Earlier this year, I surveyed my clients, students, and newsletter subscribers.
I was curious to know, “Are you digging my newsletter? What would you like to see more of? Less of? What about other newsletters that you subscribe to? Which are your faves? Which ones turn you off and why?”
Y’all seem to really enjoy my newsletter (thank you!)
You had some very strong opinions about other people’s newsletters.
Specifically: what you do not like to see.
Re: other people’s newsletters, a lot of survey respondents mentioned that they hate receiving business newsletters that feel pushy, salesy, and aggressive (“Buy now limited time offer today only nowww!!”). OK. No surprise there.
But then, there was another piece of feedback that felt pretty surprising to me.
The issue of “authenticity” – or rather the “authenticity mask.”
Specifically, people mentioned feeling really irritated by:
: Business-related newsletters that start with “Honestly” or “I’m opening up” or “Truth time!” or “Can I be real for a second?” or something indicating that the sender is now telling the truth (Were you planning on lying to me but changed your mind at the last minute?!)
: Newsletters that reveal a big vulnerable “truth” and then milk that “truth” over and over purely for attention, pity, or sales.
: Newsletters where the writer claims to be sharing the “truth” (like a story about a personal triumph or transformation: going from broke to billionaire, etc.) but something about the story is just a little too “slick.”
And things like that. Interesting, right? In the small business community we’re repeatedly told to be “real” and “authentic.” Yet for certain people’s newsletters, all of that “authenticity” seems to be backfiring and actually causing subscribers to grumble in annoyance. Or unsubscribe.
It’s unfortunate, right? You pour your heart and soul and guts into your newsletter, hoping to make a real connection with your reader, but then… it might be having the opposite effect.
What’s the solution?
Stop telling true stories about your life?
Stop being authentic?
The issue isn’t the stories that are being told.
It’s how they’re being told.
We don’t need to stop telling authentic stories. We just need to learn how to become more effective storytellers so that our messages “land” and our points come across clearly without a “forced” or “fake” icky-slime feeling.
One small shift in tone, pacing, or structure can take a story that makes your reader feel like “Ew, yuck” and turn it into story that feels like, “Wow. I so needed to read that.”
THIS is what I teach in my new class, ClickSanity – how to create truthful newsletter content that isn’t preachy, pushy, icky, or a mask of authenticity.
If you haven’t registered already, I’ve got several lessons all about storytelling – inspired by screenwriting techniques – that will help you share true stories in your newsletters without slipping into “ick” territory. You can sign up here: http://clicksanity.teachable.com/
I created this entire class based on your biggest newsletter requests and struggles – and I think you’ll love it!
Here’s to telling authentic stories. The kinds of stories that open minds & change lives. Not the kind that lead to annoyed customers and grossed-out “unsubscribes.”Read More