If cursing is aligned with your brand voice, those who don’t like it can self-select themselves right out the back door. Let ’em riot.
Weekly email archives and occasional extra words that don't have a home anywhere else on my site.
If you’ve met me in person, you know this: Ya girl’s got a mouth on her.
(Pretty sure I was a sailor in my past life.)
I sometimes throw a naughty out during client calls, and my texts to my own mother are peppered with sPiCy LaNgUaGe. (To my delight, she curses a bit now, too!)
I’ve even used some mild swears in client work. (But obviously, I’m not going to be dropping F-bombs in copy that doesn’t merit it or where cursing isn’t aligned with a client’s brand voice. I’m not an ogre.)
I’m lovingly (?) referred to in the StoryBrand Guide Slack workspace as “Rage Worthy,” and folks have come to expect some degree of saltiness for me.
I’ve also been gently chastised by my certification overlords for my colorful vocabulary a few times. You just never know.
What’s your reaction when you see a swear word in somebody’s marketing?
Do you get spicy in your own content? When is it okay to do so?
Do you curse in your everyday life?
🙃 Do you have pearls you regularly clutch?
🙃 Panties you must regularly unbunch? (I hate the word panties. Blech.)
When I put this question to my LinkedIn connections a few months ago, responses ran the gamut:
“I work with and write for financial planners/advisors, accounting firms, bank executives, attorneys, business consultants, and other professionals.
“For their audiences, a bit of spice can work well to add interest or emphasize an important point. I use it like a pinch of cayenne pepper…rather than a ghost pepper — something to loosen the collar, not dance naked on the board room table. 🕺”
“There is no need — one should be able to express oneself without the use of profanity.”
“A few well-placed swear words make me so happy!
“I would do whatever your ideal audience does. If you’d rather pick up clients who love to express themselves in EVERY possible way, let ‘er rip!
“If she were still here, my mother would be horrified at my “behind the scenes” language. Sorry mama! 😂”
“If you’re trying to help people know who you’re for and who you’re not, your language choices (including the spicy ones) make that a LOT clearer.
“If you don’t like it, unfollow or block. No one’s requiring that you connect with everybody.”
That last one is a great reminder: Content that offends someone isn’t necessarily offensive.
I say if cursing is aligned with your brand voice, those who don’t like it can self-select themselves right out the back door. Let ’em riot.
What say you?
P.S. A 2017 University of Rochester study concluded that people who swear are actually smarter! Consider me Stephen Hawking. 🧠
F-S: Reserved for rest