Changing the language

A lot of marketing terms conjure up unhelpful imagery, especially if you’re striving to make a genuine connection.

Let’s take a look at some of them, and see how we can improve the language so it sits better.

The Hook / Customer Hook / How to Hook Your Customers

I can’t help but picture catching a customer with a fishing hook, and dragging them unwillingly to the surface like a fish! While that’s not the intention of the term, the feeling it evokes isn’t always useful when trying to think of ways to share your product or service. Plus, hooks are often used as click-bait or to shock. Methods we want to try to avoid.

You’re essentially trying to connect with someone, when you meet someone in real life you don’t connect with them by creating a hook to reel them in, you try to find common ground as a means of connection. So maybe we can instead say:

Target Audience / How to Target Your Customer

Whatever way you look at it, ‘target’ is not a jolly word. If you look up similar nouns you get:


No wonder it doesn’t make for good feelings! We could think instead of phrasing like the below:

More examples…

Persuade / Be persuasive

You catch my drift! Changing the language can have a profound effect on how comfortable you are with putting together your marketing material.

So next time you come across:

5 Hacks to be more persuasive!

.. for you it means

… and you can get on with finding ways to impress prospective clients 🖤


Looking through the lens of love

How differently does something look when looking at it through the lens of love? And what exactly does this mean?

To put it simply, when we create a social media post, a landing page, a flyer or some other marketing asset, are we considering whether we’d be comfortable with the marketing message if it was put in front of the eyes of someone we love?

Can we say with certainty that the message isn’t teetering on misleading, maybe a little pushy or (like some ads), deceptive? If we’re totally honest with ourselves and the message leaves even a little sour taste in our mouths then perhaps it’s worth a rethink.

I’m not being judgemental, I’ve made posts which didn’t sit well. This type of post is common and often born of desperation. We desperately want to share our gift but are unclear on how to do it, so we might come across the wrong way. People pick up on this and it’s a turn off.

Let’s think about how we can tweak our message so it leaves us feeling good and the audience feeling great.

I imagine a ‘love machine’, sorry, couldn’t think of a better name! We put our sentences in and a new sentence pops out after having had the love treatment.

sentence in…

…sentence out

Here is a simple example:

“Buy now at 50% off only until midnight!”

How might putting it through the love-machine alter it?

“We have a 50% sale which is ending soon and we’d love you to try our product.”

It’s honest about intentions (we’d love you to try our product), there’s no urgency or pushiness. It’s just nicer, isn’t it? This is a very simple example but you can see how the change of tone and language leaves you, the poster, feeling good.

Before every post you write, put the message through the love machine and see what comes out. It’s a lovely thought-experiment which gets easier with time. Available on the resources page.


Taking the ‘ick’ out of marketing

For some of us, there’s an underlying ‘ick’ behind marketing our own business. We can’t put our finger on it, but it feels somehow distasteful. I’ve met people who have used the word manipulative. It doesn’t have to be either of those things if we shift the way we perceive marketing.

I suspect this is something to do with upbringing and subconsciously held beliefs towards making money.

Ask someone to hand over their well-earned cash? Yuck.

But we’ve got an amazing product or service that customers will absolutely benefit from!

Still, we tip-toe around asking point blank for someone to take a chance on us because it feels down-right cheeky at times, and we weren’t raised to be cheeky.

Notice we have far fewer hesitations when it comes to bigging-up someone else’s business?

It’s SO much easier to sing the praises and ‘sell’ the offerings of a friend or family member. Because you’re not the one obliged to see it through. We encourage others more than we encourage ourselves and we’re far less critical of others as we are about ourselves.

But… if we truly believe in what we’re selling and it aligns with our personal values (most of which we’re not always conscious of which is sometimes why it’s tricky to know what they are)… then we’re doing less selling and more raving about something we’re in love with.

Much like the way new mums can talk with unmatched knowledge and enthusiasm about all the details of their new baby, detailing with amazing accuracy feeding times, naps, nappy changes and how many poos they’ve done today (guilty as charged).

They’re invested by love, and therefore everything they do, they do through the lens of love. A much nicer way to do anything.