AskPat 65 Episode Transcript
Pat Flynn: Hey, what's up, everybody? Pat Flynn here. Welcome to Episode 65 of AskPat.
I want to mention that today's episode is brought to you by LegalZoom. LegalZoom is actually what I use to help create my LLC. I used it for a couple of trademarks. I used it for a lot of personal things as well, like wills and things like that. It's got to be the easiest and most economical way to do a lot of these things. DBA, I also did one of those as well. So you can join over a million entrepreneurs who have used LegalZoom, including myself, to start your business and incorporate. Check them out; go to LegalZoom.com and enter “Pat” in the referral box to get your discount. LegalZoom provides self-help services and can connect you with an attorney, but they are not a law firm. Remember, LegalZoom.com, discount code “Pat.” That's P-A-T.
Now, let's get to today's question, which is an important one, from Clark, about authenticity and vulnerability.
Clark: Hi, Pat. My name is Clark Buckner with BuckBranding.com. One of my favorite topics that you speak about is authenticity. My question is, how far is too far? In other words, how authentic, how vulnerable can you be with your audience, and why? Thank you.
Pat Flynn: Clark, thank you so much for your question. It's great to hear from you. I'm going to answer your question sort of in two parts for you and also for everybody listening. The first part is going to be why vulnerability and why being authentic is important, and how it's helped me and how it can help you. The second part I'm going to talk about how much, because there is a line there, I think, and I think we all know that. But where do we draw that line? Well, I'll talk about that secondly.
But firstly, why be vulnerable? Why authenticity? Why is that important? It's because online, well even offline, but in any business, but especially online, the trust that you have, the trust that you build with your audience is the most important thing in the world. It is your currency, it is your asset. The better the trust you have with your audience, the better everything will be. The easier it is to have a transaction. Because without that trust, there can be no transaction whatsoever. I'm not just talking about monetary transactions; I'm talking about any transaction, from people spending any time on your site, to clicking on a link, to subscribing to your email list. None of those things can happen without that trust. One of the best ways to build trust in any relationship, and you are, and you should be thinking about what you have with your audience members as a relationship. The best way to do that is to open up and to do it appropriately, of course. But to be real. Because people want to do business with other people. More than that, people want to do business with people who are real. And there's no better way to show that you're real than to show the not-so-good things that might be happening, or what's on mind, or the things that you aren't so sure of. It sort of brings you walls down, which allows more people in. And people will bring their walls down too when they see you're doing it as well.
That's how relationships are formed. Think of any relationship that you have with a friend or a family member; you tell each other things. Not just always the good things. If somebody were to only tell you the good things, you would think that they were cocky or whatever. I know that's why a lot of people resonate with me, because I talk not only about the wins and the things that are going well in my business and life as well, but the things that aren't going so well, or the struggles that I have. As a result, people can connect with me more. Especially because a lot of times when you share the parts of you that are vulnerable, and the authentic moments that aren't so nice, people can connect because they probably have a lot of the same feelings as well. And so the more you open up, the more people are going to open up to you. So that's why authenticity is important. That's why being vulnerable is important. Again, we're talking about vulnerable in a sense of showing that there's parts of you that aren't perfect. Because I think if people are perfect online, there's something wrong, right? If somebody were to share online that everything's going perfect and nothing ever went wrong, for us it would be obvious that they were lying. Because something has to go wrong. If they were too perfect, then they're probably hiding something.
So, we're talking about that, and not vulnerability like your site is vulnerable, or you're putting yourself at risk for things. We're not talking about that. Of course you want to have your site secure and things like that. But vulnerability in a sense that you want to open up and show people that you're not perfect. I think that's really important. Now how much of that should you do? How vulnerable should you be? How authentic should you be? Well, I think you should be 100% authentic, but that's different than vulnerability. You should always be real. But how much should you share? Well, that's really a question that you'll have to answer yourself, because it's going to be a different line for everybody. Obviously, there's a line of sharing too much. But then there's the line of not sharing enough, where it might almost seem like you're hiding stuff, or you're not exactly who you are.
So, I think you have to look internally, use common sense, and also listen to your audience as well. Put yourself in the shoes of somebody in your audience. Probably the best thing you could do is think about how what you're saying or what you want to share will affect your audience and how they will react to what you say. Also, how are they reacting to what you do? Should you respond to that? For example, if you were to do something in your business that maybe was the wrong move or seemed to upset a lot of people, or even just a few people in your audience, should you share that? How is that providing value? How is that actually helping your audience? Well, it could help people see that you're listening and that you are understanding how people feel, so that you can then take the correct course of action after that.
That's another big thing about vulnerability, is sharing when you do things wrong, and manning up and actually admitting to your mistakes. Because that's how you can show people that, okay, you're not perfect, but also you are there to help them. You're there to take the correct actions that might be required to right a wrong, for example. That's huge. I've done that several times on my site, because I don't get everything right. I can't possibly do everything right the first time. Sometimes I do things that I wish I didn't do, but I have to be open and honest about those things in order for me to keep that trust. I think when you think about it like a relationship that you might have with a spouse, if they did something wrong or something that you didn't like, you would hope that they would be honest with you. That would only strengthen the relationship, I feel.
So, thank you so much, Clark. I know that's tough, more you've got to look inside yourself to see where that line might be and what you want to share. But I hope that answers your question a little bit, Clark. Thank you so much for it. And anybody else out there, if you have a question you'd like answered here on the show, head on over to AskPat.com. You can ask right there.
And of course, I want to thank our sponsors for this episode, LegalZoom. If you go to LegalZoom.com and enter “Pat” at the checkout area, you will get a discount. They're not just to help you with a corporation or LLC or your DBAs, but also other things like your wills and your trademarks and powers of attorney. I've done all of those things on LegalZoom. I've been using them 2008. You hear about them everywhere on the radio, and you know why? Because they're awesome. They totally are. I love them. So, thank you, LegalZoom. Head on over to LegalZoom.com, enter “Pat” for the discount code.
And as always, I'm going to leave you with a quote. Today's quote is from Victoria Pratt. She's an actress and a model. She says, “In the beginning, people think vulnerability will make you weak. But it does the opposite. It shows you're strong enough to care.” Take care. I'll see you the next episode of AskPat.
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