Do you have your own online business, but you’re not sure how to connect with your customers? Are you stuck at a point in your business where you can’t seem to grow and increase your revenue? Maybe you don’t have a business yet, but you want to start one. Are you worried you won’t be able to get an audience of engaged customers who love and trust you?

Maybe you have no idea what the next steps are, or how to share your story with your customers. Maybe you’re dealing with some imposter syndrome, or worried about putting yourself out there…

… but you want to understand how to authentically engage with your customers in a way that works. 

When I started getting vulnerable and becoming open with my audience, everything changed!

My customers began to see me as a person and connected to my story. They felt seen and understood. It set me apart from the others in my niche doing the same thing. 

And this led me to have so much more success in my online business!

Who is Your Audience?

So, who is your audience anyway?

Your audience is the group people who maybe haven’t purchased your product, but fit into the mold of what your dream customer would look like. Maybe they are the people following you on social media, or the people who find your stuff on Pinterest. 

Getting to know this dream customer, or your “avatar” is paramount in understanding them. These are the people who will buy from you, sure, but they are also the people who you can help with your product! And, if you’re like me, helping others is a major part of your hopes and dreams for your online business. 

Here are some ways to get to know your audience:

  • Think of the person you were when you started your journey. Maybe your product is a beginners cookbook. Think of the person you were before you knew how to cook. Speak to that version of yourself. 
  • Write out who they are. Give them a name. Find a stock photo of what they look like. Get out a piece of paper and brainstorm who they are. What is their age, what are their fears, what is their income bracket, what do they like to do? This exercise is so helpful in discovering how to talk to your audience. 

If your audience is full of people who are novice cooks who want to get better, you know not to talk about how great it is to create your own recipes and to add ingredients “to taste.” They don’t know how to do that, that doesn’t speak to them. So understanding your audience in this way will help you to get an engaged customer base who love and trust you. 

How I Created my Audience of Engaged Customers

I now own a successful online business! (I feel so uncomfortable feeling like I’m bragging about myself!) But before I was successful in the online business world, I failed in my first business venture. 

We didn’t understand our audience, and did a lot of things wrong. But one thing I got from that experience was an understanding of the power of being vulnerable. 

Once I peed my pants on camera, everything changed.

Yeah, you read that right. (Embarrassing, I know!)

But I had two 10 pound babies. The business I had with friends involved filming workout videos. While doing a workout, I was jumping and completely peed my pants. Not a little. Completely! I laughed it off at the time, but I was so embarrassed! 

We posted it, and so many women reached out to me! A doctor friend of mine saw the video and talked to me about pelvic floor strengthening. Together we decided to write an eBook to help other women who were dealing with this issue. And this is how my online business was born!

It took a completely vulnerable moment that allowed other women to feel seen and validated. I used my story to truly connect with my audience. I knew them, I understood them, I WAS them in that moment!

From that moment on, I used story selling to connect to customers in an open, honest, vulnerable, real, and authentic way! It caused them to engage with me, and to love and trust me. 

How to Get Your Audience to Love and Trust You

You don’t need to pee your pants! haha

Here’s what you need:

  • An arsenal of stories. Think back on your own stories and write them down to share with your audience. Keeping with the cooking example… Maybe you have one story about starting a fire in your kitchen. Maybe another story about crying on the floor because you ruined Thanksgiving. Maybe a funny story when your family all lied about how good your cookies were at Christmas as to not hurt your feelings. 
  • An audience to see them. Make an effort to share these stories so your audience can find them. These stories can be used in your product, and in your marketing to get people to connect with you and buy.
  • A product to help them. As long as you’re connecting to your audience, offer them something to help them! It’s great to build an audience, but better if you’re building them for the sake of your online business dreams. 

I have a lot more secrets on how to grow your audience in order to get them to love and trust you that I go over in my free web class! But the main thing is to connect. Don’t just tell someone how to cook, get them to understand that there was a time when you couldn’t cook either. Tell them how good it felt to cook a meal your family loved. Share the feeling of having your kids cook with you… to begin to make memories in the kitchen. 

