How to become fluent in six-year-old-ese, Part I

A powerful job description can be understood by a six-year-old.After reading last Thursday’s post, which posed the question, “Are your prospects as smart as a six-year-old?,” maybe you’ve started to fret over whether you’re talking to your ideal prospects in a way that’s easy to understand.

If you’re not confident that you’re keeping your message clear, clean, and compelling, use one or more of the following tools to make that message worthy of a six-year-old.

1. See if you can say it in 30 words or fewer.

This is useful because it forces you to ignore talking about processes and focus instead on the outcomes you create, i.e., what painful problem you’ll solve for them.

I’ve done any number of these under-30-word “sound bites” for my own business. I find the more I work with this tool, the more pointed, effective, and compelling my brief explanation gets.

An exceptionally powerful demonstration of the saying “less is more” is found in The Race Card Project.  Here’s what it says on the Project’s home page: “Think about the word Race. How would you distill your thoughts, experiences or observations about race into one sentence that only has six words?” When you check out this site, you’ll see just how much power, clarity, and emotion can be packed into a tiny, six-word phrase.

 

2. Appeal to their self-interest.

The easiest way to do this is to use a lot of “you” language in your marketing communications. That way, your prospect is able to read about her very favorite topic: herself.

3. Use active voice.

Yes, yes, I know: This sounds a lot like high school writing class. Regardless, you’ll do well to pay attention to this lesson, because it’s a great way to get your prospects to pay attention to you.

According to Dictionary.com, “When the verb of a sentence is in the active voice, the subject is doing the acting, as in the sentence ‘Kevin hit the ball.’” In passive voice, on the other hand, the subject is acted on, as in “The ball was hit by Kevin.”

In reading the above examples, it’s easy to see that the first is not only more powerful, it’s easier to understand and paints a clearer picture of what happened.

Which of the following testimonials would make you eager to learn more about the coach it was written for?

More money was earned by me as a result of working with her.

I earned more money as a result of working with her.

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These tools are simple to understand; unfortunately, they’re not always easy to apply. I challenge you to set aside just 15 minutes this week to review how you’re presenting your services to potential clients. Be ruthlessly honest with yourself in evaluating how many of the preceding tools you’re making use of and how effectively you’re doing it.

And be sure to check out this coming Thursday’s post, too, where I’ll share some more tools for creating an irresistible sound bite you can share with your ideal prospects.

By the way, thanks to Jinx! for posting the birthday-cake image in the Creative Commons section of Flickr.

 

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2 Responses to How to become fluent in six-year-old-ese, Part I

  1. Kelly says:

    Really cool concept for us to consider!! I’ll definitely have to incorporate this!!

    • Kathleen Mavity Kathleen says:

      Remember not to be shy about sharing your success stories as you incorporate your favorite aimed-at-a-six-year-old tools into your marketing messages, Kelly!

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