We live in a world full of distractions.
Everyone is competing for attention.
At the same time, it's critical that you provide valuable information to your prospects. The value is what keeps people coming back. The value is what reinforces that people should relinquish their precious attention to you (instead of giving it to cat videos and etc.)
You also want to stand out.
What makes you different? What makes you special? Remember that your perspective has value.
You also want people to think of you as an authority. Someone that they should listen to and is, again, worthy of their finite attention.
To help really set yourself apart and increase your influence, try adopting these three unconventional writing techniques:
1. Act against your own self-interest (give value without expectation of compensation)
When you have an obvious agenda, people take what you say with a grain of salt. It’s like a mother saying her boy is the smartest child on the block.
You can dissolve some of this skepticism by, at times, acting against your own self-interest.
This was the objective of the 1960s ad agency Doyle Dane Bernbach when selling the world’s ugliest car: they flaunted its dysfunctions.
When you mention weaknesses before strengths, you lower resistance to arguments and generate more belief.
2. Try the “convert effect” (but make sure it's authentic)
Consider these two different people:
- An all-star high school and college athlete who grew up thin and confident, raised by Olympic-caliber parents
- A timid soul who struggled with obesity his whole life and grew up in a family more interested in barbecue than barbells
If both people tout the same fitness program based on eating french fries and sprinting up a 40-foot ladder for 7 minutes every day, who are you more likely to believe?
No question you’re going to choose the second person. He is more persuasive because he didn’t start out as a fit athlete — he converted to that status after starting life as a coach potato.
Someone who’s taken the path from A to Z is always more believable. We share a sense of familiarity with people who have had the same struggles as us. We identify with the convert because it convinces us we could make the same transformation.
3. Court attention
Pablo Picasso dreaded the idea of getting lost in the crowd. So when his name began to get attached to a particular style, he would deliberately destroy that perception with a new painting style.
In other words, he valued recreating himself more than popularity.
Don’t be afraid to reinvent yourself. Don’t be afraid to draw attention to that single, sterling quality that elevates you above mediocrity.
Sure, you may be attacked. You may be slandered. No worries. That fate is much better than being ignored. All professionals (even introverts) must possess a bit of showmanship.
Audiences want to hear from larger-than-life people.
You can read 7 more writing tips that help build authority at Copyblogger.