Small Business Marketing

5 Persuasive Writing Secrets

Written by Jay Shapiro for Gaebler Ventures

Want to persuade readers to act or concur with you? Of course. Persuasion is an exercise aimed to create a win for you/win for them situation. To be successful you need to make a case that is advantageous to others. An offer they're unable to refuse.

Use these 5 techniques to make your persuasive writing really persuasive.

5 Persuasive Writing Secrets

Repeat, repeat, repeat

Anyone with a modicum of psychology knowledge knows the importance of repetition. It's essential in persuasive writing as it sends your message home. You need to send your message home because people are more likely to agree with you once they fully understand what you're saying.

Be careful though because repetition can be boring. Good repetitive techniques involve putting the same point across but structuring it in a different way. The best way to achieve this is by:

  • Using examples that show what you mean.
  • Conveying your message in story format. People can relate to central characters in stories.
  • Using famous quotations. Quotes are powerful. Sophia Loren mentioned once that she owed much to spaghetti, for example. A brilliant quote to use if you're promoting a luxury brand of sauce or pasta.
  • Reiterating the information in a summary. Say it again, just to recap.

Why? Because!

The word 'because' is a powerful one. People are always more inclined to comply when they are given reasons why they should. It makes sense. We like to known why we are being asked to do something.

Be consistent

Inconsistency is considered a flaw. When someone is described as inconsistent we think of them as unreliable and flaky. Consistency is representative of rational thinking, integrity and reliability. You can convey these traits of consistency in your persuasive text by including things that most people would have to agree with: For example:

  • Cruelty to animals is horrific
  • We all want our children to be healthy and happy
  • Living on a shoestring is depressing

Social Conformity/Acceptance

We look to others for guidance about what is acceptable and what is not. Here's our thinking:

  • If ten million people all use Glitterice Tooth Polish it must be good.
  • If rock star Lenny 'Legs' McLeather uses a particular type of guitar it must be the best.
  • 9 out of 10 women prefer clean-shaven men; therefore women who do not are outside the norm. And bearded guys don't get dates.

Go Compare

Analogies, similes and metaphors reign supreme in the world of persuasive writing. By relating a scenario to another you can better drive home your point. Your metaphor should be something that is simpler for the reader to grasp than the concept you are promoting.

For example, let's say you want to persuade your reader to buy your professional photographer services.

It won't persuade your reader if you rattle on about f-stops and technical things like lighting; even if you are trying to convey that the professional knows these things whereas the layperson does not. Use metaphors. For example:

  • Just because you own a football, doesn't make you a pro soccer player.

Because most people own digital or even phone cameras these days you have to tell them why they still need your services. The best way to this is to remind that them it is not the equipment that makes a pro; it's the skill, the training, the art.

Jay Shapiro is a freelance writer based in the UK. Jay has a particular interest in the emotive aspects of the entrepreneur's character. "Alongside the nuts and bolts of business, the character of the person is often the ingredient responsible for success."

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