Good Girl With the Mouth of a Sailor

123 replies
Hey Warriors!

I have a debate I want to open up with you. Okay I'm a good girl, right? As far as you know anyway LOL.

But I grew up golfing. With retired military men. I shoot the shit. I cuss. I laugh at crude jokes. I TELL crude jokes.

So in my info products, I sometimes use phrases like "kissing ass" or for example, I use an example of an adult website URL but in a funny way (not real).

I got scolded by a great customer today for that - and so I refunded her, sent her a clean version I created quickly, and apologized and then put the clean version in the with crude version with a READ ME FIRST note so they'll know which one to choose based on their preferences.

I want to know:

1.) Should I do away with ME and tone everything down?

2.) Should I keep being ME - and give them the option of reading a G rated Tiff product?

3.) Or should I say "tough" and be ME no matter what?

I know I won't do #3 - I personally like the second option but I wonder, could THAT even hurt me?

I know that many of my customers are Christians. I am a Christian too - but I'm not perfect. I do cuss, etc. I don't get offended very easily and in fact PERSONALLY I like reading info products, blogs, etc where people are laid back and themselves - crude or not.

What say YOU, Warriors?
I respect your $0.02

Tiff the Potty Mouth Marketer
#girl #good #mouth #sailor
  • Profile picture of the author Michael Ellis
    Well, I would normally say just be yourself, but if you're marketing to a religious crowd, it might be best to turn down the heat. But I must say, the thought of selling a profanity-laced ebook to a bunch of Christians takes balls, which is respectable in itself. LOL.

    You might want to offer a an PG and R rated version.

    Here's a sales letter example for you from another Warrior (.X.) that tells it like it is:

    THE AFFILIATE BLACK BOOK

    my 2c
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    • Profile picture of the author Floyd Fisher
      Well, at least you have a name for yourself.

      Gary Halbert was a potty mouth too, so I guess you're in good company.
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      • Profile picture of the author Martin Luxton
        Tiffany,

        We are not just "one" person when it comes to speaking/writing because we are social chameleons.

        Register is very important in our interactions with other people.

        Who you are talking to and in what situation usually dictates how we speak.

        Would you swear at a funeral?

        Would you swear in front of your boss if he was conservative?

        Your cussing on the golf course was normal for the place and the company you were in but maybe not for an internet business.

        Then again, if you want to be the real Tiffany, that's fine but you must be prepared for people to be offended. You just have to learn how to handle it.

        Kevin Riley's answer is probably one of the most useful because he lives in a country where people are still very much conscious of social convention and boundaries whereas in the west we often ride roughshod over them.

        Martin
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        • Profile picture of the author Paul Myers
          Tiff,

          Joke 'em if they can't fake a tuck.

          Be yourself. The people who don't want to deal with you will leave, and you'll be better off. (So will they.) The people who see themselves in your speech will know they don't want to deal with someone like you, they want to deal with you.

          Most people won't care, but they'll be happy to know who you really are.

          In any case, you win! And so do your customers.


          Paul

          PS: Ignore Fred. He's a kid.
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  • Profile picture of the author Jeff Williams
    Surefire way to fail: Try to please everybody.

    I say do your thing. Be yourself. The only thing you are not allowed to be on the Internet is boring. So $#%@ 'em if they can't take a joke.

    Or, to keep with your military and religious background ... "Kill 'em all and let God sort them out"

    -Jeff
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    • Profile picture of the author Ken Strong
      Tiffany, I'm curious what brought this on now -- ONE customer complained and you're thinking of re-working your whole approach? Or have you had a lot of complaints?

      Having to make two versions of everything seems like a lot of unnecessary work -- I'd say if people are offended, that's their problem. Like Jeff said, trying to please everybody will drive you insane and make you poor.
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      • Profile picture of the author TiffanyLambert
        Originally Posted by KenStrong View Post

        Tiffany, I'm curious what brought this on now -- ONE customer complained and you're thinking of re-working your whole approach? Or have you had a lot of complaints?

        Having to make two versions of everything seems like a lot of unnecessary work -- I'd say if people are offended, that's their problem. Like Jeff said, trying to please everybody will drive you insane and make you poor.
        Ah no. One customer - I offered the others clean versions and 1 other one accepted it.

        It just made me - okay damn it. It hurt my whittle feelings. I hate being scolded by people I like and I like this lady - she's cool! I'm always overly sensitive with criticism but before I go changing shit permanently, I think it over and ask people like Warriors to see if I'm in one of those "my way or the highway moods - or if I'm genuinely right (or wrong).

        I'm one of those people that when my husband's in a bad mood - even if it's because of traffic - it makes ME a nervous wreck until he's happy again. It sucks being that way.
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      • Profile picture of the author Devon Brown
        Originally Posted by KenStrong View Post

        Tiffany, I'm curious what brought this on now -- ONE customer complained and you're thinking of re-working your whole approach? Or have you had a lot of complaints?

        Having to make two versions of everything seems like a lot of unnecessary work -- I'd say if people are offended, that's their problem. Like Jeff said, trying to please everybody will drive you insane and make you poor.
        What he said! I completely concur.
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  • Profile picture of the author fred67
    If you pander to the thought police you'll end up like our British society, where virtually every innocuous phrase is met with horror and condemnation. I can't understand why you'd even WANT such customers. I would have thought that honest, ethical, normal people would have been your target market.
    If you go down the 'pandering' route you'll only lose your 'bread and butter' customers just because you've tried to appease the very small minority who think they've got to 'control' everything we say.

    Do you ever see Mark Joyner tone down or apologise for his way of speaking or putting his point accross? I sense a bit of de-ja-vu here, but you know what I mean :-)

    Just be YOU Tiff.
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    • Profile picture of the author yves
      Originally Posted by fred67 View Post

      If you pander to the thought police you'll end up like our British society, where virtually every innocuous phrase is met with horror and condemnation. I can't understand why you'd even WANT such customers. I would have thought that honest, ethical, normal people would have been your target market.
      If you go down the 'pandering' route you'll only lose your 'bread and butter' customers just because you've tried to appease the very small minority who think they've got to 'control' everything we say.

      Do you ever see Mark Joyner tone down or apologise for his way of speaking or putting his point accross? I sense a bit of de-ja-vu here, but you know what I mean :-)

      Just be YOU Tiff.
      Er, don't quite know what you mean there. Apart from the News on the telly I don't think Britain has a problem with coping with profanity in any shape or form.

      Tiff, if you have had plenty of succes with your writing style and putting your true personality into it then why fix it if it's not broken. Saying that you did have a wee complaint so, if I was you, I'd just tone it down a little. Surely even christians appreciate a bit of honesty.

      All the best.
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  • Profile picture of the author LB
    Based on your example...I say keep being "real". Someone who's offended at such a slight thing is probably looking to complain.

    You'll probably find that by being yourself you'll actually be more successful.

    I wrote a blog post about a similar thing not too long ago: Hatemail=Profit | BunkFree | Success Blog

    Unless you're being overtly offensive (which you're not) I wouldn't sweat it. I get plenty of hate mail and even death threats from some of my sites...and they're pretty tame- I just hold a very strong opinion.
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    • Profile picture of the author T.I.M.
      Personally I swear and when I see an ebook or video and the person swears I feel a better connection with them... unless they're trying to be over the top in doing it then it's just ridiculous.

      The term "kissing ass" I don't believe would even hit my radar as it's pretty tame. If it's just one complaint so far I wouldn't worry about it and refund and clean version was fair thing to do. And some of the top dogs in the IM niche have pretty loose lips LOL.
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      • Profile picture of the author TiffanyLambert
        Originally Posted by CuzinTim View Post

        Personally I swear and when I see an ebook or video and the person swears I feel a better connection with them... unless they're trying to be over the top in doing it then it's just ridiculous.

        The term "kissing ass" I don't believe would even hit my radar as it's pretty tame. If it's just one complaint so far I wouldn't worry about it and refund and clean version was fair thing to do. And some of the top dogs in the IM niche have pretty loose lips LOL.
        Me too!! That's what I told her.

        I've always been abnormal. I was the tall, tan all legs chick on the golf course back when most women golfers...um weren't.

        I was a headbanger Motley Crue loving rock girl who looked like a goody two shoes cheerleader.

        I look innocent, and I am (mwuahahaha) but I have a potty mouth!! And me too re: ass - it wasn't even a bad word in my book. lol
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        • Profile picture of the author T.I.M.
          Originally Posted by TiffanyDow View Post

          Me too!! That's what I told her.
          Ha ha. Well for me I was raised by my Grandma who talks like a trucker. Like in school I would have friends come over and they see this sweet looking lady drop the "F" bomb and they were like WTF!

          Thinking it over now w/ the internet having acronyms in them and fcc ratings on tv and radio being looser it's far more acceptable today than ever if you ask me.

          As far as marketing to Christians, well they're human too. Rock out with your potty mouth LOL.

          Edit: Ya know what, sometimes you need to use swear words to get your point across and other words will not do. Sometimes "get your but in gear" won't cut the mustard.

          EDIT: I love the 2 posts right above me!
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          • Profile picture of the author Kevin Riley
            Anyone who's talked with me on a personal level - like Craig Desorcy, James Allen, James Brown, Ken Leatherman, John Rogers, Elmer Hurlstone, Michael Brown, John Mann to name a few - know that I have a very harsh vocabulary. Hey, I grew up on a ranch and worked in construction. To me, the F word is a noun, verb, adjective, adverb, and has a few more uses in the English language.

            However, I am often appalled at the language in IMer's products. I just don't find it professional. And Tiffany, that includes the term "kissing ass". In a gritty interview or a special report, it could belong - but not in a product.
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            • Profile picture of the author Kay King
              Tiff - As for your "options"

              1.) Should I do away with ME and tone everything down?

              2.) Should I keep being ME - and give them the option of reading a G rated Tiff product?

              3.) Or should I say "tough" and be ME no matter what?
              They are all wrong because they all are focused on "me, the marketer person" rather than on "you, the customer". You will never lose a customer because you DON"T use WTF, kiss ass or similar terms.

              kay
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              I'm going to work on being less condescending. (Condescending means to talk down to people)
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              • Profile picture of the author Jagged
                Hi Tiffany,

                Tough call, really is....

                I'm like you in the way that...I hit the golf course & the cuss words and off-color jokes run rampant.....I worked construction all my life....I had a mouth that rivaled Richard Pryor & George Carlin....that's me...i'm comfortable with that...

                But...

                At home, in front of the little ones...or at my grandmothers house....do I act or talk like that? Hell no...

                Know your market...
                Respect your market...
                Understand what works for one...will not work for another.....act accordingly.

                Me personally....I like the "Tiffany Dow Unleashed" version, but it's not about pleasing me...

                JMO,

                Ken
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                • Profile picture of the author Nightengale
                  I think Kevin Riley and Kay King are right on the money.

                  Quite frankly, I think people's OPINIONS are completely irrelevant. I think the key is to look at this from a business perspective.

                  You're building a business and while you definitely want to inject your personality into your business, I think it's important to remain professional. Cussing and swearing is not professional (or ladylike). If you want to use them while you're talking, that's up to you, but would you do it if you were talking to a group of prospects and customers? And as Kevin says, there's a difference between using swear words when you're talking, but do you really want to put out products with swear words in them?

                  Putting out two different products (a G-rated version and an R-rated version) is completely unecessary extra work.

                  And Kay made a key point: You might lose a customer because of those swear words. But you'll never lose a customer because you DIDN'T use swear words.

