What we’ve got here is failure to communicate.
—Strother Martin as Captain, Cool Hand Luke
Would you buy a product or service that you didn't understand?
Organizations and individuals hire me because they are not communicating their messages clearly and effectively to others.
Based on the description below, do you understand what this company does? Be honest.
What about this one?
Now, how about this report description?
Don’t worry. I don’t either—and I wrote a book on platforms. I could keep going but you get my point. We can at least take solace in the fact that we are not alone in not knowing what these jargon-laden descriptions mean.
Albert Einstein famously said, “If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough.”
Truer words have never been spoken. Today the business and technology landscapes are littered with confusing, jargon-laden language such as the description above. (Here’s another doozy.)
Terrible and confusing language is everywhere these days. Look around the web and read a company’s raison d’être such as the one above. Go to a conference and listen to most speakers. Read many professionals’ LinkedIn profiles and you’ll quickly get my point.
Why is this the case? Who knows?
Call it the curse of knowledge. Call it the desire to sound as sophisticated as possible or to attract funding from venture capitalists.
Buzzword-heavy company descriptions and mission statements never helped a company sell a single thing.
Call it whatever you like, but ultimately it doesn’t matter. The effects of nonsensical, buzzword-heavy company descriptions, website copy, and mission statements aren’t difficult to understand. They leave many employees, customers, prospects, developers, and partners scratching their heads. Think about it. Why would you or your organization possibly buy products and services that are impossible to understand? To be sure, a clear message doesn’t guarantee anything: a healthy sales pipeline, robust user growth, interest from developer communities, multiple job offers, etc. By the same token, though, confusing terminology will certainly decrease the odds of a successful outcome.
I help software vendors, consultancies, and other organizations and individuals clarify their messages to the outside world. While no one can guarantee specific results, I promise that one or two things will happen if you heed my advice. First, if it is currently muddy, I will make your message simpler and easier for others to understand. Second, even if I find nothing “wrong” with a your company’s or individual message, you will be more confident that you’re being as clear as possible with prospective employees, customers, partners, and developers.
What It Is
- A communications exercise
- A four- to five-hour evaluation of your organization’s website and its general message. After I evaluate your site, I will then provide a 15- to 20-page document that lists the ways that its message could be clearer. My comments and recommendations are both specific and general.
- A one-hour conversation (yes, on the phone or Skype) to discuss my findings. We will cover specific examples of unclear or confusing language as well as what you can do to improve your message.
What It Isn’t
- A branding exercise
- A comprehensive review of hundreds of blog posts
- A proper SEO audit
- A grammar lesson
- Ongoing support for all future communications, although I’m certainly open to those independent arrangements
Before we connect, it’s important to determine if we are a good fit. Please read this short page to make sure that we are on the same page before we go too far down the aisle. I’d also recommend checking out my rates.
Note that will I promote the blog posts, articles, and white papers I write on social media channels in a reasonable fashion. Also, I will respond to comments for my pieces as my schedule permits.