Just the other day, I was asked to review the beginnings of a business plan for a new online "product" for people like me -- psychotherapists, coaches and others who might have need for online assistance. The project -- which I can't disclose -- is fascinating. But I was stymied by the prose that was high on tech and low on touch.
My client gave me the opportunity to share my top-of-the-brain response. In short, if you're writing to prospects who don't know your specialty, stay away from the lingo. And:
It seems like your product may have benefit for me -- but there's too much else in front of me to weed through your information to determine if this is a must-buy item. I get all kinds of offers about all kinds of seminars, books, courses, classes and products on a daily basis. I need really compelling info to identify a high level of value to me and my business.
I am not an information technology person -- so lingo and phrases like intranet, extranet, field relevant, infrastructure, etc., zip right over my head. I want to know what this product will do for me, how it will be different than and/or better than the free and/or simple products I already use online.
I need lively and compelling language, both in the verbiage and in the name of the business itself. I need to get genuinely excited about your product.
I like short paragraphs. Some bullet points will help, too, so I can get a quick idea about what you're about.
Help me identify the cost we're talking about -- at least in a ballpark. I know what my budget is and what I can afford and can't afford. I need to know if this is product even reasonable for me to consider and how it matches with online resources that I already use or purchase.
Who are you? What kind of track record do you have? How can I trust you, especially when I don't speak the lingo?