By Jo Disney

The world is full of noise. Twitter alone is responsible for around 500 million tweets per day, not to mention all the other shares, posts, clicks, hits, hacks and general chit-chat going on across the web, every single second.

For business owners, that’s a lot of noise to contend with.

It’s a global problem, and you’re certainly not alone. The Internet is flooded with content of varying degrees of quality and value. It’s information overload – and the messages we are trying to communicate are suffering as a result.

Communication is probably the most powerful tool at our disposal. So it’s time to take it back.

How to Communicate Clearly

A good conversation has the power to do great things. It can persuade, inform and ultimately sell, so let’s get back to basics.

1. Choose Wisely

When you’ve got information to convey, don’t just slap it on your homepage. Would a short video convey it better? An informal blog post? An email, or even a letter? The medium you choose to distribute your information is as important as the message itself, and will allow you to articulate your points in the clearest manner.

2. Be Simple, Stupid

Avoid jargon and use the clearest language possible. Complexity will turn readers off, especially if you’re communicating on the web where users prefer to skim and scroll rather than actually read. Choose plain and simple, particularly if you’re communicating with clients or people who don’t know your industry.

3. Speak to Your Audience

One of the most important things to remember when communicating is to know your audience. How can you possibly make yourself understood if you don’t know who you’re speaking to? Structure your message accordingly and speak their language.

Simple, eh?

Above all, one of the best ways to convey the right message is to put yourself in your readers’ shoes. As a small business, you’ve probably sought advice more times than you care to remember. But what pieces of advice really made you sit up, listen, and act? It was probably the stuff that came straight from someone who’s been there, done it, and lived to tell the tale.

Using Smart Guides to Communicate

This type of advice is sorely needed and, just like you, those experts are figuring out ways to cut through the noise and get their message across. One new method of communication that might just help is a ‘smart guide’.

You’ll find them on It’s a platform on which experts can share their knowledge by creating live guides that are interactive, structured, and constantly evolving. Users can ask questions as they read, putting them in direct touch with the author, and the author in turn can reply and continually update the content.

Don’t just take our word for it. Mailchimp, Shopify and Hubspot all use smart guides, as does yours truly – Alliance Virtual Offices.

It’s not a 140-character blast, it’s not a blog post, it’s not a social message that’s going to dissolve into the fog as soon as it’s been posted. It’s detailed, structured and long-form — and it’s all about clarity.

It’s not a one-size-fits-all solution, nor will it guarantee you an instant audience. These things take time. But this is one 21st approach to communication that can help you share your knowledge and, ultimately, cut through the noise.

Surely that’s worth shouting about?