Are you using insider language?

By danieldukes
Cover of Book Everyday English

This is one of my favorite parts about beginning to work with a new company. Often just having someone outside your organization read what’s on your website gives enormous benefit. It’s because outsiders are uniquely able to spot insider language quickly.

Whenever you’re speaking to clients or customers, or writing copy for marketing material, it can be tempting to simply speak about your business or products the same way you speak to a co-worker, or in a company memo.

This comes naturally, but causes unnecessary difficulty in communication with anyone outside of the organization, and often people inside as well.

Overuse of insider language (like abbreviations, acronyms, product names that aren’t clear, etc. industry-specific terms) is the sickness you don’t know you have until someone from the outside points it out. It all seems correct until someone from the outside points it out.

How to Leave Insider Language Behind

Put on your customer hat. Every day.

Ask yourself if there’s anything in the way you’re communicating that needs to be explained further. Customers resonate with what they can understand easily.

If it’s a small product line, an event, or even a company name that makes no sense as an acronym it’s going to be better to use the full version.

Take a look at your website, or your latest marketing piece.

Can you understand everything on your site quickly if it was the first time you’ve ever been to it?

Be conscious of insider language when speaking and writing to outsiders, and while making your marketing materials or redoing all the wording on your website. your customers will thank you.

Free Website Checklist

Get a Better Website

Schedule a Meeting