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August 27, 2013

“I hate the word EPIC!”

epicscrabbleI came across a blog post recently with the title, “19 More Reasons Your LinkedIn Headshot May Be an Epic Fail.”  And I laughed out loud.

Epic?!  It might have been a well-written, thought-provoking post (I never actually read it), but Epic?!  There’s nothing epic in any way, shape or form about LinkedIn head shots.  The Bible is epic.  Super Bowl XVI between the Forty-niners and the Bengals was epic.  Star Wars is epic.  But LinkedIn head shots?  C’mon…

According to, “epic” is defined as “heroic; majestic; impressively great.”  Even their slang definition is “spectacular; very impressive; awesome.”

Not in a long time has a word come along that is so used and overused.  It’s now to the point of being silly!

Here’s why I bring it up… be careful how you describe something – exaggeration lessens credibility.

When your website boasts something like, “we’re the top qualitative experts in the industry…” your readers are asking themselves, “Really?!  Says who?  And compared to what?”

Forget the superlatives (unless they’re coming from your clients!) and use language built on feature – benefit – advantage.

  • Feature: what you do/what you sell
  • Benefit: what your clients gain by buying what you’re selling
  • Advantage: why they should care

So back to the ‘qualitative experts’ example… what you might say instead is:

  • Feature: We are qualitative research specialists.
  • Benefit: We have hands-on experience with more than 10 different qualitative methodologies.
  • Advantage: That means we can recommend and deliver the absolute best qual method for your project and not pigeon-hole you into a limited choice.

See the difference?

When you skip the hyperbole, your words become much more believable and credible… and you build a competitive advantage that your epic, awesome, incredible competitors just can’t match.

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