There are so many great kinds of stories to tell in your content that will help you reach your audience and solve their problems. How-to guides, top ten lists, and even quotes to live by are very helpful; however, they don’t always reach your audience’s emotional core, which is important. You want to forge an emotional connection with your audience (a positive one, that is), and one way to do that is by telling stories in which you show your vulnerable side. 

What Does It Mean to Get Vulnerable in Content?

When we talk about vulnerability, we mean that you should engage in real talk with your audience. Tell them about something that you’re struggling with or that you’ve struggled with in the past. Despite what some think, opening up and revealing your soft spots aren’t signs or admissions of weakness.

If it helps, think of it as making yourself or your brand relatable because your audience, the people you’re trying to connect with, struggle, too. Essentially, it humanizes what some might see as a “slick” business person or an unfeeling business. Remember, your audience may not see you the way you do, which is why you want to put your most authentic self out there.

Strategies for Vulnerable Storytelling in Your Content

So now let’s explore how to get vulnerable in your storytelling. First, you need to consider what you know about your brand and your audience.

·       What kinds of struggles do your audience go through?

·       How do you relate to your brand?

·       How are you like your audience?

Now, put it all together. What are some of your struggles that you have that your audience might share? These should (ideally) relate to your brand. Here are some examples:

·       A mom blogger who writes for new mothers talks about the stress and insecurity of having a newborn. Her audience can (or will) relate, and will feel like the author understands them.

·       A tax accountant from a firm relates a mistake they made years earlier and talks about how it made them feel but also reveals what they learned. The audience will feel the accountant understands how they might feel about past mistakes but will also recognize that the accountant understands a lot about the industry and can help them avoid similar pitfalls.

·       A new small business in a community relates how scary it was to get started while thanking everyone who has helped make their efforts so far rewarding and successful. The audience will feel proud to have helped while realizing how much support means to small businesses.

In each of these examples, the pathos can be shared by the audience—everyone relates to stress, insecurity, to feeling foolish after making a mistake, and to feeling afraid when trying something new. Your story’s pathos can also be positive. After all, think of how vulnerable we are when falling in love of or reaching for the stars, but think of how great those moments are as well.

Things to Avoid When Getting Vulnerable in Storytelling

While there’s much to be gained by getting vulnerable in content storytelling, an important caveat is to avoid telling stories that reveal major ethical or moral missteps, thoughts, or behaviors that will cause your audience to doubt your competency or character. While there are always exceptions, some examples might include instances involving cheating, fraud, theft, current substance abuse, extreme outrage, vengefulness, etc.

There are some stories that could change how your audience sees you and could negatively impact your business, so make sure to ask yourself how being vulnerable will help your business. Always consider the pathos of your story and how that will appeal to your audience, and you should be well on your way to getting vulnerable in your content storytelling that will make audiences want to do business with you for years to come.  


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Does the idea of getting vulnerable in storytelling make you feel, well, vulnerable, or are you not sure what stories you should share to meaningfully connect with your audience? Worry not! That’s why we, The Storyteller Agency, are here. Click here to contact us and let us help you get in touch with your realer side.

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