In my opinion, there’s no real need to insert the first 3 words of this sentence into your newsletter, blog or social networking update. What you write is, by default, your opinion.
Here’s why I want you to reconsider using those words in your marketing messages, unless you legally have to.
Hands up time!
The reason I am sharing this with you, is that I just caught myself writing the words ‘in my opinion’, in a blog post I am working on. It immediately dawned on me how totally redundant those words are.
Moreover, they would have significantly diluted my message — just as they can dilute your marketing messages.
Why do we feel the need to say in my opinion, when we state our opinion?
I asked myself that question and here’s what I came up with: I think it’s a way to make a point, which is harder for others to attack. If I start a statement saying in my opinion, I have distanced myself from stating it as a fact.
- If I say the new XYZ book is terrible, I am stating what I believe to be true. The book is terrible. Period.
- If I say that in my opinion, the new XYZ book is terrible, I’m stating that it’s possibly a great book, but I thought it was terrible.
Of course, in both those examples I am giving my opinion. The thing is, that first statement sounds so much stronger. It tells you exactly what I believe. The second statement comes with a qualification, in case you disagree. Even though, as I said a moment ago, in both cases I am giving you my opinion.
The next time you find yourself about to dilute your message or soften a statement, by saying in my opinion, think whether you really need to use those three words or not.
A word of caution
Yes, there are legal reasons why you may need to put a qualifying comment before a statement, in some circumstances. Telling people that food at the XYZ restaurant is low grade dog food, without stating it as your opinion, could land you in trouble in some parts of the world.
However, if you are stating something you believe, as I have with this post, there’s no need for you to say, in my opinion. Those three words will almost always weaken your message. We know it’s your opinion, without you telling us.
If you can make your point without those 3 words, you get to express what you believe to your readers at a deeper, more intimate and maybe more honest level. This is especially useful for those of you seeking to position yourself as a leader or authority in your field.