Wednesday, October 5, 2022


Melanie Deziel

"Prove It: Exactly How Modern Marketers Earn Trust"




Tell your readers a little about yourself, where you grew up, where you live now, where you went to school etc. Let them get to know the personal you.

I'm a journalist-turned-marketer with an insatiable love of learning, and thus, reading. In the last few years I’ve gotten really into audiobooks, which has let me read so much more! I was born and raised in CT, spent most of my professional life in New York City, and recently relocated to Raleigh, North Carolina.

I’ve always been a huge “cafe person.” I get my best writing done and have my most productive work sessions when I’m surrounded by the hustle and bustle of a coffee shop. That said, I only drink decaf coffee, so it’s a treat to find a place with a good decaf brew and the right atmosphere.


What inspired you to author this book?

My previous book, The Content Fuel Framework, was all about how to come up with content ideas, and readers kept asking me how they should prioritize the creation of the ideas they came up with.

Prove It is really the answer to that question: focus on whichever content does the best job of validating your business claims.

Beyond that, my co-author and I have been friends for years, and this book was a fun way for us to get to work together and create something that combined our two areas of expertise—sales and content marketing—in a way that creates value for our combined audiences, and beyond.


Where did you get the inspiration for your book’s cover?

The book has a light sprinkling of a legal theme to it, since we are talking about the importance of providing evidence of claims, using witnesses to corroborate your claims, etc. So, we wanted a cover that was a wink and a nod toward that.

We also wanted to make sure it was simple enough to be approachable, and bold enough to catch the eye on shelves.

Fun fact: The Post-it note on the cover features the actual handwriting of my co-author Phil Jones. Throughout the book, his contributions at the end of each chapter are like additional sides with action items. The Post-it note takes that “additional note” presence within the book and echoes it on the cover.


Who has been the most significant influence on you personally and as a writer?

It’s tough to name one person who has been the most significant influence on me and my writing, but I can point to a series of teachers throughout my schooling who meaningfully changed my path and fueled my passion.

A high school English teacher advocated for me to get into the AP writing course, and my first journalism professor in college inspired me to change my major to journalism. Another journalism teacher pushed me to submit an assignment to the student newspaper, where I eventually became the Editor in Chief. In graduate school, several professors pushed me to aim higher and helped me to see the potential I didn’t yet see in myself.

It’s part of why I prioritize creating educational content and strive to make my books extremely tactical and useful, with minimal fluff. I want to help my fellow marketers and writers see more in themselves than they might think possible.


What were the struggles or obstacles you had to overcome to get this book written?

Getting this book written on deadline was my primary challenge, as it is for most authors, I guess!

I’m not a full-time author. In fact, I’m not even a part-time author, so carving out the time necessary to make sure progress was made and deadlines were kept had to be a top priority.

At the time I was writing this book, I was working full-time at a marketing agency, doing regular conference speeches and podcast interviews, and also preparing to start a company with my husband, which I now do full-time. All while having to keep a home running and taking care of a toddler, and myself. It was a lot to juggle.

But having such clarity on the vision and framework really helped. It was easy to make a lot of progress quickly when I did get time to write because we had laid out such a clear framework for the book already.


Tell your readers about your book.

Prove It is a practical guide to establishing trust with your audience by creating content that backs up your business claims.

A major problem in today’s marketing environment is that consumers are extremely skeptical. There is so much spam, scams, and deceptive marketing, that they have had to adopt a more skeptical approach. If you want them to do business with us, then we need to earn their trust first, and content is one of the best ways to do that.

The book shares what types of business claims need the most proof walks through how to identify which claims your business or brand is making and then provides practical guidance on how to use content to back up those claims.

Ultimately, this book is really encouraging a mindset shift, helping us to see all the contact we create as an opportunity to build and deep in the relationship with our audience, which can only have positive effects on our business.


Who is your target audience, and why?

This book is really for anyone who is trying to build a brand, a business, or even just an audience around a shared idea.

No matter what the action is that you ultimately want them to take—buy, subscribe, download, attend, donate, etc—building relationships with your audience starts with establishing trust.

This makes the book a good fit for people who are marketers or sales professionals by trade, as well as business owners, entrepreneurs, and influencers. If you want to deepen your relationship with the audience, you have and attract more of the audience you need, then you’ll find lots of valuable inspiration and action items in Prove It.

What do you consider your greatest success in life?

To be a complete mush, my 3-year-old has the biggest heart and is such a kind little person, and that makes me feel like I’m doing something right.

Professionally, though, being the keynote speaker at Content Marketing World was one of my proudest accomplishments. Not only is it the biggest conference in my industry, and the biggest audience I’ve ever spoken to, but I was chosen for the honor based on attendee ratings the prior year. I really felt like I earned that honor, which made it particularly special.


What one unique thing sets you apart from other writers in your genre?

Many of the authors in the business space come from a business background, and they are looking at everything through the lens of someone trying to sell.

But I was trained as a journalist. My approach has always been to identify what the audience needs to know first, and then craft a story around that. I have a very hard time crafting things any other way, and so my book-writing process is similar. I like to write in response to a question or a need from my audience.

That audience-first approach isn’t found often enough in the business and marketing space.