what happens as a result.
Please share in the comments below.
Want to dive in a little deeper?
Hop on over to my Facebook page and watch this video in which I talk about the right and the wrong time to get more personal with your audience. I'd love to hear your thoughts, so please share them!
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