                  Someone else made a good point too: many, many people claim to be Christians and a good portion of them don't know the meaning of the word. If you're a Christian and choose to let your customers know that, be aware that your language will reflect negatively on your faith for a certain portion of your customers, whether you see it that way or not.

                  What you choose to do it up to you. I just think it's important to be very aware of how it's perceived by your prospects, customers and other business associates (affiliates, vendors, etc.) and act accordingly. (I am NOT advocating hiding your faith or conducting yourself or your business activities in ways which go against yoru faith for business reasons.)

                  I worked with a Web designer for many years who openly declared her Christian faith on her Web site. I really admired her for being so open. However, it's not something I would choose to do simply because things happen in business and you'll always have a customers and situations which aren't so good. Things happen. That's life (and business). But when those things do happen, even if it was completely out of your control, an honest mistake, etc. it will reflect negatively on your faith. And one rogue customer could really go to town with it.

                  For that reason, I choose to take Mary Kay's advice (of Mary Kay Cosmetics) and keep my faith separate from my business.

                  Michelle
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                  • Profile picture of the author Ken Strong
                    Originally Posted by Nightengale View Post

                    Quite frankly, I think people's OPINIONS are completely irrelevant.
                    That's correct -- it's whatever WORKS best for Tiffany.

                    Cussing and swearing is not professional (or ladylike).
                    Sounds like an OPINION to me...

                    Depends on how we define "business" and being "professional." I mentioned George Carlin earlier; obviously I don't think Tiffany should start talking like him, but Carlin was a professional and he ran a business.

                    I think many in this thread are defining "business" too narrowly -- where you wear a suit and tie and adopt a conservative, sober persona if you want to be taken seriously. While that version of business still applies in many cases, I think online marketers have a lot more latitude than traditional businesspeople.

                    Also, several people in this thread are warning Tiffany that public cursing reflects badly on her as a Christian... although Tiffany has stated in this thread that she's a Christian, I don't believe she advertises that as part of her marketing, so it's not really relevant to this discussion (Tiffany, correct me if I'm wrong on that).
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                    • Profile picture of the author ExRat
                      Hi Tiff,

                      I think all of the answers combined give you your answer.

                      If I can be allowed to speculate - what I think you hinted at OR what I think might be the case (between the lines) is that you DON'T want to lose this person's business and that she might even have sway with other customers of yours.

                      As many have mentioned, you also don't want to stop being yourself, for your own pleasure - but also from a smart business standpoint.

                      I agree with one or two posters that have said that to offer two versions is not a good solution. At the least it's putting a seed of doubt in peoples' minds by suggesting that you are capable of being an imitation of yourself. I would guess that people who buy your products/read your emails will feel that part of the deal is that they get the real you.

                      So I would agree with those that say that you should drop the slang/curses, and replace it with even finer use of the language carefully written to have the same impact - Myers style.

                      And perhaps it would be a smart move to announce this to your customers/subscribers. Tell them that the dilemma caused you some angst, because you wanted to continue to be the real you (for your and their benefit) but after consideration you felt the best course was to avoid offending those who were offended by it, simply by becoming an even better writer and training yourself to replace the offending words with non-offending ones, but with real care to avoid losing emphasis and quality.

                      Surely this resolves the issue (with no casualties on either side), clears up any possible misunderstandings or worries, enhances your skills and most of all - proves that you care about your customers and emphasises your professionalism, whilst also showing that you are down to earth and want to stay that way to continue to 'connect' with your readers?
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                    • Profile picture of the author TiffanyLambert
                      Originally Posted by KenStrong View Post

                      Depends on how we define "business" and being "professional." I mentioned George Carlin earlier; obviously I don't think Tiffany should start talking like him, but Carlin was a professional and he ran a business.

                      I think many in this thread are defining "business" too narrowly -- where you wear a suit and tie and adopt a conservative, sober persona if you want to be taken seriously. While that version of business still applies in many cases, I think online marketers have a lot more latitude than traditional businesspeople.

                      Also, several people in this thread are warning Tiffany that public cursing reflects badly on her as a Christian... although Tiffany has stated in this thread that she's a Christian, I don't believe she advertises that as part of her marketing, so it's not really relevant to this discussion (Tiffany, correct me if I'm wrong on that).
                      No you're right - I don't advertise it. I don't normally discuss it - the only reason I brought it up here is that it was mentioned by the customer that it was offensive to Christians. I think it could be offensive to anyone - regardless of religion.

                      I love how you talk about the definition of business being so narrow. I do love the freedom I have online - to connect in a different way that a print author has. I develop a real connection with SO many on my list. I mean I truly do - not just saying that. I email back and forth with them (ask anyone) and they email me when they're having personal trouble, etc. And I really do care and I offer a shoulder/ear, help where I can, etc. I share MY personal stories that are totally irrelevant to business, too - because it's PART of my strategy - to connect to my list as friends. It comes natural to me and it's WHY I love this industry.

                      Maybe that's my Achilles heel - I'm seeing them as friends when I email and not "customers." I get sassy and silly and let my guard down. I'm really glad this customer felt brave enough to call me out on it. That took guts, I know.

                      Anyway, thanks to everyone in this thread who has sounded off - whether I responded personally to you or not - I appreciate it and heard each individual voice loud and clear. Because so many people thought 2 versions was ridiculous (no one was in favor of that really), I compromised. I slightly cleaned up my original - took out the URL but left a couple of things. I made sure it was still me. But it's safe enough to pass muster with the tough crowd of critics, too.

                      Can't say I'll always come out clean though.
                      tiff
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                    • Profile picture of the author Nightengale
                      Originally Posted by KenStrong View Post

                      Sounds like an OPINION to me...
                      Point taken. Yep, that WAS an opinion. Well, at least the part about being ladylike...

                      And my entire rambling about Christians and profanity were my observations too. I only brought it up since Tiffany mentioned her customer had brought it up.

                      I heartily second everything Michael Oksa is saying. "Exactly!" Professionalism is paramount. You can be you and be unique without using profanity. (Yes, my opinion.) I'm not criticizing Tiffany personally (all of us on the WF respect Tiffany), but as a writer, I, too, feel that profanity is generally a lazy stand-in for more creative terms. It DOES take work to find alternative terms to express the same thought and slant for what you're trying to say WITHOUT using profanity. (I'm bad about this too and often struggle to use more creative terms to express what I'm trying to say.)

                      Cheryl Hines,

                      An ex-Mennonite? I never expected to see any Mennonites on the WF! I'm not Mennonite and never was, but my dad's family is and it's a big part of my heritage. I just never expected to have THAT in common with a Warrior!

                      Michelle
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                • Profile picture of the author Jason Moffatt
                  I say FUGGEM!

                  I tend to get the same emails, or calls occasionally. I understand where they are coming from and respect their opinions and beliefs, but I don't alter mine to accompany theirs.
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                • Profile picture of the author Michele Miller
                  Aw Tiff, I feel your pain. I swear a lot. I do try to keep it out of my business though, and the most I would say is probably the word "crap", but the words you used, "kissing ass" wouldn't be offensive to me, but to some people.....

                  Put it this way, if you don't swear, you will keep everyone happy, and if you do swear, you'll always wonder if you offended anyone. (I'm talking about your business here, not your personal life). God knows I couldn't stop swearing completely. If I had to put a dollar in a jar for everytime I swear in my own personal life I'd need to find a five gallon bucket so that I could empty it out every day, a jar just wouldn't cut it.

                  I followed that link to the ittybiz site, and I laughed hysterically at the tattoo story, I must go back and read more.

                  Take care,

                  Michele
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                • Profile picture of the author Wakunahum
                  I think marketers should use whatever language they want.

                  If it's too foul, crude, sexual, gross, etc., they may suffer the consequence of losing out on some sales.

                  But hey maybe someone doesn't care about the potential lost sales and just wants to be themselves which is fine.

                  If I happen to be offended, I guess I'll stop reading/buying.
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              • Profile picture of the author Ken Strong
                You will never lose a customer because you DON"T use WTF, kiss ass or similar terms.
                Maybe I'm just playing devil's advocate here, but I think this statement is too general.

                While technically correct (obviously nobody is going to tell you they unsubscribed because you never use the phrase "kiss ass" in any of your copy), is it possible you could lose some people by smoothing off too many edges to your personality, thereby making you harder to distinguish from the dozens of other IM lists they're probably on?
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                • Profile picture of the author Colin Evans
                  Hi Ken,

                  I can't see what cussing has to do with personalities. I know many people who don't cuss but they have wild, devil may care personalities.

                  I don't mind either way, but in my opinion swearing/cussing is a conversational crutch.

                  I fall into the "if you don't swear it won't offend those who do" category and so I try to watch my language especially in my products. Although I have been known to drop a few clangers from time to time...


                  Originally Posted by KenStrong View Post

                  Maybe I'm just playing devil's advocate here, but I think this statement is too general.

                  While technically correct (obviously nobody is going to tell you they unsubscribed because you never use the phrase "kiss ass" in any of your copy), is it possible you could lose some people by smoothing off too many edges to your personality, thereby making you harder to distinguish from the dozens of other IM lists they're probably on?
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                • Profile picture of the author TiffanyLambert
                  Originally Posted by KenStrong View Post

                  Maybe I'm just playing devil's advocate here, but I think this statement is too general.

                  While technically correct (obviously nobody is going to tell you they unsubscribed because you never use the phrase "kiss ass" in any of your copy), is it possible you could lose some people by smoothing off too many edges to your personality, thereby making you harder to distinguish from the dozens of other IM lists they're probably on?
                  Damn it Ken! Just as I was starting to weaken and cave you go and become the devil's advocate and make sense about it all.

                  To some, swearing is juvenile, lacks class, shows an immature vocabulary etc. I think you all know I'm competent with my verbiage. So to me, the use of it is for impact like I said before. And it's natural - it's the real Tiffany Dow. I get a lot of compliments for my "real" emails, etc. People feel like they know me - and they do.

                  UGH I have no clue right now. Looks like 50/50 for and against toning down in here. But it DOES make me worry about that 50% I might be alienating either way.
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            • Profile picture of the author Nigel Greaves
              Originally Posted by Kevin Riley View Post

              Anyone who's talked with me on a personal level - like Craig Desorcy, James Allen, James Brown, Ken Leatherman, John Rogers, Elmer Hurlstone, Michael Brown, John Mann to name a few - know that I have a very harsh vocabulary. Hey, I grew up on a ranch and worked in construction. To me, the F word is a noun, verb, adjective, adverb, and has a few more uses in the English language.

              However, I am often appalled at the language in IMer's products. I just don't find it professional. And Tiffany, that includes the term "kissing ass". In a gritty interview or a special report, it could belong - but not in a product.
              I have to say I agree with you Kevin. I'm no prude, and can use language appropriate to the conversation to say the least, but I wouldn't dream of using bad language in a business context. Maybe that's me but I believe the majority of people would find it "jars" them and distracts from the message you're trying to get across. It also leaves an impression you may not intend or want to make.

              Let me give you an example of what I mean. About a year ago I bought a WSO from Naomi Dunford and was stunned at her language. She's a talented and witty writer who doesn't need to use obscenities but in that product she allowed it to get in the way of her message. So much so that when I read her name or her sites name I immediately think "obscene language". A shame because, as I say, she's a very talented writer but in that instance she conditioned me to think of her in one particular way that persists even a year later.

              Nigel
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  • Profile picture of the author TiffanyLambert
    To clarify - I laughed about a Warrior member who used biggadong.com as a URL example - I talked about a perk of a product being anonymity - like for people who prefer to get a plain brown wrapped box instead of one from biggadong.com. Other stuff was mainly kissing ass, etc. Get your ass in gear.

