You might not hear it, but your readers might be saying it.
To themselves and to one another, they’re reading what you have to say and shouting “Liar!”
It’s not because you’ve stretched the truth, because you don’t care, or because you got your facts wrong.
It’s because you were lazy.
There’s nothing like lazy copy to make your readers and prospective buyers shout “Liar!”
It happens when you’re trying to promote something — a product, a service, or even an idea — and you don’t back up what you claim. Too many writers share their recommendations without giving any evidence, like this:
Spiffy-Brite is the best detergent there is!
While some readers might not share their skepticism aloud, if they read a sentence like that, they’ll usually either say “I don’t believe that” or “I don’t care.”
Three angles of proof
To show you’re not a liar and persuade your reader to take action, you want to work three solid angles of proof into your copy.
No, I’m not saying you should splatter testimonials all over your blog and hope for the best.
Instead, strategically address the reader’s core belief about your statement. Whether they don’t believe you or they don’t care, you have to take steps to make them believe, make them care, and make them want to take action.
Offer your strongest proof element first. This is going to be the part that makes 75% of people believe what you say. You’ll want to devote the most time to fleshing out this proof and making it worth their time to read.
1. Show a comparison and share the results
One of the strongest elements you can incorporate is a “Pepsi Challenge.”
That means getting readers to compare your product or service with another product and sharing their results. Ideally you can do a “blind taste test,” to show that the results are impartial.
This simple test is what catapulted Pepsi over Coca Cola a few years back and solidified the brand as the better tasting choice to many people.
When you can show that others prefer your product to the competitor, it helps people avoid feeling inadequate or foolish for choosing your brand (and possibly regretting it later!) Comparisons show that “other people have tried this and recommend it,” which can be the jolt you need to get readers to take that all-important first step.
2. Get validation that backs up your statements
The second “proof paragraph” should be shorter than the first one and a different type of proof altogether.
This proof element will focus on any third-party validation of your product. For example, you could quote studies done in your niche that can clearly demonstrate that your product is head and shoulders above the competition. You’ll also want to include the logical reasons that would back this up.
When we asked people to share their secrets to growing beautiful roses, 80 percent of them recommended Grow-It-Fast fertilizer over the other leading brand. In fact, a recent study by the Gardening Council for Prize-Winning Roses concluded that Grow-It-Fast fertilizer included more plant micro-nutrients than comparable brands — helping plants thrive longer without constant attention and pruning.
3. Highlight a customer’s experience
The third paragraph should be the shortest of all and can include a case study of a high-profile client or a testimonial that shows off exceptional results.
You want to “wow” people with your testimonial. How many people would buy if you included a piece like this?
I’ve smashed hundreds of guitars on stage, but you can bet I’d never smash my Echelon 5000 guitar. The sound quality is amazing and you can just watch the audience go wild — like they feel it in their veins. That’s what music is all about, and that’s why I trust my Echelon 5000 to deliver.
~ Mr. Amazing Q. Rockstar
End with the call to action
Don’t give them another second to think of reasons why not to buy. They’ve got everything they need to make an informed decision — the next step is to make it.
How about you? What’s your favorite technique that keeps customers from shouting “Liar!” when you share your recommendations?