Guest Post from Ian Brodie, a delightful British marketer (people listen to his calls just to hear the accent, which I think is Scots).
Show Don’t Tell
In [a previous] email I said, “When expert filmmakers or writers want you to know that the hero of their story is brave, honourable and trustworthy they don’t tell you they are, they show you. They open with a scene of the hero being brave, honourable and trustworthy”.In other words: show, don’t tell.
Shortly afterwards I had two live demonstrations of how NOT to do it.
The first was from a new email list I signed up to. The very first email I got back was page after page of boasting. Telling me how great the emails I was going to get would be. How I’d hit the jackpot by subscribing.
Lots of telling. No showing.
If the emails were going to be that great, why didn’t he simply send me a great one so I could see it for myself
The second example was for a copywriter whose emails I’d been getting for a few weeks.
His emails have been talking for a bit about how original and different his work is.
Yesterday he sent me a link to a letter he’d “written for me” (and everyone else getting the email.
The letter was a pitch for a strategy session.
It was a good one.
But it was an identical letter (and covering email) to one a famous internet marketer has been using for years (and I’ve seen copied by half a dozen other people too).
All his emails have been telling me how original and unique his copywriting is. But the first time he shows me something, it’s a copy.
It’s a lesson for all of us. People pay more attention to our actions than our words. So if you want someone to believe something about you, do it. Show it to them. Don’t just tell them about it.
From Ian Brodie. Please comment below!