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Write to Build Trust With Complete Strangers

Before 2002, I thought it was impossible to build trust with complete strangers purely by writing.

But after starting a blog in March of that year, I quickly learned that you can create and build trust with total strangers — if you avoid doing a few things that, unfortunately, many lawyers do.

Too many lawyers struggle to write in a way that creates and builds trust — especially online.

It’s important to understand exactly why most writing does not build trust.

Here are the main reasons:

  • The message you put forth is too complex and confusing.
  • Your writing style is too formal
  • You overwhelm the reader with too much information
  • What you write about isn’t interesting to the reader

Most lawyers can find interesting topics and write about them in an engaging way. But they overthink the writing process and make it harder than it needs to be, as well as less effective.

Here are the keys to an easy writing process that reliably builds up trust:

Find one simple topic that’s easy to discuss

If writing feels easy, you’ll enjoy it more. And you’ll struggle less.

So find interesting topics that are easy to discuss. For example, telling people how to avoid getting hacked is an interesting (and important) topic.

When you see an article about computer security, consider how you could extract some key ideas and write a similar article in your own words.

Write first to people that know you

Craft a short email with simple advice (e.g. how to avoid getting hacked) to a small group of friends or colleagues that know you well.

Writing an email for them will feel less burdensome than trying to write for other people (e.g. people that don’t know you well at all).

Get permission to send regular emails

At the end of the email, tell each recipient you plan to send monthly email tips like this. Then ask if they want to receive those regular emails.

If they say they’d rather not get them, take them off your list. Send only to people who want to get your emails.

Your advice is valuable, and valued

Most people will want your regular emails because they want advice from lawyers whose wise counsel they value.

But remember: they want to get advice in short, easy-to-read messages.

So you need to be careful not to overdo things.

Write to strangers as though they are friends

Once you’ve gotten the knack of writing short emails to people you know, then just send those same emails to more people.

Don’t change your style. Don’t become formal.

If you keep things simple and easy, you’ll soon discover that it’s surprisingly easy to build trust with total strangers.

Now you know: starting small is the key to making things easy.

If you want to learn more about building trust by using email marketing, check out my online course.

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