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A Buzzword Never Made a Sale


Think outside the box, and it could be a real game-changer. It’s all about synergy, and a value-add that could shift your paradigm to proactively effect your social currency and personal branding. Are you ready for a new normal?

Apologies if the above paragraph made you sick. It made me squeamish to write. However, it helps to see buzzwords in action to understand how meaningless they truly are.

Use a keen ear on any TED talk or interview with a politician, and you may discover there’s not nearly as much to the ideas on-display as you thought. The captain of industry or, just as likely, the huckster with an idea he’d like you to pay for, wants you to think he or she is on the cutting-edge (there’s another one!) of a given market. But the fact is buzzwords exist because good ideas are hard to come by.

By and large, a buzzword is used to either misrepresent intention or, less nefariously, make something sound more impressive than it is. Consider the following buzzwords, and their actual meanings:

BuzzwordsContent Aggregation – taking another’s content, repackaging it, and presenting it as your own

Ideating – brainstorming

Data mining – researching and drawing conclusions

Bandwidth – availability

Value-add – benefit

Strategy – business plan

Synergy – who knows?

We use these words and others like them to make ourselves and those we’re speaking with feel better about our conversation’s subject matter. “Ideate,” for instance, just sounds cooler than “brainstorm,” more like something busy adults do as opposed to daydreaming school children.

Trouble results when you rely on buzzwords to sell your message. Please, by all means, talk of shifting paradigms and social currency and being proactive as much as you'd like. But make sure the fundamentals girding your jargon are sound, otherwise you’re not going anywhere important. Maybe you can put one over on a gullible audience that wants to hear a specific thing, but in time you’ll be revealed, and when you are, all the actual hard work you’ve invested goes out the window.

Don’t worry, everybody uses buzzwords. If you find yourself in a situation where you’re using a buzzword at the expense of a real idea, though, consider consulting professional content marketers like us. It's our job not just to present your information in the best way possible, but to clean up any underlying issues and ensure you always put your best face forward.

There’s nothing inherently wrong with buzzwords. They just can’t be all you’ve got.

Writing, small business, Small Business Tips, advice, buzzwords

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