We are copywriters, so we know what we're talking about!
1. Show, don’t tell
The first tip is show, don’t tell. I can’t overestimate how important this is. Telling is easy. I can tell you anything. I can tell you I’m a lawyer, I’m a doctor, I’m an expert architect. It’s much harder for me to show you that I’m good at those things. For instance, if I tell you that I’m good at football, I might not be able to show you that I’m good at football.
If you’ve got a way to show your potential customers that you’re good at something don’t parse up the opportunity to do that in favor of just lightly telling them something because it has a really good chance that it would just woofed right over them, because it sounds nice but they’ve heard it all before.
Here is a good example from a client of mine, I’ve changed their name here. They’re not really cool sparky electrical, but they are electricians and they did describe themselves as a leading electrical company specializing in blah-blah.
I said to them, “Who have you worked for?” The answer was that they had some really good clients, Madame Tussauds, Macquarie Bank and Ramsay Health Care being just three of them.
Instead of saying that they were a leading electrical company, we showed their potential customers that they were a leading company by using the brands of the companies that they’ve worked for. Ramsay Health Care operates hospitals. You have to assume that they’re going to go out and find themselves a really good electrician because the consequences of having an electrical malfunction in a hospital are enormous.
By telling you, yes, I’m telling you that Ramsay Health Care is a client of mine, but I’m showing you that I’m leading. If you were to Google electrical contract, there’s you’ll probably find that half a dozen of them are more in your area described themselves as leading. It becomes meaningless. As the potential customer you’re like, “Yeah, yeah, yeah, you’re leading but what have you got that actually mean something to me?”
Another example of showing, not telling is here on Gary Vaynerchuk’s page. Gary Vaynerchuk is a New York Times bestselling author. He’s a big name in the world of online marketing.
He’s got some information on his site that tells you that he’s a big name in online marketing. But the bit that I’m interested here on the page is where he’s showing you that he’s a credible expert. He’s showing you that he’s a credible expert by telling you, yes, telling, showing, telling you all the people, all the new sources that have relied on him for a source of expert comment.
If you’ve spoken to the New York Times, Forbes, Fortune, Entrepreneur, Forest Company, Mashable, Wall Street Journal, and all of those, chances are you know what you’re talking about. He is showing you that he knows what he’s talking about.