How To Add Authority To Your Writing
As a marketing agency writer, you’re expected to speak as an authority on many different topics. I, for one, have written as an expert on everything from sock organization, to industrial chemicals, to snow cones. Learning to quickly embody the voice of an expert is an essential skill in marketing, and it takes some combination of confidence and practice. Keep reading for my best advice to copywriters looking to add a sense of authority to their work.
Ditch “I” and “We” Language
Phrases like “I think” and “I feel” may work well in couples’ therapy, but not so much in professional copywriting. Whether you’re writing for social media or a company blog, you want to sound like someone who’s worth listening to. That means stating your ideas as facts rather than personal opinions. Take these two sentences for example:
We think Sam’s Sponges are the best on the market. We hope you’ll check out a few of our most popular products! [link]
Sam’s Sponges are the best on the market. Check out a few of our most popular products! [link]
See how the second sentence reads better and sounds more convincing? Ditching “I” and “we” language in favor of more declarative statements makes you sound more confident in what you’re saying. This, in turn, adds to your credibility and sense of authority.
Don’t Hedge Your Bets
In the same vein as “I” and “we” language, words like “possibly,” “arguably,” and “somewhat” can weaken your writing. Sometimes, when you’re making a bold statement, it can be tempting to hedge your bets by adding one of these qualifier words. But they add little to no meaning, and risk making you sound unsure about what you’re saying. For example:
CEO John Doe is arguably the foremost thought leader in his field.
CEO John Doe is the foremost thought leader in his field.
Both sentences are communicating the same message, but number two does so with a lot more confidence.
Fake It ‘Til You Make It
No one is expecting you to become a seasoned authority on any topic overnight. Do you think I knew anything about industrial chemicals when I started this job? Nope. But I read all the materials the client sent over, did my own research to gain a baseline understanding, and projected a sense of authority onto my writing, even when I didn’t fully feel it myself. Over time, these strategies helped me sound, and later feel, like an authentic expert on the topic. I was able to write a series of successful articles about something that was totally new to me just a few weeks prior.
In marketing, you learn a lot on the job. Don’t be discouraged if you sit down to write an article and think, “I don’t know the first thing about this industry.” You’ll learn it all in time—the important thing is to write with confidence from the beginning, and trust that you’ll figure it out. In other words, fake it until you make it!
Parklife Communications: Experts at Becoming Experts, Fast
At Parklife, one of our greatest strengths is our ability to quickly become subject matter experts on everything we write about for our clients. So, no matter how obscure or technical your industry is, give us a call. We’re experts at becoming experts in record time.