A famous magician called Dunninger was quoted as saying:
“For those who believe, no explanation is necessary. For those who do not, none will suffice.”
A non-famous magician called John Holt also had a famous quote:
“Where the hell’s my cheque? I’ve got a Christening in Dudley in 45 minutes…”
One of those is worth thinking about.
There’s an inherent “challenge” aspect to magic:
“How do you do that?”
Take a card… put it back… TADA! – it’s inside your mother’s goat.
Some magicians try to convince audiences they’re genuinely using magic or psychic powers.
That might work when you’re entertaining kids or people who like Tai Lopez, but that shit ain’t going to fly at the Barnoldswick Building Contractors Christmas party.
“How did I make this red sponge ball move through time and space from one hand only to rematerialise in the other? By harnessing a special force I learned from an Eastern mystic, atop the Himalayan mountains… now does anyone have any jumper cables? I left the headlights on in my Fiat Cinquecento and the battery’s fooked.”
If you’re going to make extraordinary claims, you’re gonna be needing some extraordinary proof to back ‘em up.
(If I was decent at graphics, I’d put together a balanced scale with proof on one side and… oh you know what? I’m going to give it a bash. Hang on…)
(You may have noticed the domain www.johnholtgraphicdesign.com remains unclaimed…)
Your proof must always match your claims.
This “Claims/Proof balancing act” is worth bearing in mind especially if you’re asking your customers to tear open the velcro on their wallet.
For example, I’m quite happy knocking out a quick post promoting my free “Year’s worth of email prompts”. Because it’s not a massive claim, it doesn’t need a whole lot of proof.
Creating a sales page, getting a gazillion testimonials, shooting a high-res, high-budget video, or putting on deodorant would be like doing more than three sit-ups a week – totally overdoing it.
But… if I beefed up the claim a bit, declaring it’s the greatest collection of email prompts the world has ever seen…
“PEOPLE WEEP UPON SEEING ITS BEAUTY!”
I’d be needing some of that proof stuff to back it up.
(And I’d DEFINITELY crack open the Right Guard* for that)
* I go for the Cool Breeze 72-hour protection. That way, after Friday morning’s spray, I’m good till Monday, baby!
Also: when you’re making a claim, it’s not just the product you have to consider…
Sorry, that was slightly more aggressive than I was going for.
You have to give proof why “you” are worth paying attention to.
Again, using me as an example…
With my email writing course “Sent.”, it’s not enough for me to show what the course can do for you (though I DO need to do that)…
I’ve also got to prove why I’M the right person to teach you.
What proof do I have that I write good emails… that my emails have got good results… or that I’m even able to show you how you can do it too?
Whenever you create a new offer, tear apart the claims you’re making into single elements. Think about how you can prove each one…
Not to YOU, but your audience.
What proof do they need to see to believe in you?
P.S. Did you get that last bit?
“…do they need to SEE…”
In other words, SHOW them, don’t TELL them.