Terms of service

Spend about 30 seconds looking through the page linked below. It’s a terms of service agreement for a photo-sharing website, and it’s pretty awesome.


What a novel idea – this company has chosen to write an agreement that human beings can actually understand! So you mean to say that their audience isn’t made up of 100% Harvard Law School grads? Who would have thought it?

My point in writing this isn’t to bash lawyers – I’m confident there are enough people out there handling that role just fine. And after all, it’s a lawyer’s job to write a buttoned up contract. Instead, the lesson learned here is this:

Consider who your audience is. Then communicate with them in terms they will understand.

In marketing terms, here are a few pointers:

Try speaking conversationally

Your audience doesn’t want to hear from a big company. They want to hear from real people – like you.

Don’t be wordy

They don’t have a lot of time to listen. Say what you need to say and include an opportunity for them to learn more.

Avoid making assumptions about what they know and don’t know

Just because you’re an expert doesn’t mean they are too.

Create a real representation of your brand

Let the design and tone of your communications reflect what you’re about. If you’re a hard-hat-wearing company, embrace it. If you’re not, don’t pretend you are.

Anything I forgot? Feel free to chime in below. Thanks for reading.

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