One of the foundational rules of fiction writing is ‘show don’t tell’.
When you tell, you state facts in a plain and straightforward way. However, when you show, you illustrate your point in a creative and interesting way.
Example of telling
It was morning. She was freezing while speaking to John.
Example of showing
As she spoke to John, pale ghosts tumbled from her shivering lips into the icy, morning air.
When it comes to marketing copy, the vast majority of businesses are telling people how great they are, which is fine. But that telling gets a huge boost when you’re also able to show examples.
Here are five ways you can use showing to enhance what you’re telling people in your marketing copy:
1. Showing social responsibility efforts
When I first started working with an arborist client years ago, he was already at the forefront of sustainability practices and social responsibility. To help him make an even bigger environmental difference (and in the process give him an even bigger edge against his competitors), I suggested he organise for a new tree to be planted every time he cuts down or alters an existing tree. He embraced the idea with open, tree-hugging arms. I sourced a company that did this, and the rest, as they say, is his-tree.
Want more articles like this? Check out the online marketing section.
When you visit his Home page, one of the first images you’ll see is a counter showing how many trees have been planted. At the time of writing, the counter is up to 855 trees! He doesn’t just tell you his company is socially responsible, he also shows you with that small but effective image.
As a bonus, not only does the image show his sustainability efforts brilliantly, it also provides forests of social proof. If he’s planted that many trees, he’s also worked with that many customers.
2. Showing there’s no risk
Rather than telling prospects there’s no risk when purchasing from you, stand by your claim and show them by offering an iron-clad money back guarantee.
3. Showing client satisfaction
One of the first things you’ll see on my Home page is a handful of video testimonials. Rather than telling website visitors how much clients enjoy working with me, I show them.
4. Showing you’re a trustworthy business
Instead of just telling people you’re happy to answer their questions, show them by offering a comprehensive FAQ page. An effectively-written FAQ page shows that you’re an honest, caring and transparent business.
5. Showing that you love to help
Rather than telling people you love to help by sharing knowledge, show them by having an up-to-date blog.
In a nutshell, show and tell.
Showing rather than just telling makes for creative and exciting copy. Not only does this make your website and marketing material highly interesting, it also makes it highly converting.
Do you have an example of showing rather than just telling in your marketing copy? I’d love to hear about it in the comments!