This holiday season (whether you’re celebrating or not) is a great time to let the people in your world know how grateful you are for them. And when your copy and content reflect your love and appreciation for your audience, everyone wins.
In Episode 24 of the Leadership Forum, we’re talking about gratitude.
You’ll learn how to:
✔ Acknowledge your community and build genuine relationships through your copy
✔ Lean into gratitude without it being a gross sales tactic
✔ Ground yourself in messaging that comes from a place of abundance
0:00-3:44 – Welcome and introduction
3:44-11:59 – How to truly acknowledge your community and build genuine relationships
11:59-18:15 – Lean into gratitude
18:15-26:37 – Ground yourself in messaging that comes from a place of abundance.
Alright, let’s dive in!
Acknowledging Community (Building Genuine Relationships) (3:44)
Before we dive in, a little disclaimer: While this episode is all about gratitude, and the holidays tend to be a meaningful time of year for most people, it’s important to be aware that, for some people, it’s also a painful time.
That doesn’t mean that you can’t express your gratitude, but do be mindful of others (or your own) possible pain during the holiday season.
This is a post about genuine gratitude and love, not about how to use sleazy marketing tactics to get more visibility for your content. And that means showing love for your entire audience, whether they’re feeling the holiday spirit or not.
Learn to Connect
We love this quote by Todd Herman: “Businesses grow at the speed of relationships.”
Relationship marketing and building genuine relationships with your audience is an important part of what you do. There is no wrong time to express gratitude to your audience for listening, purchasing, supporting, and just overall BEING there as a part of your community.
Not only will you deepen established relationships, but you’ll start conversations and be able to connect with your audience in a more fulfilling way.
Express gratitude to your audience for listening, purchasing, supporting, and just overall BEING there as a part of your community.
Email Lists are Tricky
Keep in mind: Having someone’s email address is a valuable resource, as they are giving you an open door into their world/inbox, so we need to steward it well and not take it for granted.
Whether you have a list of 50,000 or 5, it can be hard to feel like you’re really making a personal connection since you know you’re mailing it out to a mass group of people. It can be hard to keep people feeling loved and really nurture those relationships they way you want to.
If you’ve got a lot of people who don’t open the emails or, on the other end of the spectrum, have great social engagement to the point where you feel like you can’t keep up, you might feel frustrated. But it’s so important that you invest in those relationships, especially as you grow!
Ways to Keep it Personal
- If your list is already segmented (i.e. established customers, joint venture partnerships, etc.), send out a more tailored, specific message to that group. This will make it feel more authentic. (If your list isn’t segmented, you might want to consider breaking your audience up into subgroups so that you can send more targeted communications in the future.)
- Share personal stories. This will always foster a connection with your audience more than just you talking about your work life, business goals, etc. As you are vulnerable and communicate on a human being level rather than the “brains behind the business,” or the person behind the keyboard, your desire and willingness to connect invites them to do the same.
- When you share, be vulnerable. Brene Brown, in her book “The Gifts of Imperfection,” says that one way to quickly connect with someone you don’t know, to where you leave the conversation feeling like you’ve known each other for years, is by sharing something personal and vulnerable. That little moment bypasses all the normal conversational superficialities and leads to a real, human connection. Isn’t that what we’re after at the end of the day?
Notes on Vulnerability
- We know this isn’t always easy for people, especially in their copywriting. However, from years of past copywriting experience, the times when we have gotten a reaction from people/readers is when we have written with emotion (whatever we’re feeling at the time about the subject matter). It can feel scary, because it’s not tied to our marketing strategy, or our sales efforts, but rather to a real emotion that we are feeling.
- It doesn’t mean you are spilling your deepest secrets or reading from your diary – the goal is to share something that you feel like is relevant to your audience and something they need to know. For example, with your mindful understanding that Thanksgiving can be a painful time of year, perhaps you acknowledge that in your message. You show compassion. Or if YOU are struggling, you share that vulnerably (and tastefully) and maybe some of your audience can relate to that. If nothing else, your audience will most likely appreciate your vulnerability.
- Keeping your business goals in mind, just be aware that whatever you share, you can be authentically excited about it, or passionate, or whatever “x” emotion you’re feeling, and can communicate that emotion with your audience. It’s okay to be transparent. In fact, you want to be transparent! People value transparency!
Leaning Into Gratitude (No Sleaze) (11:59)
Oftentimes, you’ll see writing in various places online that is always drippy with positivity, as in “I’m so grateful and here’s my highlight reel of why.” But gratefulness doesn’t always have to come when everything is going perfectly. We can also be grateful even for the mess. For the people who support you when it’s a mess. For a community that sticks with you and rallies around you.
Expressing gratitude in the good times AND the bad times can be really empowering in your content and in the building of your community.
Really Mean It
Keep in mind that the most important way to keep your content from being slimy is to just write something that comes from the heart. It can’t be about making more sales, but instead making more relationships. The sales will flow naturally out of those relationships that are established through your authenticity, vulnerability, and willingness to connect.
The sales will flow naturally out of those relationships that are established through your authenticity, vulnerability, and willingness to connect.
Now, this is assuming that you are a business owner, thought leader, and innovator. That you have a strong moral compass and aren’t about ripping people off or cheating them out of their money, etc.
You’re someone who wants to build relationships and make a positive change in the world.
