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Persuasion is not a dirty word

I am speaking at a Networx event in July with the wonderful Marissa Tree on the topic of Persuasion. The idea is we are going to go through different methods that you can use to persuade people to get them to do what you want.

I was sharing this with a friend, who looked at me, rolled her eyes and said

“You mean you are going to tell them how to trick people.”

I was actually quite shocked.

Then by chance I saw an advertisement on TV for an upcoming current affairs show that was going to “expose the tricks that supermarkets use to get you to buy more groceries”.

It all sounds so negative.

Sure, there are unscrupulous people out there who deceive and lie about their products or services, and as a result consumers feel ripped off.

But I firmly believe that if you have a great product or service that is relevant and useful for your audience – then what’s wrong with ensuring you do you best to sell it? It doesn’t even have to be something for sale. You may want people to register for community consultation, download a whitepaper, sign up for a newsletter. Whatever your call to action is.

Sometimes understanding just a little about the psychology of persuasion will make a huge difference to your conversions.

What are your thoughts?

If you are in Brisbane on 28 July 2010, keep an eye out on the Networx site for ticket details.

Snappy tip: Choose your angle and stick to it

(Short and sweet post tonight.)

Although you may associate the term ‘angle’ with media releases or news articles, it’s also an important concept to keep in mind when writing other forms of communication.

By choosing an angle and sticking to it, it’s easier to focus on what your key message is.

To see if you have stayed true to your angle check your headline, opening paragraph, any quotes you’ve used, and your call to action. Do they all follow your angle? Yes? Well done.

I’ve launched a content strategy site

As some of you know, I have a strong interest in not just copywriting but web content strategy too. So much so that I’ve launched a new website and blog:  www.webcontentstrategy.com.au

This new site will be my outlet to explore topics that aren’t just about copywriting. Things like usability, information architecture, strategy, and other resources. I’ll also be writing lots of book reviews.

Drop by if you get the chance.