How Vulnerability Can Empower Your Brand
In an era where more & more people are recognizing the power that comes with sharing your story and simply being yourself, vulnerability is becoming the newest superpower of thought leaders & change makers in the online business world.
What does it really mean to be vulnerable?
Unfortunately, vulnerability often has the reputation of being something “bad”. The definition of being vulnerable means you’re exposed to the possibility of being attacked — either physically or emotionally. Of course, most of our minds automatically go straight to the negative side of this. We think “Well, I certainly don’t want to be attacked physically or emotionally” and we end up avoiding the act of vulnerability all together.
We spend years of our lives building walls to “protect” ourselves. From danger, judgement, and embarrassment. But little did we know, those walls we built worked a little too well. These walls blocked our ability to actually feel connected. These walls stifled our opportunities to remember that we are never alone in our struggles, triumphs, and journeys.
Without vulnerability, you can not expose yourself to feeling connected to outside sources. Without connection, you can not really understand or resonate with other people. And as business owners, being able to connect your brand with the people that matter most to it is essential if you want to stand out, serve others, and create your own version of success,
“Connection is why we're here; it is what gives purpose and meaning to our lives. The power that connection holds in our lives was confirmed when the main concern about connection emerged as the fear of disconnection; the fear that something we have done or failed to do, something about who we are or where we come from, has made us unlovable and unworthy of connection.”
— Brené Brown
There used to be a point in time where I would avoid difficult circumstances & people just to feel safe. My walls were high and my comfort zone sure was comfy. There were SO many things I desired for myself but I would block my blessings by refusing to be vulnerable enough to receive them.
“I can’t start another business, what if I fail again?”
“I can’t do public speaking, what if I freeze up or say the wrong thing?”
“I can’t share that story about myself, what if that ruins my credibility?”
On the other side of my fear-based thoughts was an opportunity to grow. A chance to not only allow my journey to pan out organically — but to connect it with those who needed me to go first. The people that inevitably will struggle with the same things I have before. The people who feel hopeless, alone, and afraid. The people who think their stories don’t matter, then change their minds when they hear mine.
The act of me going first to share my personal experiences helps me face my fears head on and continues to give permission for others to do the same.
The saying that “if there is no risk, there is no reward” rings very true when it comes to being a business owner. The moment I started dancing with vulnerability, sharing my truth, and allowing my authenticity to be my best marketing strategy was synchronized with the moment that I allowed my empathy & intuition to lead the way. My constant urge to be vulnerable is what allows me to communicate and connect my business with the people that can actually benefit from the work I do.
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Growing up, I didn’t love my curls. I felt like they made me look childish & unkept when all I wanted was to be perceived as polished & mature. ⠀ The way people treated me and the comments they made made me feel like no one liked me because my hair was as wild as my personality. ⠀ I thought that I could change that if I tried my best to look and act like everyone else. If I could just keep my hair quiet and my mouth shut...maybe I could feel like I finally fit in. ⠀ So I put a relaxer in my hair as a teen and straightened my hair for the next 10+ years. ⠀ And it worked to an extent. The image I created for myself certainly fit into the status quo, but a part of me still always felt out of place & lost. ⠀ Any time I wore my hair curly I felt so distant from the image I created for myself. Like I was taking my mask off and totally ashamed of what was underneath. ⠀ Then this year I had to stop & think: what was so bad about looking like I did as a child? When & why did I stop loving the little girl I once was? ⠀ I decided I couldn’t go on like this any longer. My inner child didn’t deserve to be tucked away into my subconscious. Crying and alone in the dark for years — unwanted, abandoned, afraid. ⠀ I realized that my curls are what make me, ME. The real me. Not the manufactured me I decided to turn myself into over a decade ago. The mask had to come off. ⠀ This year I decided that my curls are what connect me to parts of myself that I need to feel alive, to thrive, to shine. ⠀ My curls let my inner child come out & play whenever she wants. ⠀ My curls are a part of my brand, my magnetism, my story, my truth. ⠀ When my I’m fully tapped into my authentic self, my business thrives and my story amplifies. ⠀ Our brands go so much deeper than what you see on the surface. ⠀ Sunday reflection: What parts of you have you hid away for fear that you wouldn’t be accepted for who you really are? How could you + your business benefit from you stepping into your truth again?
