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Marketing Through Vulnerability

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One of the things I'm doing this year is getting to know my connections personally rather than just socially. I've sent messages to many of my linkedin contacts already. I'm sure some of them think I'm nuts, like who is this woman who's asking to have a conversation with me? But there are a few who have accepted and it's funny to learn that the ones who accept and I get to have a conversation with, we find we have much in common and have similar mindsets. One of the things that has come up over and over again in these conversations is vulnerability.

Let me explain.

You know how most people on social media post all about their wonderful life, all about the dinners out, the vacations, the kid's awards at school, etc? The problem is, because we want to show the world our best face, we leave out the parts where we're feeling lonely, stressed out, dealing with a difficult situation, facing an impossible decision, or having an argument with our spouse. Now, believe me, I know what that's like. When we're in those moments, we feel lost and alone, and the last thing we want to do is show that feeling to others. Thoughts run through our head, "That isn't professional. People will think less of me. I'll look like a failure. It will destroy my reputation." Guess what? No one is perfect and the strongest people go through the most crap! How you deal with the crap speaks volumes about your character and a lot more than the typical "perfect life" showcase most people offer.

Don't be afraid to be you and don't be afraid to show your vulnerabilities.

So what do you think happens when we ignore the negative voice in our head and we share what we're going through? When we share our whole life and not just the shiny pretty parts?

People bond!

Now don't get me wrong here. Whining about how miserable your life is and doing nothing to fix it will not win you any friends. That's not being vulnerable. That's being a complainer. When you share what you're going through and how you're dealing with it, that's when the outpouring of love happens. People will look up to you for your strength and for your openness and your honesty. People will believe in you and will support you because they want to be more like you and through your example will be more likely to grow into that level of honesty and openness with themselves and others. Even the ones who never do, your example can still help them by letting them know they are not alone.

So let's get to the marketing part.

Marketing is all about building brand awareness and generating leads, right? The best source of leads is word of mouth referrals. Why do you refer people? Do you have someone you refer constantly? Why is that? Most people have a select handful (or less) of people they refer like crazy and that is typically because those people have done an amazing job and/or have built a strong bond of trust with that person. People refer those they know, like, and trust. So who do you know who knows, likes, and trusts you? How did that bond form?

Essentially, the more bonds you form, the more referrals you will get. Why? Because when you are vulnerable, strong, and show your honest and open self, people love you and want to share you and your awesomeness with others. They want to support you in everything because they want to see you rewarded for being you. Pretty cool right?

So now you know, leads can come from something as simple as being open, honest, and vulnerable. By sharing the truest part of yourself and showing others the real you. Don't complicate things. I mean seriously, when was the last time you were won over by a script?