Are you molding someone’s belief to serve your own self-interest?
The question puzzles entrepreneurs. Once they start evaluating their marketing approach on ethical grounds, as well they should, they understand their messages must fall clearly on the side of persuasion, not manipulation. It all comes down to intention. Problems arise when buyers feel cheated or misled after following your direction.
Persuasion is an art, not a forceful act. The prime objective is to initiate an interaction. You want to make your potential customer feel comfortable with your level of truthfulness and transparency. In the end, the consumer decides whether to advance the relationship by purchasing your product or service and gaining the benefit you've promised.
Persuasive writing showcases your content. Your goal is to engage the reader and motivate him or her to take action. Apply the following strategies to write compelling content and you'll win more business.
No pain, no gain
Only the wearer knows where the shoe pinches. An outsider witnesses a merely ordinary event. But the person bearing the pain takes the situation seriously. As the pain increases, so does the urge to find a solution.
By aggravating that pain in the short term, you can make readers realize the importance of your solution. Present the possible unfavorable outcomes to let your readers experience the agony. Make them feel uncomfortable, and you'll force them to look outward for reassurance.
After you've sketched out the worst-case scenario, cheer up your audience by describing the effective strategies you offer to relieve that pain. Remove any cloud of doubt by showering your content with positivity, and readers will associate your brand with better results.
Build a chain of events
After a natural disaster such as earthquake or tsunami, locals team up with the police officials to lend their support. They form a chain to recover community members and supply needed resources.
In a similar way, subheads form a supportive chain to bring light back into the life of a reader buried beneath a pile of problems. Attention spans are shorter than ever. Research shows a recent, significant drop from 12 to 8 seconds. It's critical to catch your reader's attention and magnetic subheads can attract consumers to thoroughly review your content.
Change your reader’s perspective from "I know what’s there," to "I want to know what’s there for me." Sow the seeds of curiosity and you'll reap a bountiful yield.
Yes! Yes! Yes!
Imagine a conversation with your business client. The meeting starts on a successful note as the client agrees with your points. This interest in your offer gives you the confidence to carry the conversation in your desired direction. That's the power of affirmation. A simple "yes" sets up the positive mood.
While you're writing, you can’t see your reader's expression. But you can frame a question by visualizing an affirmative result. Begin with questions that create a happy environment. Winning the reader's initial trust and acceptance enables your remaining content to engage him or her at a deeper level.
Recall your best buddy
How do you interact with your best friend? If you haven’t been in contact for a while, dial her or him up – no texting – and pay attention to the types of words you use. Do you aim to impress with technical jargon? Do you twist your message?
You know the reality. You don’t need a particular topic to start a conversation because words flow easily. To paraphrase blogger Jitendra Vaswani, skip all the complications and convey your message in more specific terms. Never assume your reader has in-depth knowledge of your topic. Instead, provide the information in a format that's easy to grasp.
Don’t waste time by circling around the topic. Get straight to the point to show you respect your reader's time and intellect. When you strip away the business-client relationship and embrace a friendly attitude, your clients will notice. It preserves the human touch.
Make the presentation digestible
Suppose you're out for dinner with your loved one. The ambiance of the restaurant acts as a catalyst for strengthening your bond. The chef prepares a mouth-watering menu, but later you suffer a stomachache that spoils your mood. What’s the point of a main course if you can’t digest it properly?
The same applies to your content. Show you empathize with the reader by presenting your story in a palatable format. Here are a few tips:
- Keep your paragraphs short.
- Use transitional phrases to smooth the way. For example, "here's why," "there's more," or "think about it."
- Recall from your content to build a connection.
- Use sensory words to evoke emotions.
- Write for one person only.
- Use bullet points.
- Ask questions to gather attention.
- Use active verbs.
Words have the power to inspire. You want readers to experience your content as you build a connection with them. Are you ready to win the hearts of your target audience?
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This article originally appeared on Entrepreneur.com. Minor edits have been done by Entrepreneur.com.ph.