Being an Expert
Your readers want to find someone who has been where they are, solved their problem, and has the expert training and experience that qualifies them to teach a solution. This is where you need to establish yourself as an expert in your field.
The first step in becoming an expert and relating to your readers is to develop a backstory showing that you’re one of them. This is where you tell them about your early days with a bad dog or with no money, etc. Whatever you suffered through, lay it out for them honestly and make sure they know you’re not another guy on the Web just out to make as much money as you can.
Use Photos and Screenshots for Proof
A great way to increase credibility is to use images of yourself in the situation you’re trying to describe. You can start with a simple headshot, but you can also showcase where you came from with shots of you in college, or in your broken down apartment before you got rich, etc. This is pretty straightforward but very important in building credibility early on.
Integrate Where Possible with a Short Summary
This section should usually be tied into the first paragraphs where you lay out the problems and solutions that your readers have. This allows you to generate as much credibility as you can before your pitch even begins. Some sales pages will have a screenshot above the fold, along with a short, basic intro to get things started. Regardless of how you do it, make sure you have at least a short author intro early on.
Tell a Story but Keep It Casual
Don’t talk to your readers like you’re an intellectual, talk like you’re a friend who wants to help out. Imagine you’re telling your best friend about the product instead of a stranger. Keep it casual but don’t get too carried away talking about yourself. The number one thing that I see too many sales pages do is turn into user’s manuals. You’re not teaching them yet, you’re selling to them.
Create Envy to Drive Action
People often envy the things others have that they don’t. For example, many people always buy the latest iPhone just because other people buy them as soon as they’re released. Use that urge and desire to drive action in your readers. Back to our dog example, show them how their neighbors have good, well-behaved dogs, etc. You can easily use your own story to drive that envious nature.
Freely Admit Your Shortcomings (in Context)
Don’t be afraid to admit you have shortcomings and then clearly lay them out for your readers to see. Too many marketers think they need to be the infallible teacher who has never messed up. That’s not true. You need to humanize yourself as much as possible and show your readers how your solution can help them reach where you are. Explain to them long it took to get your dog under control or to as many dates with women as you can handle, etc. They’ll respect you for being honest.