The Power of Words

DeniseMMDeniseMM subscriber Posts: 6
edited March 2007 in Marketing
As some of you know I teach some marketing teleclasses and on some of those classes we spend time tweaking copy - it`s fun and really revealing because often by the end of our 90 minutes together people say I had no idea that changing just one little word can make such a BIG difference. Since Journalism was one of my majors way back in college I learned to be something of a wordsmith. I love words and I find the meaning and origins of words fascinating - and they can make a huge impact on your marketing message.I`m a member of an online network that`s focused on virtual assistants (virtual admin) and one of the things I noticed is that a lot of the VAs use the word "partner" to describe the business relationship with their clients. I felt that wasn`t the best word to use.  I think they do that because they want to avoid being cast into a subservient secretarial role.  That`s what the four VAs I asked told me anyway.To me - when I hear the word "partner" I think of someone who shares in both the financial risks and financial rewards of a business and I wouldn`t be looking for that. They might say something akin to, "We partner with you."  Here`s another one, "We`re NOT just a virtual assistant...we`re YOUR business partner."  (I didn`t make these up - I got them from VAs.)  How do you feel about the word "partner" in that context? Am I crazy or what?What about other words have had a big impact for you in your business either positively or negatively?All the best,Denise Michaels, Author, "Testosterone-free Marketing"


  • LisaLLisaL subscriber Posts: 0
    Perhaps they`re using "partner" to further their professional standing. I can see the reasoning behind it. And I think it`s subtle.That said, I don`t necessarily want a "partner."
  • DeniseMMDeniseMM subscriber Posts: 6
    There are a whole slew of words that are known to be great words to use in marketing and selling.  Jay Conrad Levinson author of the best-selling "Guerilla Marketing" series of books for small business owners calls them "Magic Words - Tragic Words."  So "magic words" are the ones you`re supposed to use and "tragic words" are the ones you`re supposed to avoid - unless you`re mentioning the competition (and folks only mention competition in a generic way - never point fingers).  So Magic Words are ones like:
    Amazing, Breakthrough, Yes, Easy, Free, Secret, Discover, Love, Convenient, Proven Winner, Agree, Happy and others.
    Tragic Words are ones like:  Buy, Obligation, Contract, Death and others.
    I have a whole list of Magic Words and Tragic Words that I`ve gleaned from Levinson and other.  Maybe I should post them here...
    All the best,
    Denise Michaels, Author, "Testosterone-Free Marketing"
  • DeniseMMDeniseMM subscriber Posts: 6
    Hi Lisal:
    See, I`m with you on this one.  I have a marketing mentoring client who`s a virtual assistant and we went over some of her copy that she has online in VA referral sites like and she had that word "partner" in there.  I`m glad you`re saying this because some of the other VAs were really defensive and possessive about considering a change to that word. 
    I told my client I think you increase your professionalism with your demeanor, the way your handle yourself, your website, having a professional looking picture, your rates - all those things.  I mean if you call yourself a "partner" and then you don`t have a half-decent site and in your picture you look like you`ve been dealing with three screaming kids all day - I REALLY don`t want to "partner" with someone who looks that unprofessional - and that might be a shame because she might have great skills.
    When I mentor a client I`m helping them with their marketing strategy and selling skills - but I sure as heck don`t see myself as a "partner." 
    I often look to create joint venture partnerships with people - in other words lets work on this project together - and then we`ll share the revenues that come out of it.  (It`s a little more complex than THAT - but that`s the gist of it.)  Even then it`s very clear that we`re only partners for this particular project or venture.
    All the best,
    Denise Michaels,   Author, "Testosterone-Free Marketing"
  • patentandtrademarkpatentandtrademark subscriber Posts: 103
    I`d like the list sent to me - off line.
  • DeniseMMDeniseMM subscriber Posts: 6
    Y`know James, I`d like to know if there`s anything you contribe that`s positive to these forums?
  • patentandtrademarkpatentandtrademark subscriber Posts: 103
    You said you had something to post.  I asked you to send it to me.  That is not positive because .......?  Somebody needs a vacation.
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