No, I’m not talking about “languages” in the true sense. I’m talking about the specific words and phrases that we use to connect with others.
When I have conversations with my teen who uses words like “lit” and “hit me up”, I feel the generation gap. There are specific terms, words, acronyms, and phrases that he and his peers use that makes sense to them – but that I don’t understand.
When I talk to my friends and family about my business, and use words like “conversions” and “landing pages”, they often get a distant look in their eyes because I’m using specific terms, words, acronyms, and phrases that they don’t understand.
When we’re not speaking the “language” of our audience, they tend to tune out.
They feel disconnected.
On the flip side, using terms, words, phrases and acronyms that your audience themselves use, will result in your audience feeling CONNECTED and INCLUDED in the conversation.
Your message will resonate with them if you use THEIR language.
Think about the last few social media posts that you commented on.
Most likely it was because the post-er was using language, phrases, words or acronyms that you, yourself, use, resulting in you feeling like that post resonated with you.
It made you feel like joining in the conversation.
One of the greatest compliments that I get from web visitors who land on one of my sales pages and enroll in one of my courses is, “I felt like you were speaking directly to ME on that page! I felt like you KNEW me!”.
And that is the art of connecting with your audience by speaking their language.
Using THEIR language on your sales pages, squeeze pages, emails, and social media posts will result in higher engagement and higher conversions.
EVERY GOOD CONVERSATION STARTS WITH GOOD LISTENING
To master the art of conversation – in-person or online – you must become a better listener.
Listening, in-person, requires the use of your ears.
Listening, online, requires the use of your eyes.
Get a small notebook, or create a simple spreadsheet, and start recording what you observe your target audience “saying” online.
What specific words are they using?
What specific terms are they using?
What specific phrases are they using?
Which specific acronyms are they using?
How do they describe their frustrations?
How do they describe their concerns?
How do they describe their desires?
Do you notice the repeated use of the word THEY and THEIR?
That’s because this exercise is all about getting to know THEM.
In order to speak THEIR language, you need to know the language THEY use.
And that means writing down the EXACT words, terms, phrases, and acronyms they use.
Don’t try to interpret what they’re saying.
Write down, word for word, what they’re “saying”.
WHERE TO “LISTEN” ONLINE
Researching your target audience’s language requires you to first determine where they hang out online, and then go there to observe and record their language.
- Join Facebook and Linkedin groups where your target audience is. Start by reading the posts, then reading the comments on each post.
- Search Instagram hashtags to find your target audience. Observe the language in the posts, the hashtags used (write those down too!), and review the comments.
- Search Youtube videos – look for videos your target audience would watch. Scroll down to the comments and start writing down the words, phrases, terms, and acronyms
- Search Amazon for books that your audience may read, then look at the reviews
- Search Quora for questions your audience may be asking, or answering
As you research each of the corners online where your target audience is hanging out, record your observations in your notebook or on your spreadsheet.
When you have lots of good data to draw from, highlight the patterns you see – the common words, terms, phrases and acronyms that they use.
HOW TO CONNECT WITH YOUR AUDIENCE BY SPEAKING THEIR LANGUAGE
As a course creator you’re constantly creating content – or you should be.
Whether it’s paid content (curriculum) for your courses or free content in the form of a blog post or Youtube video, you want to speak their language.
From the title of the Youtube video or blog post, to the copy on the sales page for your course, using the words, terms, phrases and acronyms that your target audience uses will engage them and draw them in.
They will feel like they know you (because YOU know THEM).
They’ll be more likely to comment on your social media posts, blog posts, and videos.
They’ll be more likely to join in conversations on your live streams.
And they’ll be more likely to become your customers and loyal fans.