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She didn’t feel worthy... ⠀ “Who am I to do this work?” ⠀ Her intuition was pushing her to follow the calling but her ego kept pulling her back. ⠀ “I don’t have enough experience” ⠀⠀ She didn’t always see that every moment leading up to now of her just being herself was more than enough to help others & get the job done. ⠀ “What if I fail?” ⠀ She didn’t know how to trust her path and hadn’t fully embraced that the potential of failing would be better than never trying at all. ⠀ These are just a few of the fearful thoughts & patterns I’ve wavered with since starting my own biz. ⠀ Sharing them with you now because I know there are so many of you that struggle with the same. ⠀ The truth is, these thoughts don’t go away — especially when you find yourself in a new season of your business. ⠀ You just eventually learn how to quiet them by trusting your intuition and consistently moving forward. ⠀ You learn that these thoughts will keep you humble, but they do not need to be your truth. ⠀ To be able to fully show up for your brand, business, and life path — you have to learn to tap into your personal power & trust your intuition. ⠀ On Monday, 4/1, The Intuitive Brand Challenge begins. It’ll be a free 5 day emails series + mini-course to guide your journey towards trusting your self guidance in order to create a stand out presence & biz that you can feel fully confident in. ⠀ If you’re feeling called and ready to let your intuition lead the way, make sure you head to the link in my bio and sign up this weekend before it goes live on Monday 💖
When marketing your business, vulnerability can be one of the most powerful tools in your toolbelt. Here are a few reasons why:
Vulnerability heightens the potency of your marketing efforts. By sharing relatable moments, personal stories, and the essence of you — you can actually create deep rooted connections between seemingly disconnected parts of your lifestyle & your brand. The more that people can resonate with your business, the more they will want to become a part of it. At the end of the day, we all just want to feel connected. Your ability to be vulnerable in your marketing efforts can connect you to more clients than a salesy ad ever could.
Vulnerability humanizes your brand. When you allow vulnerability into your business communications, you create a powerful reminder that there are real people behind the brand. That you aren’t just another business trying to make sales. You’re real people, with real stories and a mission that goes deeper than the surface. When you want to connect with other humans, you have allow your human experience to actually create the connections.
Vulnerability allows you to own your fears. It’s no secret that running a business really just ends up being personal development in disguise. Sharing a vulnerable truth of your journey can not only give others permission to do the same, but can serve as something that’s quite therapeutic for you. Trust me when I say, the freeing feeling that comes with releasing your fears & stepping into your power is priceless.
Now that you know how vulnerability can help in your branding efforts, the next thing you may be wondering is “how vulnerable is too vulnerable?” While this is obviously subjective and can vary based on your personal comfort levels, here are a few questions you can ask yourself to come to a conclusion on your own:
Am I doing this for attention or with intention? The act of being vulnerable isn’t about how many “likes” or sales this could potentially create for you—it’s about desiring to connect with people above all. Your ability to connect is what will create the likes & sales, so trust that those will come regardless if you’re really coming from a place of authenticity. Really know the purpose of what you’re sharing and make sure you do it with intention or don’t do it at all.
Is there a lesson I’ve learned from this story? Think of it this way — if your moment of vulnerability is really just you unloading negative feelings and/or complaining about your life, save that story for your bestie. The most powerful vulnerable moments have a lesson attached and offer a new perspective. If you don’t feel like you’ve learned anything from a part of your journey as yet, it doesn’t mean that you never will, just take it as your indicator that you need to sit with it until you feel otherwise.
Can my experience help others? Before you write off a vulnerable truth as not being relevant to your audience or your business, really ask yourself this question first. This can often be as simple as proving to your audience that they’re not alone in their experiences. Know that you can always find a connection between your personal life, your audience, and what is that you do in your business. When you know your audience and the type of people you want to reach with your brand, this will become second nature. If you know your story can enrich someone else’s life, use your platform to make it happen.
Here are a few ways that you can start to empower your brand presence with vulnerability:
Share your journey. What life circumstances occurred that inspired you to take the leap into creating your own business? The more you share the paths you’ve taken, the more your passion will shine through your communications.
Show your face. One of the most vulnerable things we can do as online business owners is subject ourselves to judgement of our outer appearances. The more that people are able to see you, the more connected they’ll feel to your energy. Also, representation matters — you showing yourself instead of hiding can empower others to do the same.
Speak from the heart. When you share from a deep desire to connect with others, this happens automatically. Imagine each caption, email, and post you create to be an open-letter to a long-lost best friend. Allow your authentic self to be the voice of your brand by not stressing over the “right” way to speak and instead focusing on your way.