    This customer is a great customer of mine. Even if she was new, I always want to please everyone - I'm a woman! LOL

    Oh there i go being un PC again.
    tiff
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  • Profile picture of the author peter gibson
    Tiffany, check out IttyBiz. Naomi has done quite well and she swears more than I do after I've stubbed my toe. You'll really like that blog - if you haven't already heard of her.
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  • Profile picture of the author ryanstreet
    I would say be "YOU" as well. You cannot please everyone no matter how hard you try.

    Don't be someone you're not, because not only will you not be true to yourself, people will eventually find out about it, and their trust will be violated and you will lose them anyway.

    Would you rather:

    Lose a few now with a questionable mouth?
    or
    Lose everyone for being a Fake?

    I hope this helps.
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  • Profile picture of the author slvrsrfr
    Originally Posted by TiffanyDow View Post

    Hey Warriors!

    I shoot the shit. I cuss. I laugh at crude jokes. I TELL crude jokes.
    hey tiff,

    you had me at "i shoot the shit..." i love it. personally i think this is your usp. and if people don't like it well f@#k 'em

    seriously though, it's part of you and what adds flavor and personality. so i'd choose option 3. but that's just me.

    and sometimes 20% of our customers bring us 80% of our problems. and maybe we don't need customers like that.

    jason
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  • Profile picture of the author crystalq
    I think tone it down for the net, only because this is business.

    There is so much I would really love to say but I keep it to myself,
    I don't want to end up like PerezHilton LOL.

    But hey, look at the Rich Jerk.
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    • Profile picture of the author fred67
      Originally Posted by crystalq View Post

      I think tone it down for the net, only because this is business.

      There is so much I would really love to say but I keep it to myself,
      I don't want to end up like PerezHilton LOL.

      But hey, look at the Rich Jerk.
      You just used the most 'obscene' words you could EVER use on the net = Perez Hilton!!

      So go wash your mouth out now :-)
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  • Profile picture of the author JackPowers
    I like to read info thats straight to the point and no bullshit. It works for me. It's motivating and gives you the feeling that you're talking to one of your mates.

    But I am man and I know that women don't respond that well to cussing
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  • Profile picture of the author John Taylor
    Tiff,

    While I admire your ability to deal with a single issue..
    Originally Posted by TiffanyDow View Post

    I got scolded by a great customer today for that - and so I refunded her, sent her a clean version I created quickly..
    I wonder if you've considered that, by responding that
    way, you are encouraging an "entitlement" attitude?

    Are you going to create a UK version because some
    dumbass from over here doesn't like the way you yanks
    can't spell?

    Can you do an A4 version to suit European printers?

    What if someone with eyesight problems asks you for a
    "large print" version?

    While you are giving these folks, nice as they may be,
    what they think they're entitled to.. you're losing money.

    Not only that but you're training them to expect the
    rest of us to pander to their every whim.

    Quit now damnit!

    John
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    • Profile picture of the author TiffanyLambert
      Originally Posted by John Taylor View Post

      Tiff,

      While I admire your ability to deal with a single issue..


      I wonder if you've considered that, by responding that
      way, you are encouraging an "entitlement" attitude?

      Are you going to create a UK version because some
      dumbass from over here doesn't like the way you yanks
      can't spell?

      Can you do an A4 version to suit European printers?

      What if someone with eyesight problems asks you for a
      "large print" version?

      While you are giving these folks, nice as they may be,
      what they think they're entitled to.. you're losing money.

      Not only that but you're training them to expect the
      rest of us to pander to their every whim.

      Quit now damnit!

      John
      LOL good point John. I think what made me even stop and consider it rather than just refund her and apologize was that I know my list has a lot of "Christians" on it - but I don't know the stats exactly - I just recall talking to people and them mentioning it.

      Maybe they're like me - Christian with a twist. LOL Or maybe they're not religious at all. I don't specifically attract that demographic as a niche or anything.

      But you're right - I got your point loud and clear. And I heard you cuss - at me - yikes!
      Tiff
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      • Profile picture of the author fred67
        Originally Posted by TiffanyDow View Post

        Maybe they're like me - Christian with a twist. LOL Or maybe they're not religious at all. I don't specifically attract that demographic as a niche or anything.
        Christians come in all shapes and sizes, including Christians who genuinely don't know the meaning of the word.

        It's certainly not Chritian to try and 'control' another person, especially another persons 'choice'. that's where they seem to fall into 'hypocricy' rather than genuine 'faith'.

        Just a thought :-)
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  • Profile picture of the author J Bold
    Out with the negative, in with the positive. You MUST focus on the positive and most of the time ignore the negatives.
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  • Profile picture of the author TelegramSam
    Dear Tiffany,

    I could follow the herd and say "be yourself", "if they don't like it then f*ck em" etc. etc.

    However that would be totally wrong. Not because the above advice isn't correct, but because you are asking the WRONG crowd.

    The only peoples' opinions that matter in this situation are your customers' opinions.

    Ask them. Or figure it out by testing. Don't ask a bunch of opinionated warrior forum members, who all have the best of intentions for you, but at the end of the day, aren't paying your bills.

    So, what would your customers prefer?

    Sam
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  • Profile picture of the author skeedio
    I think offering two versions will only confuse users and give you unnecessary work, so I'd suggest toning things down.
    While I believe it's important to be yourself to enjoy this, I think cleaned up versions appeal to more users.
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  • Profile picture of the author John Collins
    Hi Tiff -

    Just bought your WSO http://www.warriorforum.com/warrior-...le-review.html and I noticed in the zip 2 versions a clean one and a crude one. I read the crude one and enjoyed it. Didn't unzip the clean version. You gave me a choice and a laugh. I bet many in the audience you don't want to offend do the same thing. Great guide by the way.

    I don't know how everyone will react. I think it's more about the value of the content than the language. Some of the greatest authors have language in their books that make you look tame. To me words are just words, nothing more. People judge them, classify them and see them as clean or crude or totally unacceptable. I'll keep reading regardless if it's written by - Pious Tiffany The Good Girl or Tiffany The Sailor or Tiff The Potty Mouth Marketer. How about just be Tiff.
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    • Profile picture of the author TiffanyLambert
      Originally Posted by John Collins View Post

      ...I'll keep reading regardless if it's written by - Pious Tiffany The Good Girl or Tiffany The Sailor or Tiff The Potty Mouth Marketer. How about just be Tiff.
      Thanks John I will!

      Originally Posted by Paul Myers View Post

      Most people won't care, but they'll be happy to know who you really are.
      Paul Always sage advice Thanks for letting me know it's okay to put Fred on ignore to. LOL (j/k Fred)

      Originally Posted by Anna Johnson View Post

      Question: did you get the customers you already have by being yourself... or by being someone else?
      Hi Anna! By being myself - but I have tamer moments so no telling how they came onboard LOL

      Originally Posted by Vince Runza Online View Post

      Where is TinkBD when you need her? She's another gal that, in person, will serve up strong language. Her online marketing presence, however, is pure as the driven yellow snow...
      I love Tink! I emailed her recently Didn't know she was a fellow dirty mouth. Ah, I see Tink's reply now - good things to consider, Tink!

      Originally Posted by Sissy76 View Post

      Good customers do more than just buy from you, they refer others to your products and interact with you in a positive manner - they most certainly aren't pains in the arse. Someone who compels you to write a g-rated version sure seems like more of a pain in the arse than a good customer to me.
      Good point Sissy! This particular customer didn't ask me to refund or whip up a new copy. I did that on my own. She's a good customer I believe and she was truly trying to clue me in for MY well being - at least that's what I got out of it.

      Originally Posted by cashcow View Post

      Tiff - you are a girl after my own heart. Yes, even though I look like a librarian in my photo, I too, have a potty mouth! In fact, if I bought your product that had 'cussin in it, that would probably make me like you even more. I'd probably want to buy your next product just for the entertainment, but also because I know you put out a quality product (which you do). Lee
      See me too! I feel that connection too....

      Originally Posted by Kay King View Post

      I agree with "be yourself" but don't be your lowest self. I love humor in things I read online - but if it's crude it must also be witty. Otherwise, it's just another potty mouth substituting F for brains:rolleyes: kay
      Ahh see I don't consider it low. It just is what it is - a part of me. It's the light-hearted me.

      Originally Posted by Jenn Dize View Post

      I have a couple of your products and don't recall being turned off by anything in them, but if I had been offended I doubt I would have said anything to you -- just quietly not purchased again. Could there be others who are doing the same?
      Thanks for the insight Jenn - I hear ya.

      Originally Posted by JohnMcCabe View Post

      I've read several of your products, and truth be told, I never noticed your "salty" language. Whatever was there was part of the natural flow, unlike some of the less-talented comedians around whose 30-minute set would be 3 minutes long if you eliminated the F-bombs. Or the myriad "Rich Jerk" wannabes who believe the key to his success was being crude.
      Exactly...it feels natural...I'm not doing it for shock value.

      Originally Posted by JohnMcCabe View Post

      And since you bring up golf, Tiff, it reminds me of a framed cartoon that used to hang in the pro shop of a course I used to play. It showed a stereotypical Japanese man dressed in a wild golf outfit. The caption read, "I learn a new game in Amellica called 'Ah Shit'" Back then it was funny, and people understood it was poking fun at golfers in general. Nowadays, the course would be shut down for 'hate speech', I'm guessing.
      LMAO!!! Never saw that one but I get it!!

      Originally Posted by JohnMcCabe View Post

      The woman who didn't like your language - does she own any of your other products with similar language? If she does, and hasn't complained before this, what's different about this product compared to her previous purchases? Maybe this one was a little saltier than normal...
      That may be it. Maybe I was in a mood when I wrote it. lol

      Originally Posted by globalpro View Post

      ... the question becomes 'how do you resolve being a Christian and using profanity?'. The Bible is clear concerning coarse words and jokes. This isn't supposed to be part of a Christian's life.
      Hi John!

      Good question I have a very close relationship with God on a personal level. There are some very personal reasons I won't go into that explain why I am NOT a fan of organized religion (church, taking the Bible verbatim etc). There is also a very personal reason why I am a VERY strong believer - as in absolute - nothing could shake my faith ever. I do not think I'm going to hell for using cuss words. But that's MY belief I know people could debate the cussing day and night. I can only say that I feel differently

      Originally Posted by Michael Oksa View Post

      The customers who don't mind "salty" language won't be tuned off if you don't use it. But those who DO mind it may be turned offf if it is there. (Hope that makes sense)
      Thanks for the input Michael. One thing you said I always get confused about - several people have said cussing is a lazy shortcut or something? It's just a word - shortcut? I don't get it. I hope someone can explain that better. I'm a very competent writer - I am not saying things like, "I'm not someone's launch bit" to take a shortcut - I'm saying it to paint a picture.

      Most people have heard the use of the word "bitch" in that manner - meaning making someone work for you like that - so it's a way to explain it. It makes for more concise wording that's more powerful to me than me saying, "I won't join up on someone else's launch just because they tell me to." If I read the two sentences, launch bitch makes more of an impact on ME personally...
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  • Profile picture of the author Adrian Cooper
    Originally Posted by TiffanyDow View Post

    Hey Warriors!

    I have a debate I want to open up with you. Okay I'm a good girl, right? As far as you know anyway LOL.

    But I grew up golfing. With retired military men. I shoot the shit. I cuss. I laugh at crude jokes. I TELL crude jokes.

