I have travelled a fair amount and now live in a different culture than what I was raised and one thing that is true wherever you go, some words mean different things to different people. Where I presently live, words I was raised to believe were swear words are commonplace among those who wouldn’t dream of saying what they thought to be swearing words.
The worst example of words with different meaning was a mission trip I organized for some youth to go to Scotland. One of the girls in our group had to actually change her first name for the duration of our visit because her name had a sexual connotation in Scotland and we didn’t want it to be a distraction. Silly, I know, but different words mean different things to different people.
I say all of that to say there are buzz words in Internet Marketing that should be avoided like the plague because of the connotations to some who have had bad experiences. If the goal is to “build your lists” with people from all over North America (and beyond) one needs to be careful how they present what it is they do.
Here is a list of 3 words that put off some people with a suggested word that says the same thing only differently.
1. Pyramid – Every successful online business has a residual income to it. Replacing the word “pyramid” with “residual income” makes it a whole lot easier for people to understand the concept of “signing someone up”. Lord knows that someone knows someone who was abused in a pyramid scheme somewhere.
2. Downline – Not a negative word in itself but it does give a sense that one is below another. What about replacing “downline” with variations on the word “affiliate”? Such as those whom you personally recruit would be your “first-line affiliates” and so on. “Affiliates” gives a sense that you are working together not that someone is working to make you rich.
3. Guru – It’s a given that in any profession there are those at the top of the food chain who have figured it out and are making a lot of money. Calling them a “guru” to your friends/prospects creates quite a distance between them and this “guru”. Simply replacing the word “guru” with the word “entrepreneur” means that we are all on the same journey, heading the same direction.
As you look into starting an Online Home Business you will also find that a sub-culture has developed with its own words like autoresponders, search engine optimizers and the like. It’s important to understand the culture BEFORE influencing the culture but also to understand the culture BEFORE introducing someone to the culture. And to do that you need to know what words mean what especially to the newbies (another new word).