The Power of Confident Writing

image of a sign saying confidence

There’s a wonderful European-style market and bakery in the Oak Lawn area of Dallas. They serve everything from made-to-order salads and sandwiches to chef-prepared, ready-to-eat meals.

But what I love most about the place is the sign on the door when you leave. It’s classic.

The sign doesn’t read “Please Come Again” or “Thank You for Your Business” or some other typical exit sign platitude.

It says . . .

“See you tomorrow.”

That kind of confidence is compelling and downright sexy. Sure, a fantastic product, service, or experience is the starting point from which confidence comes, but too many people play it scared and safe even when what they offer is truly great.

I’m not talking about arrogance. Arrogance is an indication of fear, not assurance.

Too many people, however, approach copywriting from a defensive mindset. You’re already back on your heels from the start, instead of proudly sharing your excellence with the people who can benefit most from it.

After all, if you’re not confident in your product or service, why should anyone else be? Confidence is a strong attractor because it assures people they’re making the right choice.

So, check out these tips for confident writing.

And we’ll see you tomorrow.

About the Author: Brian Clark is founder of Copyblogger, CEO of Copyblogger Media, and Editor-in-Chief of Entreproducer. Get more from Brian on Google+.

Want lots more tips for producing confident copy and content? Sign up for the Copyblogger newsletter. It’s free, and it’s the smartest way to get the very best advice about how to effectively market online.

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Reader Comments (62)

  1. says

    Even if it’s a second language, confidence is important. Being confident allows you to perform at your best. Confidence keeps you from letting your fears dictate to you. Your fears can stop you from doing the things you need to do to succeed. I wrote a post on this very subject yesterday.

  2. says

    Well said. A confident attitude is projected whether you are speaking to someone in person or online. Thanks for reminding us how important it is!

  3. says

    Oh, I LOVE the thought of that sign! It’s easy to let our insecurities shine through in our writing… just like my 8th grade English students who say, “Okay, I’ll share my piece, but it isn’t very good.” Confidence is beautiful and alluring. Arrogance is a mask for insecurity. Thanks for this great reminder to be authentic and unashamed!

  4. says

    I love the “See you tomorrow…” sign and the theme of your article. It’s a great phrase to remind all of us that faith in our product, in ourselves, is paramount if we’re asking others to have faith as well. Thanks for sharing.

  5. says

    Love this! Thank you. I just spent the weekend writing the copy for the re-launch of my business website to reflect my services from a more confident perspective. And it felt great! I want my clients to be assured that they are making the right decision in hiring me as a Coach–and to know that their lives are about to change in the most wonderful way. I’ll always remember your “Please come again” example.” It’s a perfect illustration of the ‘feeling’ that I want to convey. And you will see me tomorrow!

  6. says

    Here’s why I started reading Copyblogger.com in the first place. These pithy articles by Brian both teach and leave a smile on your face. Now let me find a towel to brush off my nose.

  7. says

    It’s funny, because just yesterday I was doing a psychology exam on humanistic psychology, where the self-confidence is a very important point. It defends that we must try to be the person who we are (it might sound stupid, but we try to be someone else too often); and how can you be yourself if you’re not self-confident enough?

    But I agree with Aminul Islam Sajib: when it’s your second language is not always so easy (well, in my case English is my forth language after Spanish, Catalan and Russian… but that’s not the thing)

  8. says

    Reading this blog every day gave my own confidence level a boost. Enough so that right now my blog is in a shambles at my feet as I tear it down and build something cohesive. And I think you can hear confidence in writing. Sometimes you can’t hear the lack of it, but you can always spot the ring of authority when people write like they mean it. It makes you happy to “hear” it.

  9. Sonia Simone says

    Even if confidence is your “second language” (great metaphor, by the way!), you can learn to speak it well. Like anything else, it might be halting or uncomfortable at first, but with practice it gets stronger.

  10. says

    lol @ Free Beer Tomorrow!

    Well.. I think adding “See You Tomorrow” in my comments box might be a cool thing to do.

    btw, Brian, I am in love with your blog! I’ve been spending hours and hours in your archives. Thank you for doing what you do!!

  11. says

    I like a slogan I saw on a septic tank truck several years ago. “We’re number one in a number two business.” Be confident no matter what your industry.

  12. says

    Another short, sweet and provocative post by Brian. People in general, and customers in particular, almost always respond positively to confidence. The trick, as Joy points out, is to walk that fine line between confidence and arrogance…which is why the Big Blogger in the Sky invented second and third drafts!

  13. says

    One confidence thing I like to teach my customers is that when writing sales letters it is critical that you believe in our own product or service to a passionate level.

    When you are not confident (in your own mind) that your product will follow-through with what you are promising, that lack of confidence will also show through in your writing and your customers will see through it as well.

    I always like to make sure I’m really pumped up about a project before I sit down to write. If you are in a bad mood, or you don’t feel really excited about the projet in front of you, your choice of words may also be affected.

    -Joshua Black
    The Underdog Millionaire

  14. says

    I spread the same message to freelance writers pitching publications and websites. If you have a great story idea and know your subject, pitch it with confidence even if the publication has never heard of you. Why should they have confidence in your writing if you don’t have confidence in your pitch? And if you think it’s right for the New Yorker, pitch it to the New Yorker, not your no-pay entertainment weekly.

  15. says

    Whoa, that’s my first time hearing a sign like that. It would be kind of interesting to see a sign before walking out of a store that said, “See you tomorrow.” I think this is a good example that does show confidence when you believe in something that you’re selling. Thanks for sharing this story Brian.