    So in my info products, I sometimes use phrases like "kissing ass" or for example, I use an example of an adult website URL but in a funny way (not real).

    I got scolded by a great customer today for that - and so I refunded her, sent her a clean version I created quickly, and apologized and then put the clean version in the with crude version with a READ ME FIRST note so they'll know which one to choose based on their preferences.

    I want to know:

    1.) Should I do away with ME and tone everything down?

    2.) Should I keep being ME - and give them the option of reading a G rated Tiff product?

    3.) Or should I say "tough" and be ME no matter what?

    I know I won't do #3 - I personally like the second option but I wonder, could THAT even hurt me?

    I know that many of my customers are Christians. I am a Christian too - but I'm not perfect. I do cuss, etc. I don't get offended very easily and in fact PERSONALLY I like reading info products, blogs, etc where people are laid back and themselves - crude or not.

    What say YOU, Warriors?
    I respect your $0.02

    Tiff the Potty Mouth Marketer
    It is crucial for your personality to shine through and just be who you are. The moment you stop then you will compromise your message.

    There will always be a few prudish people around, but they are in a minority.

    Just be you and let your passion shine through in your own way. You are marketing yourself, you don't want to end up sounding like some cheesy TV ad.
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    • Profile picture of the author Alminc
      If United States Of America and my little Bosnia-Hercegovina
      (remember the war?) have anything in common then it's the 'F' vocabulary.
      Similar to what Kevin Riley said, more than a half of my everyday Bosnian
      language is enriched by plenty of 'F' words in all forms and
      variations. When I speak Bosnian I can hardly say 'how are you' without
      adding a couple of 'Fs', and nobody feels offended, it's just normal.

      But when I speak/write Swedish or English in any official context
      I never use bad language, not even in a slightest form.
      The reason for that is people who don't know you personally will
      judge you. Especially women.
      Signature
      No links :)
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  • Profile picture of the author AfteraDream
    Look at Frank Kern... a lot of people like him and he uses profanity all the time. For me, I cuss too alot, and when I see others using some profanity at the right time and the right place it's great and funny.
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    • Profile picture of the author Li Weng
      Originally Posted by AfteraDream View Post

      Look at Frank Kern... a lot of people like him and he uses profanity all the time. For me, I cuss too alot, and when I see others using some profanity at the right time and the right place it's great and funny.
      I've noticed the only occasion where he uses profanities
      (and lots of it) is when he's communicating face-to-face
      in a live seminar environment, and he doesn't come out
      and start cussing right away, he cleverly sets the stage
      for it.

      And the thing is, Kern can afford to use profanities because
      he's totally branded and anchored himself to this character
      where it's OK in the minds of his customers that he uses
      them. (he said that himself in a seminar)

      Nevertheless, there's almost zero profanity in his emails and
      the actual content of his products.

      So I'd say profanity is okay in your marketing IF that's consistent
      with your personal branding. But it's not necessary nor appropriate
      in the actual content of your product.
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      - Insert backlink here -

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  • Profile picture of the author Anna Johnson
    Hi Tiff,

    Question: did you get the customers you already have by being yourself... or by being someone else?

    Sure, a couple of people (how many people are we talking here - two?) might not like your language but surely most of them are customers because they like you the way you are.

    Be yourself.
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  • Profile picture of the author LittleBill
    Arrrggghhh, Matey! be true to yourself.
    Signature

    William Field

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  • "So, General Patton, you read the Bible?"

    "Yep. Every goddamn' day!"

    What you choose to do is up to you. Keep in mind, having salty language as a part of your persona can add to controversy, which will add to your image -- if that's the way you want to go.

    Where is TinkBD when you need her? She's another gal that, in person, will serve up strong language. Her online marketing presence, however, is pure as the driven yellow snow...
    Signature
    "The will to prepare to win is more important than the will to win." -- misquoting Coach Vince Lombardi
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  • Profile picture of the author Clyde Dennis
    This one's easy, really... "Do You!"

    Is it going to cost you some sales? Most likely yes, but the other side of that coin is how many sales will you be silently losing because your products aren't "all they could be" if you start watering yourself down.

    Do You.
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    • Profile picture of the author Sissy76
      The last thing the world (and the internet in particular) needs is more conformity.
      Trust your inner radar lovey, that's really the only thing you need to conform to. Sure, you're not going to be everyone's cup of tea, but at least you've remained true to yourself AND you're making money from it!
      Is she really a good customer, or just a good spender?
      Good customers do more than just buy from you, they refer others to your products and interact with you in a positive manner - they most certainly aren't pains in the arse. Someone who compels you to write a g-rated version sure seems like more of a pain in the arse than a good customer to me.
      I'm all for improving your product, but don't remove yourself from your work. There's so much sanitised stuff out there, and so little of it is produced by women in the IM world - stand out from the crowd and shine in all your potty-mouthed glory darling!!
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  • Profile picture of the author Debbie Allen
    I'm another lady that uses 'those words' in my everyday life. And in some of the niches I am in I feel free to openly use that sort of terminology - but there are others that are more professional - so I tone the language down somewhat. I am still being myself, I just avoid the usage of words that might offend others.

    I do feel that I am letting myself shine through - but there is a professional side to me as well as a casual/less formal side. It's like others have mentioned, a natural adaptation is to behave slightly differently when we are in different settings or with different people.

    I think you should decide what your priorities are; most sales, being yourself, setting a style, etc. Then do the testing to see what brings the best results for whatever it is that you truly want. You will never please everyone no matter what you do.
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  • Profile picture of the author cashcow
    Tiff - you are a girl after my own heart. Yes, even though I look like a librarian in my photo, I too, have a potty mouth!

    In fact, if I bought your product that had 'cussin in it, that would probably make me like you even more. I'd probably want to buy your next product just for the entertainment, but also because I know you put out a quality product (which you do).

    So, I vote that you should be yourself!

    Lee
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    Gone Fishing
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    • Profile picture of the author Kay King
      I shoot the shit. I cuss. I laugh at crude jokes. I TELL crude jokes.
      Most of us do - in our private lives. There's no skill involved in cussing or telling crude jokes. It won't show your personality - or make people feel they know you. It's more like a word-fog that keeps people from seeing you clearly.

      If you seldom use the same old cuss words so common these days - they carry more weight when you DO use one of them.

      I agree with "be yourself" but don't be your lowest self. I love humor in things I read online - but if it's crude it must also be witty. Otherwise, it's just another potty mouth substituting F for brains:rolleyes:

      kay
      Signature
      Saving one dog will not change the world - but the world will change forever for that one dog.

      I'm going to work on being less condescending. (Condescending means to talk down to people)
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      • Profile picture of the author JohnMcCabe
        Tiff, I offer a few random thoughts...

        I've read several of your products, and truth be told, I never noticed your "salty" language. Whatever was there was part of the natural flow, unlike some of the less-talented comedians around whose 30-minute set would be 3 minutes long if you eliminated the F-bombs. Or the myriad "Rich Jerk" wannabes who believe the key to his success was being crude.

        I don't understand how one word can be so offensive you can get fined if you dare to use it on TV. Go on a talk show and say "what the ****" and the FCC fines your ass. Say "WTF" and your cool, even though everyone knows exactly what you mean (and makes the translation in their head)?

        Speaking of TV, why is someone obviously flipping the bird less offensive if the person's hand is pixelated than if the gesture is clearly visible?

        And since you bring up golf, Tiff, it reminds me of a framed cartoon that used to hang in the pro shop of a course I used to play. It showed a stereotypical Japanese man dressed in a wild golf outfit. The caption read, "I learn a new game in Amellica called 'Ah Shit'" Back then it was funny, and people understood it was poking fun at golfers in general. Nowadays, the course would be shut down for 'hate speech', I'm guessing.

        Another question pops into my head, Tiff...

        The woman who didn't like your language - does she own any of your other products with similar language? If she does, and hasn't complained before this, what's different about this product compared to her previous purchases? Maybe this one was a little saltier than normal...
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        • Profile picture of the author vneely
          Being offered a "sanitized" version of an eBook would feel weird to me, and it would make me think the original is much worse than it is. "Dang, if she has to give me a cleaned-up version, the original copy must be REALLY filthy to justify the extra work."

          If I found out that the "sanitized" copy just had one or two tiny changes because someone was offended by a fairly mild word, I'd be a bit... well, bemused and maybe annoyed.

          I'd say either be yourself, or tone it down.
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  • Profile picture of the author gyar29
    Tiff,

    IMO as marketers language is one of our most essential tools. The language we use should be a decision that we make based on the persona we are attempting to convey, who the reader is, and the response we are trying to elicit from the reader.

    Choosing to censor or not to censor our language is a choice that should not be made based on an attempt to be true to ones self. It is a decision we should make based on what will increase our revenue.

    Whether we like it or not our customers are the final arbitrators of the appropriateness of the language we chose to use. They articulate that opinion by either buying or not buying our product. If refraining from writing that something that is bullshit is bullshit will help me convince a larger percentage of my readers to purchase my product, then doodoo it is.

    Of course there is always the axiom F'um if they can't take a joke. Unfortunately, that attitude usually ensures that the joke is on us.

    Gene
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  • Profile picture of the author thatgirlJ
    I agree with Kevin and Katie. It's just not necessary in a professional product. Now, people who buy from "Rich Jerk" expect this kind of thing. He appeals to that market, and even those who don't appreciate that kind of humor/language pretty much know right off the bat that it will be in there.

    When people buy your products, they expect to get high quality information, with great examples (which they get). Having something off-color and crude doesn't really help you in this case.

    I don't think it's a matter of not being yourself -- there are many ways to do that without using offensive language. In my own life, I choose not to use such language, but I've been known to laugh at a crude joke or two I have a couple of your products and don't recall being turned off by anything in them, but if I had been offended I doubt I would have said anything to you -- just quietly not purchased again. Could there be others who are doing the same?

    I get where it's in movies, books, etc. as an artistic choice...I just don't think it belongs in a business product for professionals.

    Obviously, as evidenced by many of the posts above, people disagree with this.

    I wouldn't create two versions though -- and I'll go with Katie on this one again -- just choose a path and stick to it

    ETA: Kay said it perfectly:

    You will never lose a customer because you DON"T use WTF, kiss ass or similar terms.
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  • Profile picture of the author BlackWaterBlog
    I say to hell with them. As long as you aren't really directing it at anyone in particular, what's the deal?
    Signature

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    • Profile picture of the author TinkBD
      Hi Tiff - This is an interesting discussion about a topic that I have given a lot of thought to...

      Thank you, VinceRunza, for giving me a heads up about this thread. ;-)

      I will admit, that my language has been known to strip the paint off of walls, BUT I use it in context.

      As an attractive blonde in professional technical theatre (including being a union stagehand)and often running all male crews, using strong lanuage was a tool to establish credibility and comradery. ;-)

      However, now, I speak about the internet to groups of offline business owners, many of them women, and I DO watch my language carefully.

      In fact, in evaluations after one of my presentations, I had two attendees complain bacause I had used the phrase *pissed off* in my presentation... Bless their hearts that their lives are such that this is a major concern for them ! LOLOL

      Anyway... I now watch my language carefully in both my written materials and my presentations(no more using *Pissed off*), BUT I am still able give exciting, dynamic, amusing, and most importantly, memorable performances... pretty amazing considering I am talking about web site stats, SEO, and other coma inducing topics to already apprehensive audiences.

      Soooo... what points am I making here?

      First, I agree with Kevin Riley about professionalism... and making sure that your product appeals to the widest audience...

