Connecting With Your Audience – Speak Their Language

Have you ever worked for, or known someone that has worked for a company where they used a ton of acronyms? Or perhaps they used words that meant something totally different outside the organization. It’s frustrating, and confusing to outsiders. Now imagine how your readers must feel if they don’t understand an acronym or word/phrase that you use? Scary thought huh? Let’s take some steps to avoid this and connect you with your audience. Here are four tips that will help you along the way.

1. Don’t use acronyms, but if you MUST, do this…
I realize that not everyone lives online like I do. I cannot tell you how many times in my career I’ve been asked “What does SEO (Search Engine Optimization) or SMO (Social Media Optimization) means.

See what I did there? I didn’t assume that everyone knows what SEO or SMO stands for. If you must use an acronym, spell it out for your readers at least the first time. If you like, go one step further and link to its definition.

2. Think of your audience
How does your audience speak? Do they have a tendency to talk a certain way? Do they like certain things?
Example: Say you’re a DIY (Do It Yourself) blogger who runs a lot of tutorials. Do your readers prefer a text step by step guide? Do they prefer images to go along with each step? Or do they really enjoy a short video clip of how you actually did it?

3. Learn by example
If you know your audience pretty well, you can easily find other blogs that your readers follow. Take a look at those blogs and see what speaks to you as an observer. What catches your eye? What do you like about what you’ve read that you could incorporate into your own blog posts?

4. Let an outsider read your post(s)
Whether its a relative, friend or colleague, have them read your post as an outside observer (much like you did in #3). Ask them to identify parts of your post that may be considered confusing or verbiage that is difficult to understand.

Taking a few extra steps can be all the difference in gaining a reader or losing them forever. Connect with your audience from the start and you’ll have loyal readers for many posts to come.

Have you had any difficulties connecting with your readers?

Stay tuned, the next post in this series we’ll talk more about connecting with your readers!