March 30, 2013

The language of your marketplace

you tube statsLearning the language the people in your market place use is a critical part of learning to craft offers and sell to them. If you don’t speak their language, they’ll instantly know they’re being marketed to by an “outsider.” They will consider you to be Walmart instead of their friendly grocer. Given that a savvy shopper spends more money and gives more consideration to  their grocer, you  need to learn their lingo, the language of their business. When you talk as they do, you’ll build an instant trust, a rapport, and have a much better chance of being let into their lives and their wallets, just like the friendly grocer.

How do you learn the lingo of a new market? How do you make sure you’re using the language that a market is used to? Here are a few tips and some resources:

Anytime you’re thinking of jumping into a marketplace, start by reading their message boards, forums and blogs.

  • These are the places where users, both new and old, come to discuss their ideas, problems and solutions in a carefree way. This is as close as you’ll get online to hearing a casual in-person discussion.
  • Unlike high-powered websites that have to filter their language carefully, on forums and blogs you’ll get the chance to really pick up the slang of a market.
  • Read these sites until you start to get a sense of how people talk. Anytime a word or acronym comes up that you don’t recognize, look it up.

Personal trainers and people looking for personal training speak different languages. If you are a personal trainer you’ll get more clients when you speak to them in their own words. My clients only just understand the concept of blogging. If I mentioned content marketing they’d give me the blank, glazed-over look. Sometimes the mere mention of blogging does that too…

Be careful in your observations – what you may think is a problem may not be. I recall getting sent a press release from a company marketing a hands-free baby’s bottle. They’d read that moms would like to do something whilst feeding their baby, multi task even…. They clearly didn’t talk to any real moms, or they would have sound found out that moms may say something but not actually want a solution, they like and know there is a need to hug their babies as they feed. That hands free bottles might be seen as dangerous never crossed the companies mind.

Two Things to Pay Attention To

There are two especially important areas worth paying attention to: A) How people express their problems, and B) How things are measured.

Take for example online marketing, the key phrases you may need to pay attention to may include: SERPs, unique visitors, CTR, backlinks, PR, nofollow, opt-in rate, etc. To an outsider, these words and acronyms may mean nothing. But if an outsider wanted to come in and “speak marketing,” these are also the most important words and phrases they’d need to learn and understand.

  • Figure out how a marketplace talks about their problems
  • Figure out how they measure their success.

Learn to use those words eloquently and you’ll be able to speak to the heart of your customer.

Read Your Competitor’s Sales Pages

Chances are your more successful competitors already have sales letters that are well written and crafted to the language of the market. Whenever possible I buy ready made sales pages to study. Some of my favourite blogs have been found when search for sales and landing pages to study.

Read these sales pages. Even if you’ve already read the blogs and forums, you’ll very likely pick up language that works specifically for selling to that market. The writer has already done the heavy lifting, all you have to do is sit back, read and adapt.

Print out your sales pages, grab a pen and start scrawling all over them.

  • What parts of the sales letter get you the most excited? – Highlight
  • What are the phrases, stories, emotions that your competitor’s using?
  • What acronyms and language stands out?
  • What images are used?
  • Where are the key messages?

Take the best parts and adapt them to your own sales pages. Be ruthless here.  Learning from proven winners can take a lot of work out of the equation and remember, you can copy their sales page but if you do you’ll not only look stupid but you might find their ideal prospect is not your ideal prospect.

Some additional reading you might like:

The Effect of Using Influential Power Words in Your Marketing

http://www.bethesdaemediamarketing.com5/29/12

Words have the ability to connect readers with emotions, savvy advertisers have been secretly (and not so secretly) influencing you by slipping these words into their marketing to create compelling copy.

How To Persuade With THE 4 Power Words

http://www.jmgroup.net2/3/13

When it comes to creating web content that generates leads, spurs phone calls and sells products, the toolbox of the writer is filled with but a few words that matter … certain power words that hold more sway over our decision

Speaking Your Customer’s Language | Online Marketing Giant

http://www.onlinemarketinggiant.com12/29/12

It’s not enough to sit in your office and dream up how you can better speak your prospect’s language. You have to get out there and rub shoulders with them.

Are you talking to me? | Sales Ecosystem

http://salesecosystem.net2/3/13

It is all fine to have the audience clear in your mind but if you do not know how to speak to them you might as well publish your content in a foreign language. You need to be speaking the language of your target market in all

And just for fun…

A Bizspeak Blacklist – Bryan A. Garner – Harvard Business Review

http://blogs.hbr.org3/21/13

Back when journalists were somewhat more fastidious with the language than they are today, newspaper editors often kept an “index expurgatorius”: a roster of words and phrases that under no circumstances (except perhaps in a damning quote) would find their way into print. Here’s such a list Hunt for offending phrases: Start looking for bizspeak in all kinds of documents, from memos to marketing plans, and you’ll find it everywhere. 

In short, read the forums and the blogs. Pay special attention to problem-words and measure-words. Read your competitor’s sales pages, take the best parts and adapt them to your own and then remove all the “biz speak”

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Sarah Arrow

Sarah Arrow started blogging to save a business and it worked! She created her first challenge back in 2007 and has turned Sark into a publishing business.

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