      Along with that, I especially like Kay's point - *You will never lose a customer because you DON'T use WTF, kiss ass, or similar terms.*

      Second, I belive that it IS important to key your presentation (written or otherwise) to your audience and their expectations... Context is everything! LOL

      This CAN be done, WITHOUT sacrificing your individuality or losing that ever important entertainment factor... it just may take a bit more effort!

      Tink
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      • Profile picture of the author zimbie
        I tend to agree with Kevin Riley. That type of language seems more suited to personal conversations or a blog instead of an infoproduct that someone pays for. It doesn't really bother me but I can understand how it could ruffle feathers, Christian or not.

        But if that is who you are and the way you want to portray yourself then I don't see why you would want to offer two versions.

        To me that makes your salty language look like a schtick and makes you seem less authentic.

        I would probably go with one or the other instead of offering two versions.


        Marsha
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  • Profile picture of the author globalpro
    Hey Tiffany,

    I preface what I will say with the fact that I have read some of your material (great stuff) and that I am not judging you, but I think that you had to ask may tell you something.

    Someone questioned you on your use of profanity and you say you are a Christian, so perhaps the question becomes 'how do you resolve being a Christian and using profanity?'. The Bible is clear concerning coarse words and jokes. This isn't supposed to be part of a Christian's life.

    It doesn't mean that there aren't 'the moments', as nobody is perfect.

    As a Christian, I found myself in the same dilemma. Was accustomed to using profanity as part of everyday life. It was accepted, but did that make it right? I did find that it was a more understood form of communication. People knew what you were talking about, because they spoke the same language.

    This brought me to my second realization. Profanity became a kind of 'fill in the blank' substitution for words. In standing back and examining it's use, I found that people that used profanity to describe anything and everything, really didn't have a good command of the English language. It's easy to use a curse word in place of something that fit.

    And please understand, I am not a prude by any means. Profanity is an accepted part of today's culture, at least for most people.

    I find it more enjoyable to read something that challenges me with what I call ' the execution of elocution' where words are concerned. A good example here would be almost any post by Paul Myers. The man has it going on.

    So, like I started with, I am not judging you, but maybe since someone called you on this, you are finding some self examination is needed. Only you know for sure.

    I will say this, as others have already said, be true to yourself first and everything else will fall into place. Personally, I think you are one sharp cookie and really better than this.

    Thanks,

    John
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  • Profile picture of the author Yadira Barbosa
    My father was on the army too, and I never ever hear a bad word from his mouth, I suppose he switch the language between work and home : )

    I study my engineer career between men (I was the only woman of my generation) and they really take care about their languages in my presence, some times I use not very kind words than they do.

    But, I really don't think "kiss an ass" was a terrible or scary sentence, it's almost am every day sentence, but off course its a matter to think about it.

    I bought some PLRs from you Tiffany and I really think are great content, very simple an to the point, no fluff and I never found nothing offensive on it.

    I really think that every person have their personality, and we need to use it, its more dangerous pretend to be some one and be completely different.

    Make 2 versions its more work for you with the same profit, I really think you must be as always, in Spanish it's a sentence that say something like: "I'm not a gold coin to be liked by everybody"
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  • Profile picture of the author oregongal
    This has sure sparked quite a bit of controversy. Personally, I don't like swearing at all, but I probably wouldn't go to the extent of complaining to an author about it. It strikes me as being more odd to have a choice between a "crude"version and a "clean" one, it would make me think the crude one was really bad and make me wonder why.

    I think the idea of testing your customers is a good one, but you also have to be able to write and still get some enjoyment out of it.
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  • Profile picture of the author Michael Oksa
    I wholeheartedly voted YES, but only because we are talking about business.

    The customers who don't mind "salty" language won't be tuned off if you don't use it. But those who DO mind it may be turned offf if it is there. (Hope that makes sense)

    In my opinion, it's business and even the mildest cussing is a turn-off. It shows a lack of professionalism. And as a writer, it shows a certain level of mental laziness. You can still be yourself, and have the same boldness of statement without resorting to cussing as a shortcut.

    Don't know if this will help, but I do lots of professional proofreading. From time to time I get writing that is liberally peppered with colorful language. However, I don't want to change the tone of the author's original writing. In that case I try to toneit down one notch. So, if they use the word 'bull$***", then I will change it to BS. But if they use the word "BS" I will change it to "nonsense".

    On the other hand, if you're not concerned about appearing professional, then I'd say let 'er rip!

    Another anectdote. My wife was approached to be a rep for Mary Kay. I was invited to go along to lunch and hear the sales pitch. The pitch was good, but the woman who was trying to recruit my wife kept using words like a$$, d*m*, p*$$, and h#ll. What bothered me was I got the impression she was using these words on purpose - to sound like she was just a "normal" person like us. But that's not language I use. Needless to say, her langauge came across as manipulative and we didn't sign up.

    There is a time and place for such language, but a business publication isn't one of them, IMHO.

    All that being said, I wouldn't take the time to complain to a business author who used such language. At the same time, any time those words pop up it IS a distraction for me,. That means the communication becomes less clear. I guess we could argue whether that's my problem or the author's.

    All the best,
    Michael
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  • Profile picture of the author dave830
    Originally Posted by TiffanyDow View Post


    1.) Should I do away with ME and tone everything down?

    2.) Should I keep being ME - and give them the option of reading a G rated Tiff product?

    3.) Or should I say "tough" and be ME no matter what?

    Tiffany, if I were the customer you described- I'd have lost more respect for you after your apologies. Offensive language, profuse apologies, then back to offensive language (assuming you don't change your approach). Which is the REAL you?

    But please take to heart that crude language doesn't define edginess... it's just a cheap shortcut to get there. You can stir the hearts of a lot more people with your message, than with your f-bombs.

    Just keepin' it real.
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  • Profile picture of the author Michael Oksa
    Hi Tiff,

    First, let me say I think you are a fantastic writer.

    Next, I'll offer my personal take on cussing as a shortcut.

    In your posts you kind of backed up my main point. You say it's just 'natural' for you to use certain words. To me that says it is a shortcut; it's easier.

    As a fellow writer, I'd suggest challenging yourself to come up with alternative words that have the same impact. What you come up with may never make it to the finished version, but it could help fire up additional synapses.

    For example, where you use the b-word other choices could be whore, hussy, slave, tool, zombie, or mindless drone. Not saying those are better, but hose were the ones that sprang to mind.

    Another argument in favor of the shortcut theory. When we get angry we tend to use harsher language. Why? Because we don't have the time to consider verbal alternatives. It's easier to swear.

    Finally, we all probably know people who swear a lot (I am not saying you fall into this category). I have worked with two people over the years who would use the f-word (along with other words) several times in every sentence. It was hard to understand what they were trying to say, and as a result they came across as having a severely limited mental capacity.

    Hopefully I'm not coming across as preachy, just trying to explain the thinking behind cussing as a shortcut.

    All the best,
    Michael
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  • Profile picture of the author EmmaJames
    Hey Tiffany,

    Speaking from the side of a consumer (I love to buy stuff)
    I've bought from people who tell it like it 'tis and from those
    who's copy is as clean as a whistle.

    It depends on my mood to tell you the truth.

    "Do I feel like the sales letter is talking TO me or talking AT me?"

    And it's hard to tell how people are going to react.

    So I say, keep being you...but don't cuss me out!
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  • Profile picture of the author MichaelHiles
    Be yourself. Even in the Christian world.

    I remember a sermon preached by Tony Campolo once, where he talked about global starvation deaths of children being something like 80,000 per day. He proclaimed "bullshit!" and then went on to admonish the congregation for giving more of a damn about the fact that pastor said "bullshit" in his sermon than the fact that 80,000 children die each day for lack of food.

    IIRC, I think it was the Apostle Peter who had a cursing mouth.
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  • Profile picture of the author Michael Oksa
    Hi Ken,

    You're right in that you could lose customers by "smoothing off too many edges". Few people will feel a strong connection to someone who is lifeless and dull.

    But you do not need to use WTF or kiss a$$ to keep an edge. Think of Paul Myers' term for grammar cops...wombat! Yes, wombat. I can't think of a better word; it's not cursing, but it absolutely oozes personality.
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  • Profile picture of the author X
    I have my beliefs, which would surprise
    and possibly even shock many.

    With the sales letter pointed out in post
    two I wanted to test level of interest
    (and encourage people to read my sales
    letter twice).

    Not surprisingly, 75% of people choose
    to read the X-rated version of my copy,
    first, over the PG-13 version. The X-rated
    version also out converts the PG-13 copy
    2-1.

    Gratuitous foul-mouthedness? I think not.

    What's important though is that my
    attempt is to be authentic - not shocking
    and contrived.

    People who *perceive* themselves to
    be straight arrows probably aren't going to
    dig what I do anyway and that's a part
    of why I use the language I use -

    {Self-righteousness should not be
    confused with righteousness.}

    Although *some* "Christians" would say
    that language is offensive and a turnoff,
    does the raw honesty make it wrong?

    {I put "Christians" in quotes because
    calling yourself something doesn't mean
    you are unless you walk the talk}

    Raw honesty is my ambition and if it
    requires a salty word to communicate
    that raw honesty, then I think I'm still on
    the side of good even if it isn't the
    optimal way of communicating according
    to some.

    I don't say "shit" just to say "shit" - I
    say it because the word conveys something
    that "crap", "bowel movement" or "stool"
    does not.

    For this very reason such words are
    protected by the US Constitution. So really
    to argue against them is to argue against
    the Constitution and the freedom we all
    *claim* to fight for.

    But let's be clear - this isn't about my
    uncontrollable DESIRES - this is marketing.
    This is thought out, calculated and my
    bank account would argue - EFFECTIVE.

    To be further clear, this isn't a fit for
    every marketer in every situation. 95% of
    all sales copy I write contains nothing
    resembling a semblance of profanity. If
    it isn't a part of who you are and it isn't
    a part of the market you're trying to reach
    then doing it is dumb and it reads dumb.

    Now, based on my understanding of scripture,
    to judge is a far greater sin than
    any foul mouthed utterance.

    Some of ya'll need to pray - now - and repent.

    I'm serious.

    All that aside, what many people put
    into their mouths is far worse than
    what comes out of them . . . and that's
    not just my worldly opinion.

    :-)

    Have fun deciding what that means.

    And Nightengale - no, it's not completely
    unnecessary and irrelevant work. That's
    like saying Ipods should only come in one
    color which, of course, they do not.

    Different markets, different Tribes of
    people. You've missed the point - go
    back to Marketing 101 and do not pass
    go.

    X

    PS - I didn't vote because I think the
    correct answer is to say what you need to
    say to connect with your ideal customer.
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  • Profile picture of the author Michael Oksa
    Hi X,

    This isn't a free speech issue. Tiffany, or anyone else, can choose to use whatever words they like. We are talking about the choice of words from a business standpoint.

    You mention the S-word, and then mention how a few alternatives don't have the same impact. Maybe they don't, but there are other words that may be as powerful (or more powerful). Example...instead of using crap, you could say festering pile of crap...has plenty of impact and crates a stronger image, IMHO.

    The more I think about it, the more I'm convinced that swaering in print is a shortcut. For all the writers out there, why not challenge yourselves to be more creative? Find alternatives to cursing that have the same impact.

    This is not a Chrstian issue. The original meaning of profane meant "outside the church", it referred mostly to blasphemy, spiritual curses, and taking the Lord's name in vain. However, after some time, this was extended to include words that had nothing to do with the church, but were considered impolite in certain company.

