Buzzwords become buzzwords because they strike a cord. While they’re hot, phrases like “win-win,” “think outside the box,” “convenient location,” “free consultation,” all make the advertiser appear to be on the “cutting edge.” But what happens when you are using a buzzword past the expiration date?

You lose clout and become part of the incessant background noise and not the hype buzz you’d wanted. Attorneys, for example, are egregious over users of the phrase “free consultation.” It is hard to think about other ways to impart this benefit—especially if you are using pay-per-click or other advertising with limited space, but when you do find other ways to invite people “to learn more about their rights for free” results will increase.

Your advertising is supposed to make you stand apart and tell the story of why you are different. It should not make you blend into the crowd because you are mimicking other competitors. Attorneys are very good at looking within their own industry and following the lead of the big dogs-the problem is it creates an environment of sameness, almost inbred advertising.

If you are going to use a buzzworthy term, be the first to do it so you set the standard. Look to other industries for a fresh approach. Better yet, stop writing “ad copy.” Really analyze who you are and what you do best. Make sure it matches the reality of what your clients like about you, then find a way to include words that your clients use and understand. And make sure you monitor your ads to avoid “ad fatigue”—change them based on what you learn works best through your testing. Online ads need more updates, but television ads can and should run for a longer time frame.

We all want to be different, but actually having the guts to do it is another thing. Are you up for being truly buzzworthy by creating your own path?  

Author: Jeanne Frazer heads up The Expert Speakers, a group that provides marketing, management and motivational speakers, writers, coaches and mentors with expertise in all facets of marketing and management across numerous industries for events, seminars and workshops. Frazer is also president of vitalink® a creative + strategic marketing think tank, and strategic partner for Lawyers Marketing Agency and Catalyst Group, Inc.  Jeanne may be reached at [email protected] or 919.850.0605.