  16. says

    I totally agree. Confident writing (like justifiably confident dancing, leadership, etc.) is ALWAYS appealing. It’s reassuring and inspiring and invigorating. You had me at, “confidence is compelling and downright sexy… I’m not talking about arrogance. Arrogance is an indication of fear, not assurance.” Keep confident, Brian!

  17. says

    I must know where this place is located… :-) I’m close enough to Dallas to end up there once or twice a month!

    I think I am going to make a little sign for myself now…

    Really, you hit the nail on the head. I’ve met people who’s confidence in what they do attracts me to them. Sometimes, it even makes me guess at their physical appearance. I always figured the amazing @JessicaKnows would be tall, because, well, her attitude and confidence is! When I met her I was surprised to find she’s actually a pretty small gal, in stature. But, her can-do attitude still sets her apart.

  18. Miss Em says

    I’m sitting here at work thinking about the phrase on that sign and how it relates to my industry – telecommunications.
    On the flip side, in terms of customer service and experience, some businesses would prefer not to hear from their customers. Simply because they want their business to be so easy and simple to deal with that there is never a need for customers to contact them.

    I would hope that our company would never need to use that phrase at all!

  19. says

    This has to be Eatzi’s. I love that place! They can be confident that they will see again because they serve wonderful food, give excellent customer service and they have some for just about anyone’s taste. In other words, they provide value. It doesn’t matter if it’s food or blog content, you can be confident when you know that you are providing people with something of value.

  20. says

    Brian,

    It’s interesting to consider confidence versus arrogance from a cultural perspective. I’m an American living in Australia, and I can assure you that what is perceived as confidence in the US, is construed as arrogance by a larger part of the world.

    So how can you merge confidence with a humble international audience? Be real!

    If you are confident about a subject matter, then express that confidence – “See you Tomorrow” – is considered an “assumptive close” from a sales perspective, and while many people do respond to that tactic, just as many don’t.

    Confidence can be displayed without arrogance by speaking from real world experience. If you slice bread better than anyone in the world, and you know it, then stand up, take your place and PROVE IT!

    Don’t brag or be brash…just tell people the facts and entertain…and hopefully they will come back for more tomorrow!

    Write On!

  21. says

    I’m intrigued by Curtis’ thoughts. Having lived in France for four years, I am familiar with the distinction he draws between US and other cultural perspectives. Perhaps Clarabela’s conclusion is relevant: “you can be confident when you know that you are providing people with something of value.” Nevertheless, the US does have a much higher threshold for confidence before it bubbles over into arrogance.

  22. says

    This blog was very interesting to read. I love the sign on the door that says “See You Tomorrow.” That is absolutely classic. I will have to use that for myself.

    With Kind Regards,
    Sam
    X

  23. Ron says

    “proudly sharing your excellence with the people that will benefit from it the most”

    What a great line! The business starts right there.
    Thanks for the reminder

    Cheers Ron.

  24. says

    I love your blog and I come here all the time for writing advice. However, I’m not confident if this will become a favorite. It seems obvious to me we need to be confident in our writing…

  25. says

    I completely agree with this post. Also seeing as I have read through your blog all this week there is a high chance you will see me tomorrow!

    Many thanks for great content

  26. Sonia Simone says

    The thing I like about “See you tomorrow” is it isn’t confident in an annoying way, it doesn’t come across as bragging, it’s just friendly. To me it doesn’t feel pushy at all.

    There’s a huge difference for me between pushy and confident.

  27. says

    Friendly confidence is definitely powerful. It works in almost every social situation. The “See you tomorrow” sign is great because it doesn’t seem like gloating, it doesn’t scream “We’re the best” and it’s friendly. It’s a cute little note that reminds you to come back, puts a smile on your face and lets you know that the owners of the shop are confident that you will return. Thanks for sharing.

  28. says

    @sonia, I’d like to see someone do an experiment using an Exit PopUp on their blog saying “See you tomorrow.”

    On a similar note, I believe the “notify me of followup comments via e-mail” plugin is a blog’s way of saying “allow us to see you sooner.” Everyone should be using this plugin.

  29. says

    haha! Don that’s so funny what you saw on the septic tank truck: “We’re number one in a number two business.” Right. Confidence. Will project a bunch of it tomorrow!

  30. says

    Confidence is a must in business and life. Leading your business with confidence and passion will make you persevere and overcome the most difficult situations and it´s a value to be transmited to your working team as well.

  31. says

    What a refreshing post! Knowing the difference between confidence and arrogance is so important – it is confused too often. Thanks for the post Brian.

  32. says

    Absolutely!

    A lot of marketers will also tell you that in PPC campaigns the copy that “tells” someone what to do gets less CTR but a lot higher conversions. People often like having their mind gently made up for them.

    Great article Brian.

  33. says

    your writing makes me more confident, to not just do copywriting in my blog. I have more confidence in my writing on the blog now.

    thanks you

  34. says

    Power of writing is something that must be owned, interesting and give more effect to the reader to the importance of an article.

  35. says

    Confidence is key to success in any situation life throws at you. I really enjoyed the sign that states “See you tomorrow,” it was very clever. I try to live my life in confidence, thats the only way life won’t eat at you. Nice article, keep it coming!

  36. says

    Great post

    As long as your reason for writing is sincere and your heart is into the task there shouldn’t be any reason to doubt yourself. When you doubt your intention you will question your confidence. Be hard on yourself by always giving your very best, then you can be confident about it.


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