You're walking down the street as the sun sets on a cold winter's eventing. There's a man in a black knee-length jacket walking toward you. The gentleman stops you as you meet on the path.
He says, "I can improve your writing. I can teach you simple tricks to create more engagement, I can show you how to post on social media and give you all the information to start making big dollars by publishing a weekly travel blog."
What do you do?
How do you know that this guy is legit? He could be the best writer in the world with millions in the bank and countless awards under his belt. He could be a poser with no skills, looking for a quick buck. Or he could be a flasher, hoping to gain your full attention.
If he changed his approach from the start by saying:
"I have made millions from writing. I have won heaps of awards and now I want to help you do the same. I can improve your writing...(etc)"
You might be more inclined to listen to him because he sounds credible.
Recently, I worked on a radio script written by a world-renowned advertising agency. It was for a bank. The angle was along the lines of translating your home loan. There are so many terms that regular people don't understand, so this particular bank - whilst not removing the jargon from their contracts etc - would help you learn what each term meant.
The script started off similar to this:
VO1: We can help you translate your home loan.
VO2: We can teach you what terms like xxxxx mean
They talk about definitions of terms for 15 seconds of the 30 second script.
VO1: If you would like to learn more about the terms used in your home loan, talk to one of our home loan experts at your local [name of bank] branch this Saturday...
I had feedback. Since this article is about credibility, I'm sure you can guess what one point was.
Who are the two people?
I suggested adding the name of the bank at the start, so VO1 would say:
"At [name of bank], we can help you translate your home loan."
It's a simple way to show the listener who is talking and why they should listen to them - AKA adds some credibility.
Would you believe the response was "it's ok, we would like to run the script as supplied"?
I'm not saying the ad won't work because they didn't say where they were from at the start, but I am saying that it could be more effective if they did include it.
A listener is more inclined to listen to an expert, and there was nothing suggesting that experts were talking.
Also, adding the bank name at the start would add another brand mention, which is never a bad thing.
I didn't offer additional feedback after that because that attitude really annoys me. The radio script was poor and I was trying to help improve the quality. It was probably written by a TEAM, each member probably earning double what I earn (adding to my frustration!).
Speaking of credibility, you can see some of my work here. And if you would like me to write for you, or help you improve your writing, contact me for any freelance opportunities here.