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“What’re you doing?” said my wife.

We were watching A Star Is Born.

“I’m rewinding it,” I said. “Sorry, just a sec.”

Bradley Cooper’s character, Jackson Maine, said something significant and I wanted to write it down. He said:

“If you don’t dig deep in your fucking soul, you won’t have legs. If you don’t tell the truth out there, you’re done.”

He was talking to Ally, Lady Gaga’s character. He was giving her songwriting advice.

But I think his advice transcends creative disciplines. I think it applies to all writers who want to forge a connection with their audience, including content marketers.

Are you a content marketer?  

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Do you want people to notice your work? And read your articles? And watch your videos? And subscribe to your blog or channel?

Do you want people to remember your work?

Do you want them to remember you?

Then you need to dig deep.

Tapping into your own personal stories, weaving them into your content.

You need to let your audience into your life, the good bits, the bad. The bad. You need to leave yourself on the page. You need to.

Because as a content marketer, if you connect the dots between a business lesson and your own failures, your own insecurities, your own shame or grief — the things most people would never share for fear of rejection — you will endear your audience.*

(*Most likely. We’ll cover that in a moment.)

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Because your flaws are, in fact, attractive.

We’re all the same, after all. We’re all unsure. You know that.

In her article, Your Flaws Are Probably More Attractive Than You Think They Are, Emily Smith writes: “We tend to think showing vulnerability makes us seem weak, inadequate, and flawed — a mess. But when others see our vulnerability, they might perceive something quite different, something alluring.”

This phenomenon is called The Beautiful Mess Effect.

“It suggests that everyone should be less afraid of opening up,” writes Smith, “at least in certain cases.”

Few marketers do this better than my CMO at G2, Ryan Bonnici. And he’s been recognized for it…

For his authenticity.
For digging deep and being vulnerable.
For using a bad situation to spread goodness.

So digging deep is a good thing. Vulnerability is a good thing.


But can you be too vulnerable?

Yes, it’s possible. And it depends entirely on your clout.

“Responses to someone’s vulnerability largely seem to depend on how others perceive that person beforehand,” writes Smith. “If she appears strong and capable before showing vulnerability, people are sympathetic; the vulnerability is humanizing. But if the person doesn’t seem competent, people are repelled.”

This phenomenon is called The Pratfall Effect.

So know your audience. Then dig as deep as you can stand.

Good luck.


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Judge not lest ye be judged.