    It's also interesting to note that most of the words we consider vulgar are derived from Anglo-Saxon, while their more "polite" equivalents are derived from French.

    One more thing. I am not anti-swearing, but in business it rubs me the wrong way. Heck, I used to be the lead singer (and wrote the lyrics) for a punk rock band; believe me, I was able to let the salty words fly with the best of 'em.

    All the best,
    Michael
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  • Profile picture of the author Cheryl Hines
    I have to admit Tiff that when I read your (very excellent) report, my eyes recoiled - momentarily. I know you and so, like a friend, we let stuff like that pass. And yes, I have relaxed my vocab a lot lately (being an ex Mennonite).

    Be you on your blog, Twitter, or casual settings. Idea: Include it your sales letter. A sales letter is often the first place folks meet you and if you get potty mouthed in it, then they won't buy.

    But like Kevin said earlier, it just isn't professional in a product. Think of successful brick and mortar businesses - not too many come to mind that use sailor talk, hmmm?

    Just my 2
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  • Profile picture of the author TiffanyLambert
    Hey Michael - the dilemma I was feeling was with info products, I like to see the personalty shine through of the author. Like everyone's using Paul Meyers as an example - we see his personality when we read. I have a friend who will say, "Oh snickerdoodle!" when she stubs her toe instead of "oh shit" because she doesn't curse.

    That's her style. But my style is to curse, so to say, "steaming pile of crap" when I would never say that would feel phony to me. Like I was saying, "oh snickerdoodle!" It's not that I'm lacking creativity - it's that I'm being me.

    But looking at th stats here, it looks like me offends about 50% of the online population LOL. Another issue my customer took me to task about was that I was a WOMAN and that appalled her - that I had talked like that. Now that part admittedly annoyed me because it always has - I'm no feminist but if a man can say it, so can I.

    I am curious about something because you're giving me lots of good insight. You say, "I am not anti-swearing, but in business it rubs me the wrong way." I want to know why. I can see the POV of people who are offended by swearing, period - but with you, Riley, etc., who say it's okay normally but not in an info product, why would that suddenly offend you? Truly not understanding, not being difficult here

    Tiff
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  • Profile picture of the author globalpro
    Tiffany,

    You are to be commended for really taking everything here to heart. I appreciate the fact that you are weighing out what your peers think, but I think at the end of the day, you have to do what you feel is right.

    It doesn't change my thoughts or the way I view things, but only you know what is right for you. What I think is really inconsequential when the day is done. Let your conscience be your guide.

    If nothing else, you have really opened up a thought provoking thread.

    Thanks,

    John
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  • Profile picture of the author X
    Hi Michael,

    If you think I'm making this either a
    free speech issue or a religious issue,
    then please re-read my post.

    FACT: In some places with some
    products I am able to claim a unique
    place in the market that makes me
    more money using more "questionable"
    language. Period.

    I ain't stupid. ;-) And, although I
    can't claim to be the inspiration for
    the public "Frank Kern" character, you
    think maybe there are some similarities?

    NOTE: X was X before Frank Kern 2.0
    became Frank Kern 2.0. I'm just sayin'.

    Some of the people here who claim to
    be arguing "this is about business" are
    not seeing this in an objective manner
    that is about business.

    I respect everyone's personal preferences -
    but this is *not* a conversation about
    personal preferences.

    X
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    • Profile picture of the author Michael Oksa
      Originally Posted by TiffanyDow View Post

      Hey Michael - the dilemma I was feeling was with info products, I like to see the personalty shine through of the author. Like everyone's using Paul Meyers as an example - we see his personality when we read. I have a friend who will say, "Oh snickerdoodle!" when she stubs her toe instead of "oh shit" because she doesn't curse.

      That's her style. But my style is to curse, so to say, "steaming pile of crap" when I would never say that would feel phony to me. Like I was saying, "oh snickerdoodle!" It's not that I'm lacking creativity - it's that I'm being me.

      But looking at th stats here, it looks like me offends about 50% of the online population LOL. Another issue my customer took me to task about was that I was a WOMAN and that appalled her - that I had talked like that. Now that part admittedly annoyed me because it always has - I'm no feminist but if a man can say it, so can I.

      I am curious about something because you're giving me lots of good insight. You say, "I am not anti-swearing, but in business it rubs me the wrong way." I want to know why. I can see the POV of people who are offended by swearing, period - but with you, Riley, etc., who say it's okay normally but not in an info product, why would that suddenly offend you? Truly not understanding, not being difficult here

      Tiff
      Hi Tiff, I understand your point, and not asking you to be anything but yourself. When it comes to writing you have the benfit of having more time to select which words you will use. I could be wrong, but I really think you could be true to yourself without resorting to certain words. Would you use them in every situation? A job interview? In front of a judge? In front of a class of kindergartners?

      I'm not trying to be facetious, but wondering if there ARE times when you don't use such language. If there are, then it could be as easy as extending that self-imposed (maybe subconscious) rule to your info-products as well.

      You are right on the money about her taking you to task for using certain words because you're a woman. Imagine the direction this thread could have taken if you made that as one of your main points in your OP!

      As for saying, "I am not anti-swearing, but in business it rubs me the wrong way." I don't think you're being difficult at all. I'll do my best to explain what I'm getting at. I want to be clear that I chose the phrase "rubbed the wrong way" on purpose, and not "offended". It doesn't offend me, but it does distract me (yes, even a**, he**, and d**n).

      Why? I believe it all comes down to expectations. In a way, when that language is used it's like the author is saying the READER is not professional - that they will only understand coarse language. To a lesser extent it's about respect. Use words that show you respect the reader, and because you don't know how they will take "colorful" language, it may be a better move (from a business standpoint) to find alternatives. Again, those alternatives don't have to be dull or weak.

      Hope that all makes sense, I never thought this deeply about this issue until now.

      Originally Posted by X View Post

      Hi Michael,

      If you think I'm making this either a
      free speech issue or a religious issue,
      then please re-read my post.

      I ain't stupid. ;-) And, although I
      can't claim to be the inspiration for
      the public "Frank Kern" character, you
      think maybe there are some similarities?

      Some of the people here who claim to
      be arguing "this is about business" are
      not seeing this in an objective manner
      that is about business.

      I respect everyone's personal preferences -
      but this is *not* a conversation about
      personal preferences.

      X
      I did re-read it, and got the impression that you were the one mentioning the Constitution...

      For this very reason such words are
      protected by the US Constitution. So really
      to argue against them is to argue against
      the Constitution and the freedom we all
      *claim* to fight for.
      As I said, it's NOT a free speech issue, though you seemed to want to make it so.

      The following paragraphs made it look (to me) like you were raising religious viewpoints as well...

      Although *some* "Christians" would say
      that language is offensive and a turnoff,
      does the raw honesty make it wrong?

      {I put "Christians" in quotes because
      calling yourself something doesn't mean
      you are unless you walk the talk}

      Now, based on my understanding of scripture,
      to judge is a far greater sin than
      any foul mouthed utterance.

      Some of ya'll need to pray - now - and repent.
      How are those statements NOT religious?

      For the record, I don't think you're stupid.

      I still think this IS about business, that's what we discuss here.

      And, finally, as to this not being a discussion about personal preferences: I couldn't disagree more. That's exactly what it is...from post #1. That's why it's a poll.

      Not trying to argue, just sayin' is all.

      All the best,
      Michael
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  • Profile picture of the author JoMo
    I have to say I like it when people are themselves and laid back too. I respect it, but I know that a LOT of people are offended very easily, and I think that is just sad.
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  • Profile picture of the author GarrieWilson
    It depends.

    Was that type of language used on the sales letter? If it was rosey, people wouldn't expect it in the product.
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    • Profile picture of the author TiffanyLambert
      Originally Posted by GarrieWilson View Post

      It depends.

      Was that type of language used on the sales letter? If it was rosey, people wouldn't expect it in the product.
      No sales copy - just and email. I ran a WSO that has the word ass in it though. I think the email did, too.

      Originally Posted by KenStrong View Post

      Oh-oh, the G-raters are pulling ahead in the poll -- c'mon gutter-mouths, get out there and vote!

      LMAO Ken you need to be a standup. I love your posts.

      Originally Posted by Thomas Belknap View Post

      Heck, I don't even know what foul language is anymore. You see actors on television using words that were considered foul and taboo a long time ago.
      Yep - in fact, I was shocked to see Oxygen (a woman's station) with a new TV show called Dance Your Fat Ass Off! And they're going to be dancing on stripper poles, too! Shocking to many - funny to me. It's just not even a curse word to me anymore.

      Originally Posted by dave830 View Post

      Just want to say that in addition to your great writing, I appreciate you putting yourself out there with your OP. You had to know this was gonna be one of "those" posts...nice and feisty. And your willingness to hear everyone out- admirable....But to make my point- your realness and writing in this thread has been quite compelling- we all got to know you a lot better- and I'd say it was all pretty much PG-13! Dave
      Thanks Dave - I appreciate that and it has been a great eye opening discussion! Everyone was fairly tame

      BTW as an update - my customer was very happy with my reply and remedy.
      tiff
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  • Profile picture of the author mylelo
    Hello Tiff, I my self don't curse in front of laddies and the little ones, but in the IM world is almost impossible no to run it to cursing people, I my self had bought a couple products from you and I haven't been disapointed for anything on them so that tells you something, that being your self has been giving you business and will continue to do so, I have 3-5 year old grandkids that curse more than what I do :rolleyes: so what? keep up and do not care what one person may think of your writing personality, though, what you did on the refund and giving at clean version whas a very smart move, I do believe that customers should be taken care and one angry customer I'm sure will be easy to please.
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  • Profile picture of the author Jesus Perez
    Yes, we're marketing.
    Yes, we have "voices".
    Yes, we have individuality.

    BUT, we need to make our products as approachable as possible to the general public. And I feel that involves abstaining from obscene or doubtful language. For example, what if a teenager buys your product and their parents pick it up?

    Also, the day may come when someone may call upon you as an expert. This could be a newspaper, major magazine or a TV network. Do you really want your books filled with questionable content?

    How about when you hand down your teachings to your children, do you want them to read this material?

    I personally don't want this...but others may.
    I curse every so often...but I especially try not to curse around children, elders, etc. It's a respect thing. And I never use questionable content in my products.

    Here's the way I see it:
    You walk into a store and run into [insert really important person that can help your career/campaign].
    Would you rather be wearing a dirty shirt with shorts and sandals?
    Or would you rather be wearing a well-ironed shirt with trousers and decent shoes?

    Your products are a direct representation of you. You may just be killing off JVs with your approach.
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    • Profile picture of the author madmagician
      Originally Posted by BlueSquares View Post

      Also, the day may come when someone may call upon you as an expert. This could be a newspaper, major magazine or a TV network. Do you really want your books filled with questionable content?
      Guessing you haven't heard of Skinny Bitch or Dooce. Entertainment talks and sells, too.

      Then again depending on the product you're selling or people you're targeting, you may not have a big enough audience to get wiggle room to make good money ...but you'll always find people who are "like you".
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  • Profile picture of the author X
    Michael,

    I think you're confused so let me put
    this into a different context.

    I bought a PLR product from you.

    I improved the writing, added some
    salty language, turned around and
    sold it as bonus with another product
    and probably made about $100,000 more
    from it than you did selling it as a
    WSO.

    It was good vanilla information to
    begin with - then I made it something
    people wanted. I delivered information
    while entertaining the reader, which is
    something most people attempting to
    be "professional" don't understand.

