When you’re writing about your business, it’s very easy to assume that your readers know more about you than they actually do – especially when it comes to how good you are at what you do.
I think there are two traps you can fall into.
The first is being too modest and underplaying your excellence by not really talking about it. The danger here is that people will assume you have a lot less expertise and experience than you actually do – and therefore discount you as the person they need to trust with their business.
I’m reminded here of a passage from Lynne Truss:
…you can sit next to a chap for hours, wildly demonstrating the special effects in Jurassic Park (complete with roars, thumps, tussles and realistic squirts of ketchup), before finally discovering that he’s controller of Radio 3, or married to the Princess Royal.
The second is assuming that people will unquestioningly accept that you ‘always put the customer first’, or ‘take pride in a job well done’. The danger here is that people will roll their eyes because they know that every business says this. What they don’t know is that your business really does live up to its claims.
So, what can you do about it? How best to get across your expertise and experience without coming across as boastful, arrogant or cliched?
Here are five ways.
Rather than saying how good you are, let other people say it for you. Testimonials are a great way to show what a valuable business you are to work with. My advice is always to use testimonials throughout your copy rather than having them in a separate section of a brochure or a different page of your website. By including them throughout, people can’t help but read them, so you maximise their impact. It’s also best to provide clear attributions – think ‘Catherine Every, Pippin Copywriting Ltd’ rather than ‘a B2B copywriter’.
Use case studies
Case studies show how you’ve helped other businesses so they’re a brilliant way to show rather than tell. For more advice on writing valuable case studies, check out these blogs. There’s also my free ecourse How to write a good case study.
Speaking of blogs, they are another great way to show rather than tell. You can use blogs to answer frequently asked questions, offer advice, share wisdom, give a point of view and more. Over time, you’ll build up a bank of blogs that show you really are an expert in your field.
Be specific in your claims
I touched on this in the introduction. It’s very easy to fall into the trap of summing up your approach by using generalisms such as ‘we always put the customer first’, ‘quality is our watchword’ or ‘we pride ourselves on rapid turnaround times’. People are cynical and won’t necessarily believe you – even though you’re telling the truth.
The solution is to make sure you elaborate on your claims – what do you do to always put your customer first? What steps do you have in place to ensure quality? How do you get orders out of the door faster?
Be detailed in your descriptions
When you’re writing about your products or services, don’t skimp on the details. By talking specifically about the way you work or the quality of the materials you use, you’re showing you have a professional setup in place so people can trust you.
Have I missed any?
Those are my five suggestions. I’m sure there are more. If you know any I’ve missed, drop me a line and let me know so I can add them to the list. Thank you in advance!
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