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You’re the Greatest? Well, Who Says So?

November 22nd, 2009 by Bob Bly

I got an email from a copywriter today who claims he has been called ?the best copywriter on the Web? ? but he doesn?t say who called him that.

He also says his course on copywriting has been praised as the ?Bible? of web copywriting ? but he doesn?t say who called gave him that testimonial.

If you are going to quote favorable comments about you or your product ? especially those with huge claims and superlatives ? you should attribute each comment to a source.

Otherwise, the reader tends to doubt the truth of what you are saying ? and it looks like YOU are just saying these things about yourself.

Am I right?

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This entry was posted on Sunday, November 22nd, 2009 at 9:49 pm and is filed under General. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

34 responses about “You’re the Greatest? Well, Who Says So?”

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    […] You’re the Greatest? Well, Who Says So? – bly.com blog – bly.com direct marketing blog bly.com/blog/general/youre-the-greatest-well-who-says-so – view page – cached I got an email from a copywriter today who claims he has been called “the best copywriter on the Web” … but he doesn’t say who called him that. […]

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  3. victoria ipri said:

    You are so right, Bob! Unfortunately, with so much competition in today’s copywriting industry, I guess some people feel they must make outrageous claims to get noticed.

    Actually, I’d love to know what writer was dumb enough to send something to YOU claiming to be “the best copywriter on the web.” Step 1: Get gun. Step 2: Shoot self in foot.

    I’ve learned to do things your way, Bob. Simple! Your email signature simply states “Bob Bly, Copywriter/Consultant.” Wow. For someone who really CAN claim to be the world’s best copywriter, your understated self-promotion is most humbling, and a great lesson to the rest of us who think we must shout to be heard.

  4. Kathleen said:

    Yes you are right, Bob. I think I got that same email because the same thoughts ran through my mind (which makes it really funny seeing them written here!).

    It just seemed very odd to see no attribution with those claims because I have never seen a sales page or email that didn’t have attributions to the statements like that. It makes me wonder if he was in a rush and forgot?

  5. William Reynolds said:

    This email you received has shown me the light. I looked in the mirror this morning and said, “You are the greatest copywriter in the history of the universe.” Now all that remains is for me to add this testimonial to all my marketing. Why didn’t I think of this years ago?

  6. Lou said:

    “It’s not bragging if you can back it up.”

    — Muhammad Ali

  7. Clay said:

    You are completely correct. In my reporter days, unsubstantiated superlatives got my attention in a very negative way – certainly not the goal!

  8. Kyle said:

    Perceived value is the key.

    These days Nobel winners get disputed.

    ‘Biggest and best’ still carries a lot of assumed clout. Authentic or not.

  9. Jodi Kaplan said:

    Maybe the testimonials were from his mom.

  10. Phil Wrzesinski said:

    I just finished reading a great book on this subject called “Currencies That Buy Credibility” by Tom Wanek. The concept of the book is to show you six ways to lend credibility to your seemingly outlandish statements. It was an easy read and I would highly recommend it (and, no, I get nothing for the recommendation).

  11. Josh Manheimer said:

    In my experience the best direct mail copywriters are often very nice guys, usually with a theater background — helps when you write from different voices — but when they talk about themselves, they puff up like blowfish. I remember some years back Henry Cowan in one of the trade pubs called himself the King of Direct Mail, and I’m like, woah!, who put a crown on your head? Perhaps if we had a better system … like the military … where we could wear our winners like medals, we would feel less of a need to brag. You would see the Five Stars on my lapel next to the Cross of the Holy Control and whisper to your neighbor, “My God! A Special Ops Copywriter has just entered the room. Maybe we can get his autograph!”

  12. Matthew Jones said:

    LOL this such a stupid email you’ve got for sure! Honestly, I don’t believe to those people who can’t prove what they are actually saying. They are only ordinary people who badly need attention from others.

  13. Sam Reiki said:

    @ Matthew

    You’re right. Most successful people keep on bragging their achievements over the net. All the luxuries that they’ve got by striving so hard. However, they are only good in talking than proving it.

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