Now, before you go into an outrage over that quasi-controversial title, let me explain. Today’s post is about industry jargon and why, if I could, I’d toss the word ‘authenticity’ into the trash.
Not because being authentic isn’t valuable; it’s the most valuable thing you can be.
My beef lies with the word and how it’s tossed around like glitter on New Years Eve.
Have you ever read this company description?
I help people be their most authentic self in their life so that they can live their truth, and find happiness.
Um, excuse me for a moment, but What The Hell Does That Even Mean?!?
Guys, a baby monk seal dies every time you describe what you do in vague and overused language.
A baby monk seal!
Now, I know we don’t have any intentional killers in the house, but I see it so often that sometimes I wonder.
Jargon happens because you are exposed to overused language all the time, and because you haven’t distilled your value and your specialty enough to be specific about how you communicate it.
Think of it like a distillery, you need to keep running what you do through a process until you’ve come to the clearest, purest, most poignant description of what you do. 190 proof, baby.
So let’s look at that universal business description – I say universal because I’m about to show you how the essence of what it is (be yourself, live with purpose, be happy) can be specified.
I help people be their most authentic selves in their life so that they can live their truth, and find happiness.
Let’s say you’re a Weight-Loss Coach who specializes in nutrition. It might look like this.
I help women understand their unique body chemistry so they can embody their ideal physique, eat what they want, and feel damn sexy doing it.
How about a Business Coach? It might look like this.
I help entrepreneurs cut through the noise, do business their way, and experience the financial success to live the lifestyle they choose, not one that’s chosen for them.
Why don’t we try a Massage Therapist who specializes in active adults. It might look like this.
I help active adults release muscle tension, understand what’s causing it, and offer techniques to maintaining a mobile body so that they remain healthy, strong, and injury free.
Now those could be even more specific and personality infused.
Personality infusion is the basis for stand-out communication.
When you use jargon, you’re basically saying, please don’t look at me, leave me in the slush pile.
You’re not saying that; I know you’re not.
There’s a reason why, in marketing the Natural Marketing training I hosted, I never once used the word authentic – even though natural marketing is based entirely on authenticity.
I didn’t use some derivation of authentic because nobody really knows what it means. How do you do it? Where do you get it? What does it look like?
It’s too vague.
Instead I said, just in the title – Natural Marketing: How To Earn More, Online and Off, By Bringing You Into Your Messaging
Authenticity is implied, and the benefit is clear. That is specific language. (Sidenote: I’m running an encore of that training this Thursday, grab yer seat here)
I could wax on about a ton of other jargon, but the foundation remains the same.
The thing that makes jargon comfortable and therefore common is that it’s recognizable; people sort of know what box to put you in, but when you use terminology that’s unfamiliar (hello Natural Marketing), it’s your job to hook them in and explain the benefits of what you’re talking about.
You only fall back on overused language because you haven’t figured out how not to. You don’t have the formula or the process to distill and communicate what you do into something that stands out, demands attention, and compels action.
But just because you don’t know how, doesn’t mean you can’t learn how. It’s a skill, this message mastery.
Specific language takes more effort and thought, but at least you’re not being glossed over by glazed eyes who have read some form of the word authentic a hundred thousand times.
Grab their attention, and deliver the reason to stay.
Less jargon, more personality.
That’s what great messaging does.
You can do it too.
I can help.
It’s a 6-week course designed to make you a clearer, more confident, more compelling writer. You’ll understand the processes behind great copy, so that you can rinse and repeat, getting better all the time.
You are valuable, and what you offer is needed in this world. It’s time to jump off the jargon train, and give people a reason to stand in line for your ride.
This Ninja musing comes to you as part of the September Word Carnival, where every month a group of small business Carnies (owners) gather round to share their – often hilarious – wisdom about business and life. This month’s Word Carnival explores jargon in depth across a variety of industries, but one thing’s for certain: there’s no double-speak here, just on-the-money advice for anyone tired of flim-flam Check out the other Carnies’ posts here. Links go live Wednesday