If you’ve been to more than a few meetings in your lifetime, you will likely be able to relate to this scenario: a manager or department head starts talking about a project, indulging in corporate language and departmental shorthand. Everything he says is punctuated by industry terminology and office-speak shortcuts—and while he may be talking a lot, he is saying very little.
It pains us to say it, but what you felt in that meeting could be the response your website visitors are having every single day. While many attorneys and doctors are completely comfortable writing their own web content, they pepper their pages with jargon and in-language that only their fellow professionals will understand.
Should I Shy Away from Using Legal Jargon in My Marketing Materials?
There’s no getting around it: legal writing and medical writing are full of difficult terms and concepts that are challenging for the average reader to grasp. However, this doesn’t mean you should avoid using these terms on your website or marketing materials. By using jargon properly, you can demonstrate your expertise and create a rich, informative presence for your practice, allowing your clients to feel comfortable even before meeting with you.
Here are a few ways to make sure you are using industry jargon effectively:
- Be thrifty. You may have heard the phrase, “never use a five-dollar word when a fifty-cent word will do.” There are a few variations on the saying, but the message is the same: if you can speak plainly, do so. Remember: you’re not talking to other attorneys or doctors; you’re talking to people who need your help because you know things that they don’t. See the problem from their perspective, and write as if you are answering their questions in a way they can understand.
- Educate. Many professionals are so used to speaking in the language of their careers that they never stop to explain their terms, including acronyms and abbreviations. These may be easily understood by your peers, but your clients may have no idea what you’re talking about—and they’re not going to hire you if they don’t understand you. If you use an acronym, abbreviation, or technical language in your writing, think of it as a learning opportunity. Plenty of attorneys and doctors won’t pause to consider their audiences, and you can be valued as the one who does.
- Break it up. The goal of your online content is that it should be readable and easily understood. Even if you are taking the time to explain a difficult concept, your readers are going to get overwhelmed quickly. A long article on every facet of divorce law or medical malpractice makes for some pretty dry reading. Instead, break your content into smaller, topic-centered posts, such as who should get the car in a divorce, or explaining the difference between malpractice and wrongful death claims.
Our Free Audit Can Tell You How to Pick up the Clients You’re Missing
It doesn’t matter if we’re talking about content, search engine results, or targeting ideal clients, education is always our goal. In order to help you understand the truth about what works and what doesn’t in your marketing strategy, we offer a free website audit that allows you to see potential problems at a glance. Call us today or fill out our quick contact form for a free evaluation of your website.