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The Language You Use Matters (More Than You Think)

 

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by David Garland in David's Blog

The Language You Use Matters (More Than You Think)During our interview on RISE this past week, the Founder of Social Media Examiner, Michael Stelzner, uttered one of my favorite lines I’ve heard during an interview.

Michael’s site, Social Media Examiner, has gone from $0 to over $1,000,000 in revenue in less than one year and features a star-studded cast of over 50 content creators that contribute to it, as well as a super solid event series all centered around helping businesses “navigate the social media jungle.”

But here is something VERY interesting. Unlike many other digital publishing platforms in his industry which call their websites “blogs”, Michael calls Social Media Examiner an online magazine.

I asked Michael why he made this decision. Was it on purpose? What was he trying to convey?

And (as expected) the decision he made was a conscious one. He said: “I’m a believer that language matters and you want to choose words people understand.”

Wow. Think about that for a second.

Michael went on to talk about how a magazine is something that all businesses understand and that is his target market (and we all know some folks still think blogs are for kids in skinny jeans talking about feelings and Justin Bieber). And, a magazine also describes what they are doing. Meaning, rich content that is as relevant tomorrow as it is today (as opposed to quick news updates). He is setting the expectations and then delivering.

This is exactly the same reason that I’ve branded “RISE” a show as opposed to a blog or video blog. Nothing wrong with those terms of course and I’m not blasting either one, but I wanted to convey a message to our community. People know what a show is and there are expectations associated with it. Blog or video blog (in the case of RISE) makes less sense.

Bottom line? The language we use to brand ourselves is important. Be it how you describe your publishing platform if you have one, your product, your service, you. And of course you also have to deliver on that promise.

Perhaps we should rethink the rhyme “Sticks and stones will break my bones but words will never hurt me” and start using language to our advantage.

Thoughts?

 

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