Doesn’t that sound way better than just a sheet with an ingredient list? This connection marketing will set your cookbook (or whatever product or business you have!) apart from the others… no matter how saturated you think your niche is!

Three Common Misconceptions 

When I teach this concept to people, they have a few things that make them weary about it. But it’s just the concept of being real and open with people in order to draw them into your passion!

Here are the most common misconceptions I hear about building an audience:

  • You have to be fake and slimy. Quite the opposite! Just be real and open. This will set you apart from the others who are in your niche. Don’t lie or fake the vulnerability, lean into it and you’ll see results!
  • You have to be the face of your business. You don’t! Sharing the story behind a business doesn’t have to involve a face-to-face story. You don’t have to be the face of your brand if you don’t want to be. 
  • You have to have a big epic story to tell. It’s less about having a big story and more about the emotion behind it. All it has to do is be relatable so that your audience feels seen and understood. 

There are probably a million more, but these are the big ones I hear! I’ve never faked my story or used it unfairly for gain. I’m the face of my business in many ways, but I’ve taught a lot of people who aren’t! I don’t have a big epic story, I just had a pee your pants story that people could relate to!

You have a story to tell that will connect with people out there, and you deserve to tell it!

My Top Tips for Sharing Your Story

I always think about the people I follow, or business I buy from, and why I love them. The Birds Papaya is a gal I’ve followed for so long on Instagram. She shares real and raw photos of her real body, stretchmarks and love handles and all! It’s beautiful! And has made such a big impact on her following. Go Clean Co is another one I love because she’s so funny and relatable! She shares cleaning hacks and tips in funny and relatable ways. 

I try to do the same! I try to share real stories that others can relate to. They might be vulnerable, but they will help my audience to trust me. 

Here are my top 3 tips for sharing your own story:

  1. Share scars, not wounds. Putting yourself out there is hard. So try to share things that don’t feel too fresh to share. It’s okay if you have stories you’re not ready to talk about. 
  1. Focus on the feeling. The thing that will connect people the most is the feeling behind the story. Instead of focusing on the details, focus on the feeling. Feelings are universal and will help your audience to feel seen. 
  1. Begin documenting. It’s a lot easier to hone in on your feelings when they are fresh. So from now on, work on documenting your feelings as they happen. If you begin to feel inadequate about your cooking, or you mess up a recipe, document it. Write it in your phone, make a voice memo, whatever works. That way you’ll have your own words when it’s fresh. 

It’s not the easiest thing in the world to share your own stories and feelings. But I PROMISE it will help your audience to connect with you and your business. I’m not going to tell you it’ll be easy… it probably won’t be, but it’ll pay off!

Ready to Get Your Own Audience of Engaged Customers Using Your Story?

Right now you may be feeling paralyzed just by the thought of doing this…

What is the first step?? What are the exact steps you need to take?

I get that!

Maybe you’ve started, you’ve taken the steps, you have the idea! You just want some guidance. 

My FREE web class can be just the thing you need right now!

In my webclass, I teach 3 steps to creating an audience of raving fans that results in a wildly successful online business. …even if you feel like you aren’t an expert, don’t want to run expensive ads, or build confusing funnels.

One of the secrets I teach is all about this connection marketing! It’s all about how to go about telling your own stories to connect to your audience. 

I will teach you these THREE SECRETS:

  1. How to quickly get an audience of engaged customers who love and trust you… EVEN IF you feel you aren’t an expert (yet) and have no marketing experience.
  1. The simple online products you can create that allows you to grow a profitable business WITHOUT sacrificing your time for money.
  1. My little-known secret system for selling products online (without Facebook ads) when you have ZERO social media following.

YES, I’ll say it again, this web class is absolutely FREE!

I will show you how I did this, and how you can do it too!

I believe in you, and I want to share with you everything I wish I’d known so that you can make a real impact in your life and the lives of the people you share your story with. 

You got this!

All the best,

Natalie Hodson 💗

Click HERE to reserve your spot today!