Your most loyal readers will connect with you not just through your content, but through your emotions. An emotional connection with your readers is just as important as the actual content on your website.
How do you connect emotionally with your readers?
Share Personal Experiences and Stories
Share personal stories from your life. Tell them about the time you got rejected by the one you were in love with. Or about the time you staked everything on a business deal and lost it all.
Talk about your big mistakes and your big successes. Talk about where you came from and your dreams of where you want to go.
Talk about what you’re doing today and why. Reveal yourself to your readers.
Of course, you’ll always want to tie everything back to a lesson or a moral they can learn from the story. It shouldn’t be “about” you, but you can share aspects of yourself throughout the process of teaching a valuable lesson.
Pace, Pace, Lead
The “Pace, Pace, Lead” technique first originated from Milton Erickson, one of the three therapists whose techniques were used to form today’s NLP techniques.
The “Pace, Pace, Lead” technique was Erickson’s primary technique for building trust and emotional connection with his clients. Using this technique, he was able to get even the toughest clients to trust him and open up.
What is the “Pace, Pace, Lead” technique?
Basically, start by pacing, or “following along” with your reader’s emotional state. Describe their frustrations, their wants, and their emotional frame of mind to them so well that they feel like you really understand them.
Then and only then do you try to “lead” them to where you want to go (for example a lesson you want them to learn, a different emotional state, etc.).
Be Genuinely Emotionally Engaged
In face to face conversation, your body language and facial expressions convey your emotions to other people without you needing to say a word.
With phone conversations, subtle variations in your tone of voice give people cues on how you’re feeling, even though they can’t see your face.
This phenomenon also exists in writing. Though there are fewer cues to go on, people can sense when you’re genuinely emotionally engaged when you’re writing.
If you’re really passionate about a subject, it’ll come through. If you’re genuinely angry about an injustice, people can tell. If you actually love a product you’re endorsing, people will feel that as well.
Written communication doesn’t convey emotion nearly as well as face to face communication, but this human-to-human emotional link can’t be ignored, even in writing.
In other words, put yourself in a real emotional state before you start writing. Write during peak emotional moments and don’t wait until inspiration has disappeared to start writing. Write when the emotion is there. People can tell and they’ll connect with that.
Writing to connect emotionally with your readers takes more dedication and vulnerability on your part. It entails revealing more of yourself than if you were just writing factual articles. But that’s what it takes to build a deeply loyal readership.