Writing with rapport: courting your reader

I was talking recently about ways that we can write to create rapport with our readers, and, in the longer term to build a relationship of trust.

This is linked to the concept of pacing and leading - starting ‘where they are at’ (pacing them) in order to build rapport, establish trust, and then - and only then - starting to lead.

I feel a dancing metaphor coming on here but Darren Rowse has just come up with a great alternative: blog writing as a form of courtship: asking the killer question ‘do you kiss on the first date?’  Move too fast and you’ll break rapport (with or without a slap in the face!)  Too slow and they’ll lose interest.

If you want to build a relationship over the longer term you need to get  your pacing right:

Help your reader to get to know you, build trust, get to know them and show that you’re interested in more than a quick sale and you could just end up with a lasting relationship.

Blogging is a great medium for establishing a conversation, building a relationship over the longer term.

But you can apply the same principles to all forms of writing: respect your reader’s model of the world, pace their experience, start from where they’re at, change pace (faster, slower, moving into new territory, going for the close) only when you’re sure they’re with you, ready for the clincher of a kiss…

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One Comment

  1. Rodney · · Reply

    Thank you for your thought’s on building rapport.

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