I review 1000s of written words every week for the clients who are completing my program, Brain to Book in 90 Days. Their ideas and writing are both wonderful, but many fall into a very common writing error that I quickly alert them to.
What is this error?
It’s an expression that undermines their authority like no other. In fact, there are two undermining expressions. They are:
- I believe
- I think
But no, I hear you gasp! Surely these are expressions of conviction that increase the authority and credibility of authors.
No. “I think” and “I believe” contain no authority UNLESS they are an expression of what you KNOW to be true. And if you know something to be true, why not simply say so?
“What I know to be true” is a magnificent expression of authority (when followed by the evidence).
“In my experience…” + evidence
“My clients tell me…” (which is in itself evidence.)
As with every rule, there is an exception. If you are Michelle Obama, or Sir Edmund Hilary, then your readers may be interested in what you think and believe. The thoughts and beliefs of famous people intrigue readers.
But if you are a non-celebrity thought leader, it’s not your thoughts that your readers are interested in—it’s your expertise.
And with expertise comes evidence. So share it and increase your authority instantly.
What is a belief that you have that is based on evidence?