I have been writing a lot of copy lately…
If you have spent anytime writing copy yourself — you know , it can be very arduous. It’s not something that I particularly enjoy… but it’s a necessary skill to develop.
We use copywriting skills all them time.
… in our emails …
… on our landing pages…
… in our facebook ads…
… copy for events…
If you are doing any advertising, the quality of your copy will directly effect your Return on Investment.
Unless you have an in-house copywriter or a massive advertising budget this is a task that is usually left up to YOU.
My point being, if you haven’t taken the time to acquire some decent copywriting skills — you should.
I am blessed I had a good working foundation for the ‘arguments’ and structures of good copy because of my background in creating presentations. A persuasive presentation is very similar. An outstanding persuasive presentation, if transcribed, would require little adjustments to become a very effective sales letter.
There are many hurdles you must overcome when presenting your sales message to your prospects, whether in print or in a presentation, and two major ones are credibility and believability.
Today I want to share with you some ways you can make your copy more credible and believable.
LISTEN UP: because very few people (even some copywriters) understand the distinction I’m about to share with you.
Most people understand that they need to prove that they have the expertise (credibility) to deliver on what they promised in their copy, but where I see many folks make mistakes that cost them lots of moolah (both in print and presentation) is they don’t consider the believability factor.
On an instinctual level this makes sense to most of us — we understand that we must put forward proof elements that support our promise. In an attempt to establish credibility, we sometimes say or write outlandish claims that simply aren’t believable to the reader.
That’s because: Belief is a fabric of personal experiences.
If our audience can’t relate to what we are saying — either directly from their own experiences or from other commonly known experiences, they simply won’t believe you.
When building your case for credibility, you must make your proof elements align with the general experiences of your audience. Use facts that are relatable to your audience — even if they aren’t able to substantiate these experiences from their own personal lives.
For example, let’s use the biz opp (business opportunity) space.
It is latent with claims like, “I made $17,000 in one day…” while that is a great proof element supporting the fact the author has credibility (he/she’s done it before, so they can show you how…) it’s not as believable as “I made $16, 249.36 in just under 22 hours…”
Because what are the chances that someone actually made exactly in $17,000? This new claim is better, but it still might not be believed because
A.) the Biz Opp space has developed a reputation as being full of distrustful characters…
B.) Most readers haven’t made $17,000 dollars in a month, let alone a day. They might even think it’s possible — but NOT for them.
But, what if we kept it the same but we added to this claim, “Hi, I’m Joel Osteen, and I made $16,249.36 in just under 22 hours…” and we put a picture of Joel up?…
It was be FAR more believable…right? Would Joel Osteen stake his reputation on this and LIE? Most reader’s would think otherwise.
We accomplished this by borrowing the credibility and the trust and believability that is already commonly associated with Joel Osteen.
Stating it this way, in my opinion, would would go a long way in proving what you are saying it both credible and believable. Now, you would still have to prove that it’s possible for me — the average reader and you would do that by using some of the strategies below…
This example is just one of the many ways we can prove our trust to our audience.
Credibility answers the question: “are you qualified to solve my problem”.
Believability answers the question: “do I believe you?”
Credibility + Believability = Trust
So let’s look at some different ways we can establish credibility and believability:
According to Victor Schwab, one of the great copywriters, there are generally four types evidence that can be used as proof material — the proof of what your product or service will do for your reader.
4. TEST EVIDENCE
CONSTRUCTION EVIDENCE: includes any facts about materials used and manufacturing of the product.
• Reputation of the company: How long in business, size, resources. Geographic location. (Think about beer and coffee commercials)
• Management: The commonly known and accepted experiences of the founder or any executive member. (Think Warren Buffet)
• Production or Service Personnel: Facts about the experience or qualifications of the workers who personally perform the work. (Think about the H&R block commercials currently running)
• Quality of Materials or Design: Laboratory tests facts, or other specifications like: tensile strength, durability, beauty, washability, purity — the known and commonly accepted value of an ingredient. (Think Oxy-clean or motor oil commercials)
• Patents: pretty self-explanatory
• Speed of delivery: proving freshness. (Domino’s pizza, overnight shipping)
PERFORMANCE EVIDENCE: achievements of the product in actual use.
• Achievements of product: Endurance runs, milage records, laundry tests, etc… dramatic performances in unusually difficult conditions. (Think car battery commercials in the freezing snow, Duracell/Energizer batteries)
• Discriminating or Well-know users: Experience pointed out by you that is NOT in the form of testimonial. ( Think about the commercial for the hear defibrillator — what battery do they use? When it’s a matter of life and death)
• Demonstration reasons: Usually scientific reasoning on how and why the product or service works. (Think Rogaine commercial that show’s why men lose hair and how their product can reduce and reverse this process)
TESTIMONY OF OTHERS: This is probably the most commonly used form of proof evidence
• Performance evidence: in the form of letters, video testimonials, before and afters of typical actual users. (typical is important because it adds the believability factor. This is widely used in the weight loss space)
• Expert evidence: The statements of commonly know authorities such as doctors, scientists, engineers, dietitians. (Think about how many doctors are pitching health products. Or scientists endorsing the latest nutritional supplement)
• Awards or contests won: Official recognition won in races, competitions, laboratory tests etc… (Think Samuel Adams beer commercial. Also used in many movie trailer’s…”nominated for 6 academy awards”)
TEST EVIDENCE: willingness to let the product/service speak for itself
• Simple try it before you buy it
• Unconditional guarantee
So the next time you are writing an advertisement or copy for one of your promotions, use this article to guarantee you do an adequate job of proving your promises by using facts that promote credibility and believability.
Loving Living Giving Large,