    If this is about what you and I personally
    think Tiffany should post on her blog
    and it became something else, all
    apologies.

    I think that in this context Tiffany
    should just be herself. And if Tiffany
    being Tiffany means a "profane" word
    slips out now and then, then that's
    just Tiffany. Enough people will love
    her for her willingness to be real that
    I don't think the others matter.

    I'll take an honest and open person
    willing to put their real self out there
    in front of the world over someone who's
    trying to contrive an image of
    "professionalism" any day of the week.

    And I suspect ;-) that I am not alone.

    X
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    • Profile picture of the author Michael Oksa
      Originally Posted by X View Post

      Michael,

      I think you're confused so let me put
      this into a different context.

      I bought a PLR product from you.

      I improved the writing, added some
      salty language, turned around and
      sold it as bonus with another product
      and probably made about $100,000 more
      from it than you did selling it as a
      WSO.

      It was good vanilla information to
      begin with - then I made it something
      people wanted. I delivered information
      while entertaining the reader, which is
      something most people attempting to
      be "professional" don't understand.

      If this is about what you and I personally
      think Tiffany should post on her blog
      and it became something else, all
      apologies.

      I think that in this context Tiffany
      should just be herself. And if Tiffany
      being Tiffany means a "profane" word
      slips out now and then, then that's
      just Tiffany. Enough people will love
      her for her willingness to be real that
      I don't think the others matter.

      I'll take an honest and open person
      willing to put their real self out there
      in front of the world over someone who's
      trying to contrive an image of
      "professionalism" any day of the week.

      And I suspect ;-) that I am not alone.

      X
      Wow! I don't even know where to begin, but I'll try.

      So, just by adding salty language you're impying it makes a product better? Nevermind the supposition that somehow my products are "vanilla" and not something people want the way they are.

      You also seem to be suggesting that those who DON'T use salty language aren't being themselves. I put my "real self" out there all the time...and I don't use cursing...I would say that makes me more "real" than someone who doesn't even use a "real" name. No?

      Again, just sayin'



      All the best,
      Michael
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      • Profile picture of the author Ken Strong
        Oh-oh, the G-raters are pulling ahead in the poll -- c'mon gutter-mouths, get out there and vote!
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        • Profile picture of the author Michael Oksa
          Originally Posted by KenStrong View Post

          Oh-oh, the G-raters are pulling ahead in the poll -- c'mon gutter-mouths, get out there and vote!
          Admittedly, I'm biased, but I am also counting all of the votes for "Both" as a vote in favor of a cleaned up version being available.



          It was running pretty even so far, with a slight edge to the Pro-fanes (how's that for a term?). Then about an hour or two ago, it switched to a slight lead for the Anti-fanes.

          It has actually turned out to be an entertaining and informative discussion.

          ~Michael
          Signature

          "Ich bin en fuego!"
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        • Profile picture of the author JohnMcCabe
          Reading the replies since my initial post brought something out of the murky depths of my memory.

          Many years ago, there was a TV show called "The White Shadow", about a white former NBA player coaching at an inner-city high school.

          In the episode this discussion brought to mind, the team is playing a team from a white, suburban school, and the team is racking up 'unsportsmanlike conduct' fouls for their ghetto language. Finally, the team doesn't have enough players left and forfeits the game.

          At practice the next day, the coach informs the team that any player who fouled out for cursing would be suspended from the team, as it was a stupid reason to lose a game. He challenged them to come up with something else...

          In the big climax, the team is playing another white, suburban team. The team's star player is intentionally fouled, with the intent to cause a repeat of the forfeit incident. This large, very ferocious looking black ballplayer glares at the white kid threateningly, stomps his foot, and yells...


          "PEANUT BUTTER!!!"


          and walks away.

          The white kids were so confused, the inner city team won easily...

          Tiffany, thanks for the 'snickerdoodle' reference. That's what brought this scene to mind.
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      • Profile picture of the author X
        Try harder.

        X


        Originally Posted by Michael Oksa View Post

        Wow! I don't even know where to begin, but I'll try.

        So, just by adding salty language you're impying it makes a product better? Nevermind the supposition that somehow my products are "vanilla" and not something people want the way they are.

        You also seem to be suggesting that those who DON'T use salty language aren't being themselves. I put my "real self" out there all the time...and I don't use cursing...I would say that makes me more "real" than someone who doesn't even use a "real" name. No?

        Again, just sayin'



        All the best,
        Michael
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      • Profile picture of the author Tom B
        Banned
        Originally Posted by Michael Oksa View Post

        Wow! I don't even know where to begin, but I'll try.

        So, just by adding salty language you're impying it makes a product better? Nevermind the supposition that somehow my products are "vanilla" and not something people want the way they are.

        You also seem to be suggesting that those who DON'T use salty language aren't being themselves. I put my "real self" out there all the time...and I don't use cursing...I would say that makes me more "real" than someone who doesn't even use a "real" name. No?

        Again, just sayin'



        All the best,
        Michael
        Michael, I think you are missing the point that X was making.

        A lot of the information is the same no matter how you wrap it up.

        Why is it that some people outsell others when they are selling the same information?

        They say it differently.
        They connect with the reader.
        They entertain making the experience better for the reader.

        Heck, I don't even know what foul language is anymore. You see actors on television using words that were considered foul and taboo a long time ago.
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        • Profile picture of the author dave830
          Tiffany,

          Just want to say that in addition to your great writing, I appreciate you putting yourself out there with your OP. You had to know this was gonna be one of "those" posts...nice and feisty. And your willingness to hear everyone out- admirable.

          Seems to me the your poll needed a 4th option, somewhere in between "G-Rated" and "To heck with them". Don't think I'd vote for either of them... but then again some of the best copywriters ever wouldn't fit in them either.

          But to make my point- your realness and writing in this thread has been quite compelling- we all got to know you a lot better- and I'd say it was all pretty much PG-13!

          Dave
          Signature

          I don't have anything to offer, but have a great day anyway!

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    • Profile picture of the author Colin Evans
      Originally Posted by X View Post

      I'll take an honest and open person
      willing to put their real self out there
      in front of the world over someone who's
      trying to contrive an image of
      "professionalism" any day of the week.

      I'll take and honest and open person willing to put their real self out there in front of the world, but I'll have a lot more respect for them if they make the effort to respect me by not using foul language... The odd slip here and there is ok, and in the right situation can sometimes be amusing.
      Signature

      Sig not working today - too hung over...

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  • Profile picture of the author Michael Motley
    Originally Posted by TiffanyDow View Post

    Hey Warriors!

    I have a debate I want to open up with you. Okay I'm a good girl, right? As far as you know anyway LOL.

    But I grew up golfing. With retired military men. I shoot the shit. I cuss. I laugh at crude jokes. I TELL crude jokes.

    So in my info products, I sometimes use phrases like "kissing ass" or for example, I use an example of an adult website URL but in a funny way (not real).

    I got scolded by a great customer today for that - and so I refunded her, sent her a clean version I created quickly, and apologized and then put the clean version in the with crude version with a READ ME FIRST note so they'll know which one to choose based on their preferences.

    I want to know:

    1.) Should I do away with ME and tone everything down?

    2.) Should I keep being ME - and give them the option of reading a G rated Tiff product?

    3.) Or should I say "tough" and be ME no matter what?

    I know I won't do #3 - I personally like the second option but I wonder, could THAT even hurt me?

    I know that many of my customers are Christians. I am a Christian too - but I'm not perfect. I do cuss, etc. I don't get offended very easily and in fact PERSONALLY I like reading info products, blogs, etc where people are laid back and themselves - crude or not.

    What say YOU, Warriors?
    I respect your $0.02

    Tiff the Potty Mouth Marketer
    When you are selling anything, whether it be a car, a house or your services, you have to be middle of the road.


    Not many people will buy a pink bmw for instance. Some will not mind, some will like it some wont have anything to do with it.

    You cant readily sell a house with lime green rooms to just everyone, not everyone likes it.

    You can't be 'you' with just everyone. Some will like it, some will not and if you want to hit the maximum amount of people in your market to get a possible sale, you need to either be totally benign (sp?) or find a middle ground where you are still you...but not as much you.
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  • Profile picture of the author AmyBrown
    I think you can be equally engaging without the salty language. Most people have a filter and adjust their speech in front of certain people or in certain settings. This doesn't make you any less real. Simply expand the filter to include customer contact.

    Amy
    Signature
    "Test fast, fail fast, adjust fast."
    Tom Peters

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    • Profile picture of the author baker58
      Oh hum bug! It really wasn't that serious.

      I'm the customer Tiffany is referring to. I privately wrote that message to Tiffany because I DO like her products - that's why I buy them. However, when I spend hundreds of dollars with someone I am entitled to let them know how I feel. Now does that mean she has to change her style of writing or put her personality on hold because of me? Absolutely not. (As a matter of fact, she could have just trashed the message without even reading it.)

      However, it does mean this, *I* have a choice of whether or not I want to continue spending money with someone who I feel - feels the need to use profanity in explaining something to *me*. At that point - I make the decision not Tiffany.

      Another thing, this isn't about Christianity. I'm an ecommerce solutions advisor -- plus I have a HUGE list of Christians that came about via my radio show and directory for Christians in Business. Just because I boldly proclaim who I am doesn't mean I'm holier than thou, spotless or judgmental - my beliefs and preference are just that - my own - (along with all my shortcomings as well.) whomever chooses otherwise, that's their *own* decision as well.

      My point to Tiffany was that I could not just let that particular list know (she didn't ask me to either, I WANTED to) about what she had just released because of the profanity, etc. - quite simply - they just don't go for that and because of it - there's some great information they would miss. Perhaps a few of them have the product because they know Tiffany just like I know Tiffany because again, real Christians don't proclaim to be spotless -- no one is -- I just wanted to boast about her incredible product and couldn't to that 'particular list'. No biggie. Nor was I going to pass it along to my other clients because it's opposite of who I say *I* am.

      Another thing, YES I said it - as a Woman - *I* don't think it's lady like. There I said it. And no, it doesn't mean that in my opinion Men are excused either, LOL! Everybody is entitled to their own opinions - I was (entitled to mine) and I stated mine -- to her.

      How Tiffany chooses to conduct her business is her own right and as I stated before, the decision on whether or not I choose to continue to promote and/or purchase her products is *mine.* Truly it won't make or break her business.

      I never asked her to create two separate products and I really don't believe she should EVER do that. The point is this, be comfortable in your own skin -- however, as business professionals and we are that (even online) we have to ask ourselves, are we here because we need to show someone our personalities or are we here to conduct business? My mentor once shared with me that they were not so much concerned with what people said, it was the one's who weren't saying anything. What that meant was, it was easy to service the ones who were talking but what about the ones you didn't talk? Were they still there? And when they did leave, what was their reason?

      I agree that you can't please all of the people all of the time, but I try to please as many as I can when it comes to business because it's just that - business.

      With that said, Tiffany, do your thing... do what makes you happy and be content with the audience that prefers your style.

      *I* personally thank you and commend you for making the change for little ole me - it showed me just how much you care - even with your busy schedule - you stopped and made a difference for just one person.

      All the best,
      Regina
      Signature

      All the best,

      Regina Baker

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      • Profile picture of the author TiffanyLambert
        Ack Regina! I wasn't gonna say who said it! I just wanted to see what others think from a business standpoint...not to get support, to truly learn which way is best to perform online. LOL

        Originally Posted by baker58 View Post

        *I* personally thank you and commend you for making the change for little ole me - it showed me just how much you care - even with your busy schedule - you stopped and made a difference for just one person.

