Talk About Your Work...Like a Human

Since launching this blog, I've learned something. Well, a lot of things. But this one surprised me: I tend to talk about marketing like a marketer. A marketer talking to marketers.

Whatever profession you've chosen, you're in the same boat. You know too much about what you do. And that can make it hard for you to put yourself in the mindset of the people you're talking to...the people who don't know so much about what you do. And so need your help.

 ban buzzwords from marketing

it's hard to not use buzzwords to talk about marketing...or to talk about yourself in  your marketing

There. I've said it. Even for me, at least at the beginning, I struggled to talk about marketing...like a human, not a jargon-bot 3000.

For all my intentions to banish buzzwords and talk like a human, I was a recovering corporate-speak jargon-bot. And my early articles and social media posts showed it. So they attracted more marketers who love to talk marketing than humans who could use some marketing advice.

but buzzwords alienate the people who don't do what you do

If your goal is to be a thought leader in your space, to be of service to people who do what you do, then maybe buzzwords are the way to go. But for most of us, that's not the case.

Most likely, your work is most relevant to people who don't do what you do. They don't know nearly as much about it as you do. That's why they need you.

But when you talk about what you do, you talk like a jargon-bot. Not like a human who needs what you've got. So those real people you dream of helping can't connect with what you're saying, even if it might benefit their work.

Now, I love talking marketing with marketers. And it's pretty affirming to see that smart marketers find my ideas worthwhile. But they're not my dream clients. My dream clients are people who need my help. If all I talked about here was customer avatars and buyer's journeys and KPIs...no one I want to help would have any idea what I was talking about, or whether I could help them.

Marketing speak for marketers is not going to help my dream clients find me or get how I can help them. What's your version of marketing speak?

How can you talk about your work...like a human?

Well, first up would be to define exactly who you're talking about your work to.

If you're just starting out with a personal or professional blog, or if you've just launched a solopreneur practice, you're probably just starting to work out your ideas about who you're talking to and what you're talking about.

Don't pressure yourself if you don't have the answers just yet. A well-defined audience can emerge organically over time, or not. Either way, you'll learn and grow as a pro and a writer. {We'll talk about allowing your niche to reveal itself to you another time.}

However, if you're leading an established business, school, or nonprofit...and you need to grow, you have no time to lose.

You have got to be clear about who you're talking to. You've got to put yourself within their worldview, understand how they talk about the problems you're solving, and meet them where they are with language they understand.

A few simple things you can do right now...

If you know the buzzwords you should ban, ban them. Make a list.

Tack it to your wall. Hand it to your editor to keep you honest. Whatever you need to do to keep those words away. {Here's a banned business buzzwords list I helped create.}
 

Do a deep dive into the things your dream clients tell you.

If you have customer testimonials, notes on prospect meetings, or similar direct feedback from your dream clients, do a deep dive into those things. What do people say they're looking for when they first talk to you?
 

ask the market to tell you what's on their mind.

Track your dream clients on social media. Get out and network with them. Launch a survey. Do whatever fits your time, resources, brand, and audience, to gather real-life insights.

talk about your work like the humans who need you

It takes practice, but you can learn to talk about your work like the humans who need you do.

We're all trained to talk like jargon-bots as we perfect our craft. We think it's how we win respect from our peers and influence with the people we respect. We think it makes us sound legit, like we know what we're talking about.

But, increasingly, it just alienates the people we want to connect with most. 


are you struggling to connect with your dream clients?

It's not just you. Separating what's essential about what you do, and saying it in a way that your dream clients get, is hard. Because you're too close to it all. You know to much. With some help, you can get out of your own head and out of your own way, and know just what to say. 


ready for some more marketing advice? get it...