Don’t use jargon with your clients if you want to communicate with them

This should be one of those Advice to Freelancers, but I think everyone should follow this rule. For some reason, whenever you get into a business of any kind, there is a certain amount of jargon unique to your job. It is sort of like a secret language that only you and your friends know, and it is fun to sometimes use it around others that don’t know what you are talking about. "Well, we tried using the USB, but found the Firewire was better for the 500 Gig G5," would be an example if you were using computers and hard drives.

Many people think that by using jargon it makes you look like you know what you are talking about when you speak to the great unwashed. And perhaps it does, if that is what you are trying to achieve. But if you are trying to communicate, rather than impress, all it does it confuse them. If they say, can you change the color on this print job, don’t say "Well, PMS 199 coated would look better on 100 lb cover," without letting them know what that all means.

And granted, sometimes I find myself falling into that pattern, and sometimes I will use jargon, but then I follow it up with and explication ow what it all meant.

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