In content marketing, the most cliche article beginning is to take a word and then type out the definition.
That said, “cliche” means “a trite, stereotyped expression; a sentence or phrase, usually expressing a popular or common thought or idea, that has lost originality, ingenuity, and impact by long overuse.”
It can also mean “anything that has become trite or commonplace through overuse.”
(Such as starting a blog with the definition of a word.)
Business owners and marketers of all kinds use cliche. Why? Well, it’s easy. It’s “right there.” You don’t have to think much (or really at all) to find it.
I was reminded of that today when I read this great article about how to “stop talking in cliches.” Below are some other ideas from our full-service digital and content marketing agency services that can help.
“Flip the Script”
When you first become aware that you’re using a cliche, it can be frustrating.
Even as you try to think of something else, your mind could come back to the original cliche.
As an exercise, think of a different way to say the exact same thing.
To use an example from my life, an old writing teacher of mine (who you may have seen a movie or two he wrote the script for) had advice for avoiding cliche characters: “flip them.”
So, if he had to write a small-town sheriff, the first thought was to make it a guy in his 30s. Instead, he made the character a woman, maybe a few years older than that.
The first character was something we’ve seen a million times before, the latter something more unique.
“What’s a more unique way to convey this?”
That’s a great question to ask to avoid cliche.
Of course, you don’t want to make something so esoteric and hard to understand that no one gets it.
But, in today’s marketplace, you can use pictures and video.
For an example, imagine that you’re selling gardening equipment.
“We have the best gardening equipment,” “the top-notch gardening stuff,” “best product for your money,” etc. – obviously, we’ve heard all of that before.
Now, you can show pictures and videos.
You could show a bed of beautiful flowers and caption it: “the result.”
There’s a real “show, don’t tell” to this. “Showing” is one good way to get around cliches. Another: be authentic.
The Solution for Cliches
If something actually happened to you or your business, it can’t be a cliche.
No matter how much it may seem or feel like a cliche, if it really occurred, it’s not cliche.
I’m not sure if this is included in any of those dictionary definitions I posted at the beginning, but it’s true.
Using customer testimonials, your own experiences with your products, goods, and services – that’s real. It happened. It occurred. By virtue of that, it’s the opposite of cliche: true.
For more help with getting your company out there authentically and so much else, you can reach our full-service digital and content marketing agency services at (888) 477-9540.