Ever skipped through a Terms of Service (ToS) agreement? Ever glossed over the amazing facts printed on some random box of electronics? Ever read the entire description of a business website and re-read five more times and still not understood a thing? Yes you have. You have many many MANY times.
Review and summarize your existing business language (jargon)
Look at your jargon. As a business you must’ve made hundreds of pages worth of it. Take a hard look at what you’ve created. It might’ve served you well in the past, there is nothing like vague and confused business talk to wow your clients with; but nowadays people just laugh at that. Take the time to review all that text you have on your website and all the business text that you feed your clients.
You don’t need to redo anything yet, that can come with time as you re-write these things over the years. For now take stock of what you have and how bad the situation is. Once done look at the most important pieces of text you have: the important parts of your website, your current ToS, etc. These you will have to address now.
Rewriting your ToS to make it understandable to the layman is a horrible and tenuous job, so don’t worry, like I said earlier you don’t have to worry about that just yet. All you need to do is take this ToS and summarize it. Find the most important parts, the ones the customers would want to know, and list them clearly. You can also make this process even better by using a friendly personable tone. Shifting the business language to a more approachable one will help differentiate your business from the thousands not making the effort.
Pretty simple right? Well, same goes for your website and your developers’ blog or update posts. All these changes will have a big impact on your business right now and will make your business just as good and attractive as the ones with a lot more money than you.
Change your approach for the long term
So you’ve summarized and spruced up the language from the cornerstones of your business: what now? Well now you have to look to the future, you cannot simply go back to printing this jargon again and making entire website pages saying nothing about nothing. You will have to change the way you approach your public facing documentation.
Simply save the newer ones for the larger part of your clientele, those who would appreciate text that is made to be understood, and keep the more complex pieces behind another name like: information for developers, or click here for the full unedited rundown of the features we’ve added and bugs we’ve crushed, etc.
In the end…
It might not seem like much, but taking the time to not seem ‘businessy’ to your clients and prospective clients can go a long way to building your individuality as a business. Plus, if you show pride in making things clear to your clients they will flock to you because you care to make things clear and easy for them. These archaic systems are of a past era of business, there is no reason for continuing on these practices seeing as no one but lawyers take the time to read them anyway. Make a change for the better, be different!
Photo Credit: davide vizzini / Letters / CC BY