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How to use the ‘Tree of Trust’ in your copy

Do you make it easy for your readers to find their way back to you?
Do you give them what they want and expect?
Can they feel ‘safe’ with what you offer them?

Let me explain what I’m getting at with an example…

One of our dogs, Teddy, has just been let off-leash. It’s a big deal in our family as, being a rescue dog, he had many trust issues, which are now thankfully mostly gone.

On our daily walk in the woods, not far from the entrance, is a large fallen tree that we have named the Tree of Trust. This is where we let him off the lead and put him back on again when it’s time to go home.

Teddy knows that if he wanders off or gets ‘lost’ following the scent of a wild animal – we will always meet him there, where he dutifully waits.

A lot is going on here, but the main things are:

Familiarity – Teddy is familiar with our walk, and 100% knows how to get back to this point from anywhere in the woods.
Expectation – It’s his way back to us. He expects us to be there. Even if he has to wait a little.
Safety – He knows he’ll be safe at The Tree of Trust. There are no cars or roads nearby.

You can effectively use this combo in your copy and even your branding, too.

For example:

Familiarity: Is there something you do so your audience can easily recognise you? It might be your email sign off. (Mine is always variations of Love, Peace & Great Copy). Or it could be a catchphrase that you use – something unique to you.
Expectation: What does your audience expect from you? It might be your tone of voice; fun, conversational, empathetic, serious, etc. It could be the service you provide, always adding that little extra something.
Safety: What ‘safety’ do you provide? It might be what your brand is best known for and is defined in your value proposition and messaging. Some examples:
DuckDuckGo – The search engine that doesn’t track you. “Privacy, simplified.”
Slack – the collaboration hub “that brings the right people, information, and tools together to get work done.”
Uber – “Get there: Your day belongs to you.” and “Tap the app, get a ride.”

And so on. Your audience is safe in the knowledge they’ll get “what it says on the tin“.

I think it’s safe to say that I often use personal stories and analogies in my emails and LinkedIn posts to get my point across.

How about you?

It’s worth thinking about.


Teddy enjoying the woods.

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