Fear is persuasive. It gets people to act. Virtually every corporation uses it. Just pay attention. One of my favorites is Crest 3D Whitestrips – a strip that you place over your teeth to whiten them.

crest - if you're not whitening

It’s a pretty sobering thought, right? Who wants yellow teeth? Anyway, boutique businesses can apply the same strategy.

Depending on your business, think of ways how you could create fear. An easy approach to create fear is to give the sense of scarcity.

  • limited availability
  • limited coverage time

Fear gets people to act … NOW. “Fear is the most powerful emotion,” according to Michael Fanselow, UCLA Professor of Psychology.

“Fear,” he used to say, “fear is the most valuable commodity in the universe.”

“Turn on the TV. What are you seeing? People selling their products? No. People selling the fear of you having to live without their products.”

Fuckin’ A, was he right. Fear of aging, fear of loneliness, fear of poverty, fear of failure. Fear is the most basic emotion we have. Fear is primal. Fear sells.
–World War Z

Another form of fear is fear of missing out (FOMO). I shared two examples here.

Instead of only poking people’s hot buttons (making them fearful), you can actually do the opposite – quell their fears. One of the most important steps to build trust is to proactively create content to enrich your readers’ lives. More information about that in the next post!


For more content strategy posts, read here.

Don’t be fearful. I got your back.

Lawrence Chan

P.S. One of the reasons why I drink iced coffee through a straw, aside from the fact that I like to do so, is because I don’t want to stain my teeth [as easily]. I have a fear of stained teeth. Ah!

What is one of your biggest fears? Comment below!

ice coffee
via Instagram