WHY Does Inclusive Writing Matter for my Business?
The short answer is: maybe it doesn’t. If you’re one of those people who is fed up with worrying about being “PC” or “woke” or whatever the kids are calling it these days, then, it probably doesn’t matter for your business. Chances are though, if you’re reading this, you have some awareness of how respecting the power of words could make your business better. Meaning: your business, your services, your products— even YOU— personally, could be much more attractive to potential clients. Let me give you an example. Have you ever belonged to one of those Facebook parents groups? Like a specific one? “Queer Parents of (insert city)”, “Active Single Parents of X”…ok, even pet parents’ groups: “Frenchie Parents of X”…anyway, you get the point, and I'm sure you could apply any special group you've been a part of. Do you know what the most common discussion threads tend to entail? That’s right—recommendations for certain businesses, products, and services that make these group members (and and their loved ones) feel safe, seen, welcomed, and cared for.
Here are a few random excerpts from groups that I have been a part of in the past:
“Does anyone have a recommendation for a Pediatrician who is more savvy when it comes to inclusivity? We were not happy with the gendered language our last doctor imposed on our kids. Furthermore, the forms we had to fill out did not even apply to our family (we are not a “mother/father” family).” —Queer Parents of X
“ISO (in search of) personal trainer or gym with trainers who are inclusive and trauma informed when it comes to working with non-binary teens? My kid really wants to get back into a fitness routine and potentially try out for school sports again one day, but definitely needs some help to get back on track after enduring some unfortunate physical trauma. We haven’t had much luck with this yet…thanks!” —Parents of LGBTQ+ Kids
“ISO pet sitters for our 2 French Bulldogs for approximately 3-4 weeks out of the year for personal travel. We need someone who understands the special Frenchie “nuances” (paying attention to over-heating, breathing, and do’s and don’ts for joint health). We are open to home sitters or professional boarding services.” — Frenchie Parents of X
(Full disclosure: I am a Frenchie parent. And yes, we are that high maintenance.)
What’s the pervasive message here?
“ISO X who acknowledges, welcomes, and understands [fill in the blank]…me, my kid, my dog”
And how do we know that these providers, business owners, caregivers “get” us? Well, quite simply— they use the rights words!
How do we steer clear of the others? We ask for alternate recommendations when these businesses, providers, etc., offend us or make us feel othered/unwelcome (and tell the world of social media about our unfortunate experiences).
You know what would be a lot more efficient than your prospects searching for and then joining a special group on social medial (waiting to be accepted into the group), posting a question, then combing through the maybe 10’s—100’s of answers from strangers whose opinions may or may not hold the clout they're looking for?…which requires yet more research on your potential clients’ part? There’s got to be an easier way, right?
I guarantee, there is. Bring your prospects directly to you. No hearsay, no game of telephone, no social media group politics. How? Put the right words in front of them from the beginning. Your mission up front and center. Heck, a simple picture of someone/something they may be able to identify with on your homepage could do the trick.
And about a hundred other ways…depending on exactly what your business and your clients need from you. There’s no cookbook. But together, we can determine and focus on the perfect recipe for you and the clients who need you the most. Let's get to work.