Why does writing even matter if you’re a business-person?

By June 8, 2015Blog, Language

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Writing matters because every manifestation of your professional brand, except for what comes out of your mouth, requires writing.

There’s writing everywhere

Think about it: LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter. Your blog. Your website. And, if you’re a small business owner, your marketing material. All of these require words from you – otherwise there’s nothing to put in them. Nothing to populate them with. And the content of all of these different profiles need to be written well: cleanly, powerfully and compellingly. Otherwise, what’s the point?

So, writing’s a big deal. Whether your business is services- or product-based. Whether you’re big, small, start-up or established. And whether or not you aced English at school or bunked all the classes in the loos.

What’s my point? You need to up-skill yourself, find someone in your company who’s an exceptional writer, or out-source. And until you do…

Some quick and easy tips

  1. Email subject lines matter. Make them count. Please avoid one-worders. Be specific, detailed, definite and meaningful.
  2. Stay away from old-fashioned ‘businessy’ language. Just write as you speak. If it sounds like Shakespeare (henceforth, abovementioned, perusal, hereto, thereby), it’s not doing you any favours.
  3. Switch your viewpoint with the reader’s. In other words, always write with the reader’s agenda in mind, not your own.
  4. Don’t be afraid of white space, short paragraphs, one-liners and bullets. Readers love these devices, which make reading easier.
  5. Go through your website copy. Count all of the times you use ‘we’. Try to replace them with ‘you’ and flip the sentences to speak to your readers’ interests. It’s about features, not about benefits.
  6. If you’re going to use social media, find someone to manage it and make that their job. They need to be a good writer and a polished diplomat, not just a young person who’s digital-savvy.
  7. Think about outcomes, not about messaging. What I mean is, start by knowing what you want your audience to DO. Then create the text around that. Don’t start with your text and forget the desired action.
  8. Be explicit. Your readers aren’t stupid, but they’re not concentrating. If you want a reader to take an action, state it directly and clearly.

And one final word…?

When you’re done expressing your message, just stop writing. You don’t need to pad the text to make the copy look more substantial. Allow it to stand alone.

Like I’ve just done. Thanks.

*This post originally appeared on themarketingsite.com.