Have you ever been stuck in traffic on the motorway, crawling past a line of cones and speed limit signs with 20mph on them? (If you haven’t, consider yourself blessed!) You probably found that, after a few hundred metres, you’ve switched off your mind and stopped paying attention to the roadside instructions? I suspect you have at some point.
But what if you were to pass one that looked like this:
Your brain got so used to seeing the 20mph signs that they soon became akin to wallpaper – something that’s there, but in the background. As soon as something unusual turned up, your grey matter fired to attention to take in the new information.
That’s exactly what you should be doing in business, because people buy people.
If you’re just a face in the crowd, you make it harder for them to spot you and, better still, buy into you.
Avoid the 10 Most Overused Words
The trick is to promote your brand with language that fires up people’s synapses, instead of sending them to sleep.
For instance, here’s a list of the 10 most overused words on LinkedIn profiles in the UK:
- Track record
- Extensive experience
- Wide range
- Communication skills
How many do you use?
Pick Up a Thesaurus
Alternatively, why not look for words that are more precise in their description of your brand? Words that will sound more engaging when they hit people’s ears?
For instance, instead of just saying you’re ‘approachable,’ why not say you’re ‘cordial’, ‘courteous’, ‘big-hearted’ or ‘gallant’? (When was the last time you heard that?) Or instead of saying you’re ‘creative’ how about saying you’re ‘visionary’, ‘inventive’, ‘original’ or ‘imaginative’? Instead of being ‘effective,’ why not be, ‘artful’, ‘deft’, ‘adroit’ or ‘expert’?
They’re certainly not 20mph.
Better still, try and think of a metaphor for what you’re saying that will really bring your brand to life in people’s minds.
A woman in one of my workshops once said, “So instead of saying I’m energetic I should say I’m like Tigger.” Exactly – I mean… you wouldn’t forget her in a hurry!