The stakes were high. I only had two weeks to convince the Mayor and 6 city officials to pull back on a decision to shut down a thriving local business. Jobs were at stake, families, healthcare, the livelihood of 40 individuals and the businesses they served were all at stake… So I knew I had to write something powerful to get the public on our side.
But first, let me confess… I’m not a good writer by any standard. I used to get slammed in college for grammatical errors. My vocabulary can use some improvement… and my English teacher-girlfriend laughs at my text messages. Yet, I won an award for “Digital Storytelling”, and my former college instructor believes, “Larry was born to tell stories”. But this didn’t come naturally, it’s a skill I’ve acquired. I have learned the ethical practice of persuading people with words.
When helping the company the government was bent on shutting down, there were many challenges. Everyone was against them. All the people with power wanted to shut them down! That’s when I decided to go to the people that gave them the power: the public.
I was taking this case online… I had to find internet allies to challenge the government and their ruling.
For this reason, the president of the company handed me something that read like a newspaper article — it was the online call for public support. But I didn’t have time to waste, so I said, “sorry, but I don’t think this will work for the web.”
But he insisted. He’d put so much effort into crafting this message, he didn’t want it to go to waste.
But I resisted. It ruffled some feathers, but at the end of the day, jobs were saved.
After two weeks of campaigning, the mayor and his officials decided to do the right thing… they reversed the decision to shut my client down. And I helped by using the power of persuasive writing.
Persuasive writing works for anything: blogs, emails, resumes, ad copy, videos, and even presentations.
The email below came from a best-selling author asking if he could feature me in his new book:
Is it trickery? Not at all. If you want your voice to be heard, you have to know how to reach people with your words.
I got Marks attention by posting a comment on his blog using this simple rule: reference, build, inquire.
- Reference – Pull from the original story
- Build – Add substance to the story or introduce alternative dynamics
- Inquire – Ask questions that demand a response
When I left my job a year ago, I knew I needed a way to put my work on display… people weren’t falling over each other to get to my blog. So what did I do? I wrote for another blog popular in my industry. I knew it would help attract attention to my name.
But great companies aren’t just going to let you write for them just because you ask. So of course: I used persuasive writing.
I wrote to the marketing manager and told him I had two articles that may be great for his blog. The articles covered topics his customers cared about. I also sent videos, pictures, and links and formatted the articles. I told him, he could choose the best of the two.
This was his response:
I was making progress only a few weeks after leaving my job. If I can admit, I was a little surprised myself. I helped convince a Mayor and 6 city officials to change their mind about shutting down a local business, I was a featured author on a popular blog and wrote featured content for a best-selling author. Not bad for a few social media posts and an email.
And guess what? I use the very same technique to write product descriptions and sales pages for clients.
If you want to learn more about writing that draws attention to your brand and sells products, enter your email below and I’ll send you my FREE Persuasive Online Writing mini-course.
And if you have questions, comments, or anything you want to add to this post, please drop me a line below.