Jargon. It happens to us all. I was recently talking shop with a freelance writer friend and started cracking up as I realized that phrases like “target market” and “effective task management” and “digital marketing strategy” were peppering our conversation. Here we were in a coffee shop having a conversation – not giving a seminar on marketing & business strategy!
This conversation got me thinking about how we — business owners — talk about our businesses and how our clients — our target market — talk about their own needs and wants.
No matter what your business is, you’re fulfilling a need or a desire. Whether that’s through digital marketing, health coaching, or product packaging, you’re providing a product or service that people want. The trick is to be able to communicate your products and services in terms and phrases that your ideal clients already use.
This is a trap that every business owner or industry expert falls into. After living within your industry, and reading and researching so much within your field, it’s hard to avoid talking like a textbook. When it’s all words and phrases that you’re so familiar with, jargon doesn’t sound like jargon to you – but it sounds like it to everyone else.
The secret to avoiding the dreaded jargon is to talk like your clients think. Your clients are not industry experts. You are. You need to be able to communicate your expertise in a way that they understand. Why? Because if your ideal client doesn’t understand what you’re offering and how you can help them, they will walk away.
Jargon: Integrating a social media strategy with content marketing to improve your bottom line.
Client: How to turn Twitter and Facebook followers into clients.
Jargon: Strengthening your core and quads to improve your stride.
Client: How to train for (and complete!) a half-marathon without hurting yourself.
Jargon: The latest technology brings an improved bubble-wrap design and density.
Client: Yes, you can ship a vase cross-country without it shattering with our new bubble-wrap.
No matter your industry, the key is to think about the types of questions that your current or potential clients frequently ask. What do they want to know? How do they phrase that question?
Alex Zamorski is a writer, editor, and publishing guide at Calamus Works. She loves to help entrepreneurs and small businesses build their audience and grow their brand. Connect with her over on Twitter: @CalamusWorks or head over to www.CalamusWorks.com
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