I didn’t make that whole analysis during the movie, but my mind did know something was off, and the suspension of disbelief was broken.
Suspension of disbelief is what you do when enjoying a work of fiction. You temporarily allow yourself to believe something that isn’t true, like superheroes or monsters roaming around, for the story to make sense.
We suspend disbelief when watching science fiction or fantasy. We accept that the characters are in a universe with different rules to ours. But the plot still has to be credible within that universe, there must be some logic to it.
And this brings me to the point I want to make in this issue:
Your writing, whether stories or information, should be credible.
Here are three things that will hurt your credibility:
- Calling yourself a thought leader or an expert when you are just starting out, when you have a small following and barely any testimonials.
- Overpromising results and not being able to deliver.
- Giving your opinions and not backing them up with data or case studies.
Are you ready to turn this around and build your credibility? Let’s do it.
Every time you are writing something, ask yourself:
- Am I backing up my claims with proof and data? Or am I just expressing my opinions?
- Do I have the background and expertise to talk about this topic? If not, am I quoting someone that does?
- Will people feel it was worth that they stopped scrolling to read my post or invested 10 minutes reading my blog or newsletter? Or will they regret it?
- Am I adding value with practical tips, and inspiring and clear calls to action?
- Am I providing helpful resources, tools and systems that my readers will appreciate?
- Am I answering questions with new insights and thought leadership?
- Am I telling engaging stories or am I being boring?
- Review 3 recent pieces of writing and ask the questions above. Rewrite as necessary.
- For your next article or post, make sure to back up your claims with research data, stats, case studies or a quote from a recognized expert. Make it a habit for anything you write.
- Check out your landing pages and promotional copy. How can you rewrite them to make them more credible? Do you need more testimonials or talk about your results a bit more?
Leadership is influence.
And when you lack credibility, you lose influence.
So here’s the thing: you have to lead both with great storytelling and data.
Because data convinces the logical mind of what you are saying, but it’s not enough to make people take action.
Action is taken when people are moved emotionally. That’s where stories come in – they inspire action.
So lead with emotion and lead with intelligence.
Tell fantastic emotional stories that people will believe.
P.S. I’m thinking about creating a short course on storytelling principles for nonfiction writers. What do you think? Would you be interested? Reply to this email and let me know.