Do you believe in human chemistry? Do you ever feel like you can believe someone before they even open their mouth to speak? You judge their mannerisms and dress, how they hold themselves and the way other people react to them — and you just know. That’s charisma.
In her book The Charisma Myth: How Anyone Can Master the Art and Science of Personal Magnetism, author Olivia Cabane reveals and analyzes the components which contribute to a person’s ability to influence people.
From a copywriter’s point of view, her ideas, examples and suggestions make me want to spend more time in the company of other people.
Writers and marketers translate charisma through words, blog posts, and web copy of all kinds. So when I read about the “softening in your eyes” when you exude warmth; or the authority you manifest when you “speak deliberately without head-nodding” and other twitches, what do I think about? I’m trying to imagine how to do all that with words and pictures…how to transfer authority, warmth or assurance via a web page or even a Facebook update.
Effective writing exudes charisma as it connects with people online — people in other countries and time zones, with different beliefs and habits, people who transact business with another person without even breathing the same air.
What copywriting components promise all that? How do you show charisma without actually being there?
That is the copywriter’s challenge.
Without that human connection, you have to find a way to make it show online — no chemistry, no softening of your facial features. It has to come from your words, from consistent content exhibited in all the online channels you use. It takes strategy and consistency.
It comes down to believability.
You believe in your business. You know what you provide is solid, valuable, even life changing . You’re the pro. You’ve built it, and invited people to the party. Now what seals the deal?
People must believe you. Not only what you’re telling them, but YOU, personally; or at least the “voice’ of your brand.
You’re trying to convince them to
- make an investment
- change the way they do something
- acquire the tools to get them to a different station in their life
- relieve pain…
They need to feel like they’re in the right place and they’re hearing it from a personable, knowledgable source.
In a sense they are looking for signs of charisma.
I’ve been a little obsessed with the subject of engagement over the past few weeks. Engagement is a direct consequence of charisma and can be fostered online.
But every now and then, engagement doesn’t factor in, even in person! You can be directly in front of your customer with warm features and authoritative mannerisms, smiling and focusing on their needs and requests — and STILL not be able to get through their skepticism.
Losing your audience
In “real life” you know when you’ve lost someone. It looks like this: a wandering glance, a dissociation with your talk. Maybe there is a physical pulling away, a change in posture or expression. You can just tell if the chemistry is not there.
I ran into this the other day discussing facial masks with a young Ulta sales person. In More, a magazine geared toward women over 40, I read about these things called peptides and I was interested in trying a product. Now, need I tell you that 46 year old skin is a little different from that of a 23 year old? But when I walked into my beauty products store, the gal who offered to help me was at least 20 years my junior. Not a big deal when buying make-up, but a stretch when you’re shopping for and ingredients with skin-renewing benefits. Where was the proof that my girl knew the difference between peptide and a Pepsi? Not a smile line anywhere in sight.
It’s a trust thing. When you have a product — whether is a bottle cream or an information product — that requires a bit of explaining to seal a deal, how do you go about reaching your customers? Is it possible to increase your charisma and overcome a lack of a human connection when all you have is a few moments online?
Take this same story online. Is the lack of chemistry necessarily a factor? I say no. In fact, you may even have an edge over the same transaction made in person in a store.
Online chemistry almost follows a formula. Now before you start thinking that it’s a cold and calculating outlook to create a “formula” to boost chemistry, let me say this: a formula that serves the very people who need your information is a heart-centered way of creating content. You can inject as much warmth into it as you want to and still reach the people who need you.
Sure, it helps when you can directly empathize with your customer. Demonstrate that you know exactly what your customer is going through and you make an immediate connection. “I’m just like you!” For example, if my salesperson had been closer to my age, with less acne and more fine lines around the eyes, I might have believed her recommendations. But in the case of my 20-something sales person, I just didn’t believe she knew where I was coming from. In this case the sale may have been easier online, with a few added copywriting ingredients.
See if you can’t be an authentic, believable voice of experience, you can always use a few other tools. And this is exactly where being online (not in person) may even help you make a more lasting connections with your customers.
You don’t need inexhaustible charisma and focus. You just need to strategically place the right copy in front of your prospect.
What contributes to your believability when you can’t be there to make a personal connection?
The following copywriting elements help you make a charismatic connection, and build trust.
Content: One reason content is so powerful is that good content builds on itself. It’s naturally sticky. When you have a blog with dozens or hundreds of pages focused on your customers’ interests, visitors can do their own research and see that you’re more than a flash in the pan. Credibility is easier to establish on a website with history and/or tons of great content. Especially when your brand isn’t universally known, your serious customers are probably looking for information that educates and explains. A few sales pages don’t have near the impact of an ongoing, helpful presence. Your competition knows this. So take time and commit to creating content.
Science: Why do people like systems, facts, statistics and numbers? Because they provide a logical frame for their wants and needs. Just wanting a desired result isn’t enough to pull out your pocketbook. Sometimes the customer needs to justify spending the money. Remember that emotion sells, but once the decision is made, you cinch the deal with logic. A few well chosen facts about the wonders of peptides would have persuaded me (a receptive consumer) in that beauty store the other day.
Social proof: Your customers are reading reviews, and watching what others do and say. An impassioned group of people talking about your products and services can convert even a customer who has never heard of you before. Testimonials are powerful because they remove the barriers of the unknown. Your customer sees that they’re not some kind of lab rat for your new offer. In reading others’ reviews, they know what to expect. Consider adding a testimonials page to your website. Make it your policy to respond daily to comments and questions on social media or on your blog. Keep the conversation going.
A guarantee: One final way to show you stand behind your offer is to include a guarantee of satisfaction. I’m not talking about a try it, then buy it policy, especially in a situation where your professional expertise or service takes time and effort. (In many professional services, a commitment or investment is required on both sides.) But many customers just feel better about buying something that comes with a guarantee or an option to discontinue a service in the future. A good guarantee simply shows you’re confident enough not to lock in the wrong customer.
Advancing trust by being believable is the best way to make a connection, but it doesn’t always have to originate from a single specific voice or personality. Make use of content, social proof, science and a genuine guarantee to build a case that supports, and even supersedes that one-to-one connection. Your brand can achieve personable charisma through well-placed copy and content.