        All the best,
        Regina
        Well Regina you've been a good customer for a long time and like I said in my email, I think you deserved the refund (even though you didn't ask for it - and in fact were adamant that you be able to pay LOL).

        I hope you don't think I was making a huge fuss over it - I just thought it raised a great debate topic for those of us info marketing and as you can see, it sure did do that - tons of varying opinions going on here.

        Thanks for coming in though and sharing your own insight into how you felt, why etc. I'm still glad I gave you a clean version. I hope I "did right by you" because having you as a customer does mean a lot to me - whether you promote the report to a list or not. I just hated to have offended you, period. I don't like making people feel negative in any way.

        Tiff
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      • Profile picture of the author Elmer Hurlstone
        Tiff,

        As much as it pains me, I'll have to go along with Kevin on this one. I'm less pained agreeing with Michael Oksa and the others that said profanity is generally unprofessional in written products.

        It's highly unlikely anyone will ever get pissed at you for failing to use "bad language" in your stuff. On the other hand since one person called you on it it's likely others are thinking the same as she.

        A couple decades back I spent a few years in Toastmasters. During our weekly meetings we had person designated as an "ah counter". This persons job was to drop a marble into a tin can each time a speaker used "ah, um, uh" or some other verbal place holder. For some profanity becomes such a place holder. In speech it's impossible to retract; in writing much easier.

        I don't think you'll be "less yourself" if you don't cuss while writing.

        Of course if the carriage pops off your typewriter and lands on your foot upon hitting return feel free to colorfully express yourself. We'll understand.

        Elmer

        PS. My late father served 22 years in His Majesty's Merchant Marine. I learned from a master.
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        • Profile picture of the author Michael Oksa
          Originally Posted by Elmer Hurlstone View Post

          Of course if the carriage pops off your typewriter and lands on your foot upon hitting return feel free to colorfully express yourself. We'll understand.
          Carriage?

          Typewriter?

          Return?

          What next? Ribbon? Platen?



          For those too young to remember...

          Online Typewriter Manual 1

          Also, there was a time when CDs had two sides, were black, and about 12 inches in diameter.

          ~Michael
          Signature

          "Ich bin en fuego!"
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  • Profile picture of the author Robert43
    Don't change a thing - unless YOU have a problem with it. The only one you have to answer to is yourself. If you have a formula, a style, and it's working ... don't mess with success. And certainly, don't over analyze the complaints of one person who may have been having a bad day, may just have a lousy sense of humor, or may have an obnoxious boss/husband/neighbor.
    We like you just fine! Stay you!
    Robert43
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  • Profile picture of the author sevenish
    I do best going mostly salt-free when it comes to client communications. My clients don't buy personality so much as they buy services and results, so I'm more comfortable maintaining a professional tenor with business communications to the degree possible.

    Besides, it's just as easy to be colorful without the salt if you have adequate language skills (and clearly you do) ... in my opinion.

    That said, I think you should do what YOU feel is right for your business, based upon what YOUR research and YOUR customers tell you.

    Best wishes. and thanks for the great exercise in business writing style.
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    100% atrocity-free! No annihilations, assasinations, explosions, killers, crushers, massacres, bombs, skyrockets or nukes.

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  • Profile picture of the author JasetheAce
    I think you need to adapt to the market you are selling to. Look I am all for you being yourself but it comes down to what you wish to achieve. Making dollars is normally the bottom line. I may sound sexist but even though we are in the 21st century and I am far from being a saint but women swearing is still more alarming than when men swear. Good luck though.
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  • Profile picture of the author joan007
    Tiffany,

    I have read several of your posts and I think you are a very talented lady. If you are a Christian and the Holy Spirit truly lives in you, you will know exactly what to say and do. Just keep your wit and humor and abandoned all vulgarity. People will love you work.
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    • Profile picture of the author Marian
      Originally Posted by joan007 View Post

      Tiffany,

      I have read several of your posts and I think you are a very talented lady. If you are a Christian and the Holy Spirit truly lives in you, you will know exactly what to say and do. Just keep your wit and humor and abandoned all vulgarity. People will love you work.
      I agree with that. You're not going to offend anyone when you don't say those bad words... and if you need - there are lots of vocabularies, thesaurus, dictionaries online you can replace them :-)

      I've read excellent reports and ebooks - without a need for such words. You don't need that, IMHO.

      Marian
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  • Profile picture of the author Anna Johnson
    Hey Tiff,

    One thing I would add to this discussion - and your thinking about this issue - is not to confuse the results of the poll with your customer base. In my case I voted for 'keep it clean and G rated' before I read your post and discovered the context. I simply applied the question to myself and voted in accordance with how I do business. Swearing doesn't come naturally to me so it would be 'fake' for me to start using it in my own products and marketing.

    In your case, however, swearing is part of how you talk/write. I'll leave the argument over whether or not it's a shortcut or an easy option to others. But let me reiterate that you already have customers who like and buy from you for who you are. The people who voted in this poll are not your customers. We are giving you our opinions on the matter, but the more important indicator is your results.

    So all the talk of being professional and businesslike is somewhat moot - you're already doing well, so what is the issue? Yes, a valued customer expressed her concerns and you took action to provide her with an alternative solution. Kudos to you for doing that and it looks like she really appreciates what you did. Maybe you will do that again some day (don't we all sometimes go beyond the call of duty for our most valued clients?) but that doesn't mean you should change who you are, how you do your business or start creating alternative versions of your products.

    If what works for you... works for you... why change?

    Finally, to everyone: I do think issues like this go beyond 'business'. As has been pointed out many times, Tiffany is doing just fine, so the argument that using profanity is hurting her business doesn't wash.

    But let's assume she really is leaving money on the table by using profanity... at the end of the day, she is being herself. Is there really anything more important than being who you truly are? I mean, haven't we all made decisions in our lives when we've opted not to go with a sure money maker... because it wasn't who we are? I know I have, and this may be another example of that.

    So, once again, be who you are Tiff.
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  • Profile picture of the author Michael Oksa
    Hi Anna,

    Just wanted to clear up a finer point...

    Tiffany is doing just fine, so the argument that using profanity is hurting her business doesn't wash.
    In my comments I was saying that foul language comes across as unprofessional. However, I never suggested that it was hurting her business. They're two separate issues (at least in my mind).

    ~Michael
    Signature

    "Ich bin en fuego!"
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  • Profile picture of the author new2ebiz
    I agree with Kevin and Katie and Jenn, etc. on this. To me, it's business.

    Especially "Kay said it perfectly: Quote:
    You will never lose a customer because you DON"T use WTF, kiss ass or similar terms. "
    or
    "It's more like a word-fog that keeps people from seeing you clearly." Beautiful prose, btw.

    I'm not perfect either; I let 'one fly' every once in awhile. In the past, as a suicide prevention counselor I'd sometimes used a 'choice word' to get the attention of a client, but they soon learned I'd ask for clarification if they used 'foggy words with no meaning' in our sessions.

    And what parent hasn't heard or seen their child repeat something they've seen at home, only to go 'oops, I did not think they saw/heard that'.

    I find most cuss words have lost any 'real' meaning if they ever had one; they don't make a point, especially in a business product.

    At the very least, warn your customers up front if your book includes something that might be offensive to them. And since you said your market is a Christian audience, you come across more professional when you 'stick to business'. Don't bother with two versions.

    On the other hand, even if your market demographic is made of people who find such language 'ok'; I'd still use cuss words o n l y when they were useful to the point you're making.
    Afterall, what is it you're trying to accomplish? Who is your audience/readership?

    Why take a chance? Business is business.
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  • Profile picture of the author TheGodfather
    my take on this is to be as natural sounding as any John / Jane Doe... If they get offended by a few crude jokes or some bad language then they aren't worth doing business with, they are probably fooling themselves. They can't all be the "Ned Flanders" type...

    On the other hand, if you're selling some religious crap to that kind of crowd namely priests and such, then you might consider tuning it down a tad bit... but sound as natural as you can...
    Signature

    TheGodfather

    Perception is reality

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  • Profile picture of the author 2frog
    You're serious about your business, right? So, what's wrong with being "professional"? Your products can be chock-full of personality without including any curse words. It's not that hard, really. It's just like any other profession, be yourself, be engaging and fun, but if you use words that some might deem offensive, you are alienating potential customers.

    Look at the flip side. Are you going to alienate any potential customers by NOT using any curse words? Seems unlikely. I think it's kind of silly when people think using profanity gives them "personality". Anyways, look at your poll results and I think you'll agree.
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  • Profile picture of the author Sirius Lin
    Hi Tiffany,

    IMHO, if I wanted a copy written, I'd look for a writer with his/her own style as opposed to something generic. You definitely have your own unique, recognisable writing style, so I don't see the need to change. After all, it won't be you after that!

    You may want to consider adding a little caveat or something on the pages where you offer your writing service, though, to let your clients know ahead of time that they might see a colourful word or 2. So if they want their writing to be strictly G-rated, they need to specify it.

    Warmest regards,
    Sirius
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    • Profile picture of the author TiffanyLambert
      Originally Posted by Sirius Lin View Post

      Hi Tiffany,

      IMHO, if I wanted a copy written, I'd look for a writer with his/her own style as opposed to something generic. You definitely have your own unique, recognisable writing style, so I don't see the need to change. After all, it won't be you after that!

      You may want to consider adding a little caveat or something on the pages where you offer your writing service, though, to let your clients know ahead of time that they might see a colourful word or 2. So if they want their writing to be strictly G-rated, they need to specify it.

      Warmest regards,
      Sirius
      Oh I would never cuss in a client's project unless they tell me to ahead of time (which they have). lol
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  • Profile picture of the author morwanneg
    Since you are in a business, try to please everybody though i'ts hard. Customer is always right as they say, so for them to like not only your product but your attitude, try to be gentle in words. Your attitude may reflect to your product so better make a good impression.
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    • Profile picture of the author discrat
      Okay here is the way I look at this whole issue. I cuss, although with a new Baby I am cutting back. But I say the F-word in conversation with my Wife and other Close people on an everyday basis.

      But to me using Profanity in any way , shape ,or form in front of people I do not personally know or to total strangers is just flat out Disrespectful. For one thing, if I subscribed to your Newsletter or I am getting info. about your Products you are selling.....well you dont know me from Adam.
      So why would you ASSUME that you can start using profanity laced conversation with me ??
      It is just very unflattering, totally unprofessional, and disrespectful to make ASSUMPTIONS like this.
      And sure if our business relationship turned into a friendship and we got to know each other, then yeah I would love to shoot the shirt with ya !!

      But quite honestly, saying that 'im just being myself' is an easy but in my view flawed way to look at things in life. !! Heck, if that was the case I would be drinking beer at Church or having Sex with my Wife at the Public Pool. Point is there is a time and place for everything and all matters of Living Life and being yourself is based on context and discretion.

      So I would have to say Thanks but NO thanks to anymore continued dialogue with you. Just based on your lack of respect and a false ASSUMPTION that you THINK its alright to use profanity around me !!!
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  • Profile picture of the author ken_p
    i would say, go for the second one. it would only show, how versatile you are, and what you are willing to do for your clients.
    I have no problem with bad girls, but some people do. So at least they got a choice.
    have fun!
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  • Profile picture of the author Jon Steel
    It is simple as this:

    Profanity offends some people, but clean language offends no one. And if you want to make as many sales as possible, you want to offend the least amount of people. So there you have it.

    js
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