My seven-year-old daughter is away for a week-long sleepaway camp for the first time.
When we presented the idea to her earlier this summer, she immediately started dancing around and singing excitedly about what it would be like to be away from her parents for a week.
I was both inspired by her bravery as well as caught off guard by her eagerness to be rid of us!
Upon further investigation, we realized her courage originated from a show she’d recently watched about kids going away to camp for the summer.
Watching a story about kids her age having a rewarding experience at sleepaway camp had fed her belief that she would be fine being away and would enjoy the experience as well.
Your intended customers often need a similar dose of self-efficacy before they will say yes to working with you.
Self-efficacy is defined as a person’s perceptions about how capable they are at executing a course of action and handling given situations.
Your marketing can do a perfect job of getting someone to believe in you and your product, but if they still don’t believe that they are capable of successfully reaching the outcome, they won’t say yes and invest.
This is especially true if they’ve previously tried other solutions and failed to reach the desired goal.
So how can you help a prospective customer or client to believe in their ability to successfully take advantage of and benefit from your product or service?
Research by psychologist Albert Bandura points to several factors that are proven to boost self-efficacy.
Today, I want to take a look at one in particular that you can use right away in your content and marketing.
In the same way that my watching a show about kids her age at sleepaway camp increased my daughter’s confidence, you can increase your intended customer’s belief in their abilities with storytelling.
Bandura calls this “modeling.” When we see someone else succeed, it boosts our own self-efficacy. This is especially true when we view that person as being similar to us.
Tell stories that model self-efficacy in your content, particularly content that plays a part in earning someone’s trust before they do business with you.
Include details that help them identify with the character in the story so they get that “if they can do it, I can do it, too” feeling.
Until all three levels of belief are in place — belief in you, belief in your solution, and belief in their own ability — you will lose potential clients and customers.
One final note, it’s also important to build self-efficacy boosting factors into your courses and other programs to maintain the motivation of your clients and students.
Now let’s just hope that when my daughter gets home tomorrow she still believes she still needs her mom and dad? Yay for independence! But she’s still my little girl for a while longer. 🙂