Show, Don’t Tell

There’s a common understanding that 55% of communication is body language, 38% is tone, and a mere 7% comes from the actual words spoken. And that’s if body language comes into the equation, which it only really does in person and through video content. Your written or verbal words are essentially boiled down to only tone and message. Pulling body language out of that equation, a whopping 84% of your message comes from your tone.

Long story short – your tone is very very important to getting the desired response from your audience. So what is the right tone? And how do you make sure that tone is coming across in the manner you’re aiming for?

When your content is a source of information, clients begin to rely on you for information, often before they even make themselves visible to you.

What you want to avoid… 

is sounding braggy. Conceited. Self-promotional. “Here are my accomplishments, awards, and sales numbers. Aren’t I fabulous?” You are not selling cars, you are selling your knowledge, expertise, and assistance through a process that is often very foreign and uncomfortable to people. Nobody wants your accomplishments shoved down their throat – it feels phony and fake. Instead, they want you to prove to them that you know what you’re doing. And they want to feel comfortable with you leading their charge through a highly impactful life decision.

What you want…

is to demonstrate your knowledge and experience without it appearing as though you are intentionally trying to do so. It’s a slight distinction but it’s an important one. Your audience can easily find your accomplishments and awards (just as long as you’ve made them readily available to view on a personal website, LinkedIn profile, etc), but correctly framed content can make you appear both humble and helpful, while also sending the message that you desire, which is that you are an expert in a field that they need help in. They need you. And not because you told them they need you, but because you’ve showed them they need you.

The message?

Show, don’t tell.

Show your expertise. Show your knowledge. Show them the breadth and depth of understanding you have in the market and in the industry. Demonstrate your knowledge by providing content that helps them also understand advanced topics and concepts. When your content is a source of information, particularly when it’s a resource that can be shared and promoted amongst happy clients who have found it helpful, clients begin to rely on you for information, often before they even make themselves visible to you. People want to feel safe and secure in who they choose, particularly in the wake of such an important and often anxiety-inducing life decision, and they will choose the person who demonstrates knowledge and shares that knowledge rather than brags and touts through egocentric messages. It’s not about you, it’s about what you can do for your clients. Make sure your tone supports that.