Show and tell. Sure you can just show, or you can just tell, but believe me, doing both will be more effective. I promise.
What makes me even write about this? Well, it turns out I am in the market for some dining room furniture, and have been looking through Craigslist to see if I can find anything appropriate and within budget. In any case, I have come across a great many postings that say something like this:
Like new dining room set with 6 chairs, extension leaf. Contemporary style.
But there is no picture. No picture for me to see if I like the style or the color or anything. You have to have a picture if you want to sell a dining room set…or anything else that people buy based on looks!
Tell, and show.
Showing alone doesn’t do the trick either. Some people (and many of these are marketers who paid lots and lots of money for a fine looking website/brochure/advertisement) think fancy graphics and beautiful design will compensate for a lack of content.
No. No. No.
A potential client was telling me she was looking for “sexy” copy to relaunch her website. I asked her if she could point to websites in her field that she deemed to be “sexy.” She sent me to a much more attractive website than hers. But guess what, the content was just as deadly dull and meaningless as hers. It just looked better (ok, much better).
Show, and tell.
Pretty but empty does not sell your product or service. People need information–both visual and intellectual–to make a buying decision.