The Ties That Bind …

Relationships are a key part of the human experience … especially if you’re trying to persuade another human being to do something or feel something.

Jen Adams here, continuing our discussion about how to make your writing stronger by digging into the mind of your reader. And today, I’d like to focus on the power of relationships in your writing.

Our relationships matter to us … deeply and intensely. But, it’s not just our romantic relationships that count.

After all, we are also in relationships with our friends, co-workers, neighbors, and even semi-strangers, like the barista at the coffee place. Each of these relationships has a role to play in your day … good or bad … providing you with tons of material to reference when you’re digging into the mind of your prospect.

All in all, the more relationships you can identify in your reader’s life, the better you’ll be able to connect to that person as you write.

So, start by understanding the relationship flow.

Grab a piece of paper and put your reader in the middle. Draw out all the relationships you believe he or she has. Include everyone you can think of … family, friends, work, neighbors … even pets. Keep going until you have at least 20 relationships mapped out.

Think about those relationships. Are they close? Superficial? Which ones build up your reader? Who presents a challenge? Where does your reader find the most meaningful connections in his or her life?

All these questions give you a richer perspective on your prospect. And, it lets you talk to more pieces of his or her daily experience, which can help you build proof points in long copy.

For example, you can say, “Your husband won’t be the only one who notices all the weight you’ve dropped. You’ll see the looks on your neighbors’ faces when you walk by. Your office mates will be complimenting you and asking you for your secret. Even the barista at your local coffee shop will be able to see you’re three pant sizes smaller, thanks to SlimSuper.” Notice how much more powerful that is than just saying, “You’ll lose weight.”

Try a few more examples yourself. Describe a product or service in the frame of a relationship in your reader’s life. Share your descriptions in the comments. And then, stay tuned until tomorrow, when I’ll cover the incredible power of “If only …” in your copy.

The Professional Writers’ Alliance

The Professional Writers’ Alliance

At last, a professional organization that caters to the needs of direct-response industry writers. Find out how membership can change the course of your career. Learn More »


Click to Rate:
Average: 5.0
Published: March 19, 2014

6 Responses to “The Ties That Bind...”

  1. I couldn't agree more Jen, the more you can put yourself in your readers shoes the more you will be able to relate to what they want.

    I recently started writing for the non-profit sector which I am thoroughly enjoying. I have to stand back and remember what I am persuading the reader to do. That is to give a donation.

    I would be interested in hearing form anyone who has done a lot of writing for non-profits to comment if they think it is different that writing to sell a product or service.

    IreneMarch 19, 2014 at 2:16 pm

  2. Ooo, this is a powerful nugget! Thank you, Jen! Just reading your example gives shivers!

    GriffinMarch 19, 2014 at 9:46 pm

  3. can I submit my example here?

    "You'll look in the mirror and see a new person looking back at you. You like the new look, your family and friends will see a new you. Your co-workers compliment the new look. You owe it all to the new "Color My Hair" I did it myself, and it was fun and so easy! Try it for yourself, and see a new you today!

    Guest (Debi)March 20, 2014 at 1:19 pm


Guest, Add a Comment
Please Note: Your comments will be seen by all visitors.

You are commenting as a guest. If you’re an AWAI Member, Login to myAWAI for easier commenting, email alerts, and more!

(If you don’t yet have an AWAI Member account, you can create one for free.)


This name will appear next to your comment.


Your email is required but will not be displayed.


Text only. Your comment may be trimmed if it exceeds 500 characters.

Type the Shadowed Word
Too hard to read? See a new image | Listen to the letters


Hint: The letters above appear as shadows and spell a real word. If you have trouble reading it, you can use the links to view a new image or listen to the letters being spoken.

(*all fields required)