It’s the first rule any writer learns. Don’t tell me the man is excited–paint a picture of his manic smile, how he claps his hands together, how he hums with barely contained energy waiting to burst free. Let me see, through your words, how he looks, how he is, and let me draw my own conclusions.

As is so often the case, this rule is just as important in business writing and marketing strategy as it is in fiction or poetry.

I read a document written by a company who wanted to stress their experience in consulting in a very specialized industry. Rather than demonstrate by telling me how many years they’d worked in the industry, the names of clients they’d worked with, the problems they’d solved, they simply repeated over and over again that they were experienced. Why should I take their word for it? Answer: I didn’t. I moved on to the next thing. And so will your customer.

Here are three easy ways to show instead of tell in marketing writing:

  • Use numbers. Even better if those numbers come complete with a dollar sign or a percent sign. Trigger phrases: “We increased sales by…” “We reduced waste by…”
  • Let your customers do the talking. They can say things you can’t–and be believed. Text testimonials, video testimonials, charts and graphs, let others sing your praises. The results will be infinitely better.
  • Be specific. It’s details that add richness and credibility to your story. Without giving all your secrets away, tell prospects how you solved customer problems. Give me an insight into how you work and who you are instead of just bombarding me with the message that you’re awesome. Of course you think you’re awesome. Show me how.

Don’t get caught up in marketing puffery–get specific and show your audience why you’re the best choice.

Is your marketing strategy all telling and no showing?   Call Roundpeg, an Indianapolis Marketing Firm to help you show others what you do.

photo credit: KJGarbutt via photo pin cc