How Vulnerability Works In Business Writing and Storytelling

Vulnerability: How It Works In Business Writing and Storytelling

It’s a busy morning in the office. However, a business writer isn’t sure what went wrong, as they sat at their desk. They feel that they’ve written a great message that shows off their company’s prowess in serving customers. They read their message:

“Need legal advice? Give our law firm a call at 1-800-000-0000!”

What was wrong with that? They ask themselves.

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But then, they think about a similar message that they’ve received from a job board that they’ve stumbled across by chance. It said the same thing:

“Need a job? Go online to jobboard.com.”

To the business writer, that message sounded vague – not only vague but, also inhuman.

So, the writer types in “job board” onto their computer, and they find hundreds of search results. One of the top results was LinkedIn. When they visit the site, their message was different: “Manage your professional identity. Build and engage with your professional network. Access knowledge, insights and opportunities.”

LinkedIn is a great way for job seekers to connect with job prospects. The professional social media platform realizes the need for people to find work, and for companies to hire the right people. That’s why many of its marketing campaigns depict various instances of:

  • Helping people find work
  • Understanding the needs of job seekers and companies, AND
  • Representing everyone regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation, etc.

That’s vulnerability at work. LinkedIn incorporates these big emotions in business writing and storytelling.

On that same platform, the business writer browses through business- and job-related articles posted. They see that companies like Amazon create posts that appeal to job seekers. In one post, Amazon starts its post with vulnerability with this sentence: “When you’re ready to take your career to the next level, searching for a new role can quickly begin to feel overwhelming.” In this case, Amazon understands how “overwhelming” it can be for job seekers to find work. The vulnerability, so to speak, is the feeling of being overwhelmed.

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Vulnerability. It’s a powerful emotion to feel. You wouldn’t expect that kind of feeling in the world of business, right? The truth is, vulnerability can be of good use, when it comes to business writing. While the idea might seem detrimental to credibility and professionalism, when executed correctly, vulnerability can work to your advantage.

This brief writing guide will explain the benefits of incorporating vulnerability into your business writing, and then show you some helpful tips on how to use it. Let’s dive right in!

The Benefits

While vulnerability can be viewed as a negative thing, no one knows just how beneficial this can be for business writing. However, vulnerability opens the doors to transparency.

In other words, the reader isn’t forced to trust a faceless entity, but rather, a real person. Therefore, since you’re trying to appeal to consumers with your business, it’s important to build a form of relationship that’s real, and not forced.

Now, this isn’t necessarily showing off your company’s weaknesses. No, a vulnerability in business writing is to show how human you are, and how understanding you are to consumer concerns, fears, etc.

With that said, the benefits of vulnerability are the following:

  • It makes your business more human.
  • It makes you more genuine.
  • It brings people together.
  • It has you tell a compelling story. And so on…

Helpful Tips

Now that you know the benefits of storytelling with vulnerability, it’s time to improve your business writing today. Here are 5 helpful tips on implementing this storytelling strategy:

1) Shift The Perspective

When writing in a vulnerable sense, you’re not just sticking to one perspective. As a business writer, you must step into the shoes of many people you’re appealing to. Think of this as inviting the reader into your circle, and having a conversation with them. In this way, you’re not thinking about your perspective, but theirs.

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2) Don’t Censor Yourself

Next, don’t worry about censorship. It’s important to be honest with yourself.

However, don’t force yourself to swear in 100% of your work. Swear, if necessary, but keep it classy. You don’t want to give readers the impression that you won’t know how to be professional. Remember: You’re writing as a business writer… business.

3) Describe The Feeling AND Experience

When experiencing vulnerability, you have that need to talk about it. When describing the feeling, don’t forget to describe the experience as well.

For example, instead of:

That person feels sad.

Say something like:

Tears strike the person’s chest, as they finally made the decision to close his shop for good.

The second version takes into account both feelings and experience. That’s vulnerability at work!

4) Be Intuitive

When writing, don’t be afraid to listen to your gut. That’s your intuition talking. And, in the world of business, having intuition is key.

When you’re stuck on a certain part of your writing, just make a note about it, and then come back to it later. When an idea springs up, write it down. The goal is to write as much as you can in the first stage and then revising and editing in the next stages.

Plus, intuition is also a part of vulnerability, which helps you to better understand the world. Don’t try to mask it – let it out!

5) Go With The Flow

Finally, trust in the writing process. While business writing – like all forms of writing – isn’t perfect, it’s essential to go with the flow, no matter how stuck or confused you are. Chances are, you’ll find solutions during your writing.

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Learn to not nitpick as much during the brainstorming process. Leave the constructive feedback for the revising and editing part of the writing process. And again, don’t strive to be perfect.

Remember: While vulnerability can come with touchy subjects, it’s important to write what you know. Don’t force yourself to write about things that might hurt your feelings. When you go with the flow, take it easy.

Conclusion

Ultimately, business writing is essential for your industry. Likewise, vulnerability is something that you will come across in life – it’s a part of human nature. When you combine the two, you’ll weave a good narrative for your writing.

We hope that this brief guide will help you not only understand vulnerability in storytelling but also help you succeed in your business writing endeavors. Good luck!

Sara Sparrow is a business writer and editor at Academized writing service.

Featured image by Green Chameleon on Unsplash

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