6 Ways to Overcome Your Reader’s Skepticism

In the alternative health field, your well-informed audience has heard many hyped-up promises—promises that ultimately led to disappointment. It is a market where overcoming skepticism is crucial to the success of every package.

There are several effective ways to establish a connection with your reader and build trust. Here are six that can work well.

  1. Establish a personal connection with the reader: Making a personal connection is often the first step toward building trust—and there are a number of ways to do it. Testimonials, stories, and endorsements can give your reader a specific someone to relate to. This helps establish a one-to-one relationship with the reader. You can also establish a personal connection by letting the personality of the person who’s signing the letter come through. Whoever’s point of view you take when writing the promotion, make sure you give that person an appropriate—and likable—personality.
  2. Put a face to the voice: Give the person who’s singing the letter a face. Include a photo on the first page. This helps your reader visualize a real person. Plus, a picture builds trust … and trust is the basis of overcoming skepticism.
  3. Share a common enemy: Because so many in your audience have tried things that haven’t worked, acknowledge that you know that right up front. Get angry with them about the phonies in the industry, about the misinformation that comes out of government health agencies, and about the dangerous solutions mainstream medicine encourages.
  4. Resonate with their frustrations: Think about what your reader is feeling. Try to gain insight into what frustrates them. It might be a promised solution that turned out not to be all it was cracked up to be. It might be the deluge of information they have to dig through to find answers. It might simply be that their knees ache when they get up every morning. Find their frustration and empathize.
  5. Provide ample proof from credible sources: Hold yourself to a high standard when it comes to providing proof for your product. Use sources that will either be familiar to your readers (think mainstream newspapers and big-time universities) or use peer-reviewed journals. When you come across a study that is peer-reviewed, placebo-controlled, or double-blind, mention those things in your copy.
  6. Tell a good story: Nothing cuts through hype and engages the reader like a good story. Your reader wants to be informed—but if you can entertain them at the same time … well, they’ll be much more likely to keep reading. Find the story behind your product and tell it well.

Skepticism is one of the biggest obstacles you, as a writer, face in the alternative health market. By taking time to build a connection and using reputable source for your proof, you can cut through the skepticism and help your reader to see that what you are writing about is the real deal.

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Published: March 19, 2008

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