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Use Authentic Vulnerability to Grow Your Tribe and Brand

Influencer Natalie Hodson was surprised to see her business suffer when she tried to portray a "perfect" image.

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When Natalie Hodson began her entrepreneurial journey as a health and fitness influencer for moms, she chose to share with her audience what it was like starting a business using raw honesty. “That’s how I built an initial following, because I didn't feel like I had to posture myself as the expert.”

Eventually, Hodson felt the pressure to gain popularity through “positioning herself as an expert” and only showing the perfect pictures. But something interesting happened. “All of a sudden, everything tanked because now I was trying to posture myself as perfect.” She took inventory on her business and realized that “the only things that went viral surrounded this concept of vulnerability. My audience loved me because I was real, relatable and honest.”

Vulnerability is the ultimate human connector. “When people recognize that you know how they feel, they trust you. And when people trust you, they'll buy from you,” says Hodson.

Natalie also addresses the fake vulnerability polluting the market today. She explains how to avoid this pitfall by “writing everything down when you’re actually in the moment, when you're feeling embarrassed, ashamed, afraid. Later, when you're in front of your computer, it's really hard to re-create those real moments. So, the No. 1 tip is write it down, then strategically save it for the right time to share.”

Hodson also encourages taking vulnerability beyond your website and inviting followers on your journey through Instagram stories, Snapchat stories and Facebook Live videos. “This makes your followers become raving fans because they experience the journey along with you.. This will make them want to buy your product.“

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