How to Slip Past the “Yeah Right” Reflex and Add Believability in Your Copywriting

Yesterday my partner in crime John recorded an “upsell” video for one of the products we’re selling.

And he instinctively did something that will make the video MUCH more effective in terms of sales.

The video will live on the “thank you” page for our main funnel, which is an email course about building a software development blog.

(Brief aside: The thank you page is prime real estate—if you’re not using it to prompt further action, you’re missing a big opportunity.)

So the viewer has just opted in to learn how to build a blog that will help them grow their career, and now in this video John is going to encourage them to buy his course about marketing yourself as a software developer.

John is uniquely qualified to teach programmers how to do this, because he used these techniques to retire as a millionaire at 33.

Pretty cool, eh?

It is, and a lot of marketers would be tempted to start there in a video like this.

John didn’t do that.

Instead he started by talking about his struggles to get started early in his career.

How he got a lucky break with his first “real” programming job where he made a princely $75 an hour…

And then how his salary actually DROPPED as his programming skills increased, until he was making just $35—and even then he sometimes spent months looking for a job.

Then came the turning point: He started blogging and speaking at local software meetups.

And soon companies started to see him as an expert, often seeking him out and offering him jobs on the spot…

Then he got the chance to produce online training videos for the largest software dev training site in the world…

And as a result, his hourly rate today is $500 an hour, and he’s a retired millionaire.

Why is this approach so much better?

These days many audiences are jaded and SKEPTICAL.

They’ve heard it all before, and when you hit them out of the gate with a big claim like “I retired as a millionaire at 33,” you trigger their “yeah, right” reflex.

But by telling the backstory first, you lay the groundwork for believability.

By the time you make your big claims, your audience is ready for them. Your claimed results flow from a chain of logic that makes them seem almost inevitable.

And that’s the crucial point—belief.

Because you can claim anything you want, but if your reader doesn’t believe you, you’re just wasting everyone’s time.