Humanize Your Language

Unfortunately, I had reason the other day to visit a small law firm’s website.

They’re trying so hard to sound personal and personable, yet it’s so clear the lawyers couldn’t resist the temptation to go over their marketing copy.

It’s not the elastic language I mind: it’s no secret that your mileage may vary in law, finance, or medicine. What rankles is the marketing pitch that sounds like it was written by robots trying to assure humanity of their good intentions. Service isn’t a verb except on the stud farm.

It’s hard to write your own marketing copy because you want to tell your own story, but the real trick is to fit into your customer’s story.

That takes empathy, creativity, and practice. But, when you really want to sound human, try this:

  • File your first draft: it’s your story as told by and for you. Then re-write it from the perspective of the person you’re trying to serve.
  • Use nouns that sound human. Clients are people too, my friends.
  • When in doubt, use verbs that are synonyms for help or serve. (And they’d better not be clumsily repurposed nouns.)

Finally, before you publish, read your copy aloud. You’ll do yourself — and the people it’s for — a service.