Note: If you’re nervous about coming across as sleazy, then it’s probably not going to be a problem for you. How do we know? Because it shows that you’re sensitive to this and will most likely err on the opposite side of sleaze.
Two Powerful Little Words (No, not “Hot Donuts”)
Don’t forget the power of two simple words: Thank You.
It’s so simple but it’s so true. Not as a marketing tactic but as a genuine expression of gratitude for what they’ve done for you.
What have they done? They’ve taken time to listen, and likely even more. Your audience and your clients aren’t merely automatons but are living, breathing people with busy lives, jobs, families, dreams, etc. And if you will take a moment to acknowledge that and sincerely thank them from your heart, that will go a long way in nurturing relationships.
How Does My Audience Feel Loved?
You know about the Five Love Languages, right? If not, you can take the quiz here to discover yours.
You can pretty much guarantee that all five are represented in your audience. Why does this matter? Because while your relationship with your audience may not be a romantic one, it’s still a relationship. Try to hit on the different love languages in your writing and see what happens.
For example, if someone’s love language is “Quality Time,” then these are people who like to feel appreciated, heard, and understood. So for those audience members, you might offer an opportunity to get on a call with you. That would be really meaningful to them.
Or for someone whose love language is “Words of Affirmation,” you can express, “Hey, you are really amazing. This is what it means to me to have you as a part of my community…” and really hit it out of the park. In this way, you can connect with your audience by tailoring your copy to represent the different love languages of your listeners.
Not All About You
Another thing to remember when you are expressing your gratitude to your audience is that you need to remember to involve your community. Rather than just “I am thankful for this in MY life and MY whatever…” use “you” statements. i.e. “I’m thankful for YOU, and this is why.”
Now, this doesn’t mean that you can’t use personal examples or talk about your life, but rather it’s just being mindful of your audience and including them in the equation, because they’re a part of what you’re doing. It’s all about drawing them into your story and your mission.
Your audience is a part of what you’re doing. It’s all about drawing them into your story and your mission.
Using Questions? Really? Are you serious?
Asking questions, whether specific or rhetorical, is another way to connect with your audience. It’s engaging, it’s conversational, and it’s reminding them that you’re a human writing to someone you really care about and appreciate… you know what I mean?
Having a Message that’s Grounded in Abundance (18:15)
We all have lived the roller coaster that comes with being an entrepreneur. Whether that be your community engagement, your revenue stream, or even your energy level – it’s often up and down. Sometimes, you have a lot of abundance, meaning great stores of time, incoming revenue, and energy.
Other times, you don’t.
So when you DON’T, how do you ground yourself in a message that comes from abundance without sounding totally fake?
It’s Fo Real, Yo
If you’ve already worked on this area in your life (abundance vs scarcity) with a life coach, or by reading some books, then you’re going to be more familiar with how to stay grounded in your copy, but we’ve found the following tips to be helpful:
- Find the things you can be thankful for, even in your scarcity. This doesn’t negate the more painful areas of your life, but trying to focus on what you DO have going for you will help you write copy that is sincere.
- In choosing to be thankful, think about the things that are to COME that you can also be thankful for. This requires a positive outlook, for sure. But it’s always good to consider that we really do have so much to be thankful for.
Trust Us, We Get It!
- Personal example: About a year ago, we decided to pivot and really start focusing on leaders and people who were wanting to go further in being change initiators. While this was terrifying for us on many levels, one being because we were going to really have to step up and “walk the walk” ourselves, we decided to move forward with confidence and trust that this was going to work out.
- We didn’t listen to the negative self-talk but rather surrounded ourselves with positivity. The excitement we had, even though there was also fear, allowed us to pivot and pitch this new message out of a place of abundance. It didn’t mean that there wasn’t scarcity at all, but rather we focused on thethings we HAD (like the support of our community, even the ones that chose not to keep walking with us in our new venture) and it allowed us to stay positive and confident.
And If You Just Can’t Get There
Do what you need to do to put yourself in the right attitude: Journal, talk to friends, brainstorm a thankfulness list, etc. But make sure that when you are sending out your messages, you are doing it from a place of abundance and not scarcity, because scarcity smells and scares off your audience. It feels desperate. And they will sense it.
It really, really matters what frame of mind you’re in when you start sending your messages to the world.
(Hint: If you’re confused when we use terms like “abundance” and “scarcity,” then think about the difference between someone being confident as opposed to being insecure. When people are insecure, everything about them emits insecurity, and the people around them feel it. It makes them uncomfortable to be around. But when someone is confident, it has the opposite effect: It’s attractive. It’s kind of the same way with scarcity and abundance.)
Storytelling is powerful. You can build relationships with your audience no matter how big or how small it is by being personable, vulnerable, and authentically grateful. Don’t forget the power in a simple “thank you.” And make sure that when you’re communicating, you’re doing so out of a place of abundance, because your audience will sense it.
Here’s your homework: Express your gratitude to your audience between now and the end of the year!
And that’s a wrap for Episode 24: Creating Copy That Connects Through Gratitude!
Thank you so much for joining us (live, via the replay, or simply reading this post). If you have an example of a time when you shared vulnerably with your audience and it created great connection, we’d love to hear about it! Leave a comment and fill us in.
Curious how to make concepts like “abundance vs scarcity” an integral part of your leadership DNA? Head on over to the Thought Leaders Think Tank on Facebook and request to join.