3.4: Speak Their Language

Ever feel that when you’re writing, your voice becomes a little different? As if you’re trying to make everything sound a little bit better?

Readers have a sensitive bullshit detector. They notice it quickly when a text sounds a tad too good to be true.

So how can you ensure your words resonate with your audience rather than turning them off?

It’s simple.

Sneak into their mind, and repeat their thoughts back to them. Use the same words they use. Speak their language.

For instance, many of us are tempted to use words like best-in-class, state-of-the-art, or industry-standard. But such phrases are probably rarely used by your target audience. They tend to use more precise words to describe why your product solves their problems. For instance:

  • This software was easy to use because I didn’t need to do any coding.
  • This course was great because the teacher gave personal feedback on all my assignments, so I learned exactly how I could improve my own writing.
  • Many ebooks go on and on with information that’s interesting, but not practical. This ebook was different. I could implement the productivity tips straightaway and I’ve noticed within one week that I’ve become less stressed.

While researching your audience, pay attention to how they describe their problems and notice how they describe your product or service. Use the same expressions you’ve seen in survey answers, reviews, and forums. Pay especially attention to the phrases that are used over and over again. Use the “copy and paste” method as much as you can because that’s how you’re sure that your copy resonates with your readers.

Are you writing for a technical, academic or specialist audience?

Feel free to use jargon because that’s the language your audience uses, too. If you’re writing for the general public, skip the jargon and use the phrases your audience uses. Because that’s when they’ll get your message. That’s when they feel understood by you. And that’s how you persuade them to sign up, join, download, or buy.