I worked with a new client today and we embarked on a journey to figure out what she needs to do to leave her job and start her own firm. We created a roadmap. We started by exploring her personal brand… what’s her unique position in the practice of law and what personally sets her apart from the rest. It’s a very vulnerable place to poke around; it’s not for the faint of heart. In my effort to find encouragement to share with her I found a speech by Dr. Brene Brown, Why Critics Aren’t The Ones Who Count. It so gets to the core of our fears when we embark on new ventures… we stand at the ledge and look out. What do we see? What can we hold on to to help us move forward, little step after little step? Brown addresses the critic both external and the one in our head. She reminds us that the critics AREN’T the ones that matter and AREN’T the people we should be trying to please. If you are on a ledge looking to create a new future for yourself, listen and I believe you will find courage and comfort in her words. Enjoy!

I have coached many lawyers to write articles, blogs and books. The initial response is usually; I don’t have time, that’s too much work, what would I write about, who would be interested in what I have to say… and so on and so on! But what is really behind all those excuses? In many cases, fear… because writing is scary! Beth Hayden contributor to the blog Copyblogger, writes… Why We Still Need to Write, Even When We’re Scared. She breaks these fears down to the essence.

Sometimes when we publish something, it makes us feel like our insides are hanging out, for all the world to see. We feel vulnerable. We feel naked. We feel … terrified.

But here’s the thing — we have to keep writing, in spite of the fear. If we let fear stop us, our content will have no spark, no life. And everything we write will be completely unremarkable

Brene’ Brown, sociologist and researcher believes, “We are put on this earth to connect with one another. Connection is what gives meaning and purpose to our lives.”

But if we want connection, we have to be willing to be vulnerable. Even though vulnerability is often hard — sometimes even excruciating — we’ve got to put ourselves out there in order to experience connection.

And here’s what very few people are talking about in the field of content marketing — vulnerability not only makes us better human beings, it also makes us better writers, and better content marketers.

We have to be willing to put our ideas, opinions, and deepest fears out there, so we can truly connect with our audiences. Content that isn’t vulnerable — that doesn’t scare us, just a little bit — isn’t necessarily going to draw a huge audience of raving fans. It’s not going to get shared on social networking sites thousands of times. It’s not going to really impact the world.

Vulnerability is the missing piece in content marketing.

So next time you cover up the fear with excuses… think about connection. Connection is what bonds a client, prospect or referral source to you… that is what’s at stake. So are you willing to be vulnerable in order to achieve connection?

Building strong relationships requires that we open up. Show our vulnerability, our imperfections and truly connect with people, because as we know people hire lawyers they know and trust.

Fast Company’s contributor Drake Baer in his article… Empathy Equals Scary Vulnerability -And It’s Totally Necessary For Success, wrote…

Sociologist/badass Brené Brown defines vulnerability as uncertainty, risk, and emotional exposure. And as she told us, there’s no opting out of being vulnerable: ‘If you are alive and in relationship and in business, you do it hourly.

Dr. Brené Brown tells it like it is with research that makes a believer out of even the most skeptical among us.