If you’re job hunting today, says The Savvy Networker‘s Liz Ryan, you can’t afford to let done-to-death, boilerplate language sink your resume like a boat anchor. Ryan advises "killing" timeworn, massively overused resume phrases such as:
- Results-oriented professional
- Excellent team player
- Superior communication skills
- Savvy business professional
Ryan recommends replacing those with individualized, specific narratives about ways you solved problems creatively in the past.
Since, according to Compendium Blogware CEO Chris Baggott, "Blogging is the hub of all your social media activities," it stands to reason you can’t afford to use done-to-death, boilerplate, overused advertising copy in your blog content, the likes of:
- Devoted to customer service
- Skilled technicians
- Competitive pricing
- Convenient location.
Instead, my advice as a trainer for business blogging would be to adapt Ryan’s resume advice to blogging, "killing" those canned phrases, specifically highlighting how your business is unique, and giving examples of ways you helped customers and clients solve problems.
Blog posts can engage readers by debunking myths and offering information designed to elicit a "What do you know!" response. Humorous speaker Todd Hunt’s newsletter taught me something I hadn’t known:
A CD from a stage show is not a sound track. It’s a cast album.
(Soundtracks are from movies.)
How does providing this tidbit help Hunt promote his speaking and book-writing business? Hunt’s topic for corporate presentations is improved communications using precise, correct English.
A second tactic for positioning yourself as a go-to guy or gal in your field is to "teach" in your blog posts, comparing unfamiliar, industry-specific information with something the average online reader knows and understands. Igloo Books uses that technique in teaching children about animals:
The saltwater crocodile grows up to 20 feet long. That’s about twice as long as a speedboat.
Business blog posts need to be more – much, much more – than mere online directories, providing "competitive advantage and helpful information for consumers", says Compendium. Business bloggers need to replace "boilerplate" with "concrete, visual stories that bring your power to life."