One of my pet peeves from my years in corporate branding was the use of industry speak. Unfortunately, I see small business owners who are too close to what they do using industry speak in their marketing materials, on their websites and when they talk to clients this causes tons of marketing issues.
The result: confused clients and a failure to connect on an emotional level.
Here are 3 guidelines for eliminating industry speak from your marketing and improving your results!
1) Take the time machine back to before you were an expert. Did you understand what the most robust solution for superior market intelligence was? And even if you did, could you connect with those words? Did you know what a session or creation fee was or a five coat spot varnish? Did you know the difference between a lustre coat or linen
texture on a photographic print? I’m betting not. Take any technical jargon out of your marketing materials unless you are marketing to other techies in a business-to-business sales opportunity.
2) Try out a few words or phrases on people in your target audience before you finalize your marketing. Look for the lowest common denominator, a person who is a perfect fit for what you do, but has absolutely no prior experience or knowledge in working with a business like yours. Find someone who will be honest with you and tell you if they don’t understand the terminology you are using. They shouldn’t be a person who you talk about your business with regularly or who has any inside knowledge about your products and services. You want a clean, fresh mind that has yet to be exposed to what you do.
3) If you’d say it on a forum, message board, or in conversation with others who are experts in your industry or if you’ve read it in your industry trade publications, don’t say it in your marketing materials. We get close to what we do. We have to wear a lot of hats in small business. No matter how much you immerse yourself in education in your industry, make sure you differentiate what you hear when you’re learning and how you turn what you’ve learned into marketing messages your business.
Take a walk through your website and marketing materials. Are there words you are using that may be industry speak?
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