Top 5 Writing Tips for Small Business Owners
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Writing doesn’t come easy to many of us.
I have always enjoyed reading, even as a child, but having to put my thoughts into writing, that makes sense to other people, can be rather difficult for me.
When I started writing articles for my first blog several years ago, I never imagined that I would end up getting published in a Women’s magazine or would co-author a book with my husband. These days I write several 400+ word articles a week and I’m in the process of writing a book on Online Marketing for Small Businesses.
For small business owners like you and I, it’s extremely important to develop good writing skills.
Even if you don’t have a blog or plan on writing a book, you still need to be able to write cohesive emails, attractive ad copy, well thought out business letters and so on.
The other day I came across a great article about being able to write well, and Allison VanNest of Grammarly, an online service for automated proofreading, gave some tips on writing for small business owners.
I would like to share her top five writing tips:
1. Be brief. As Shakespeare wrote, “Brevity is the soul of wit.” The most effective entrepreneurs are those who can communicate the value of their business succinctly to a variety of audiences. Try using the Paramedic Method, as outlined here, to perform triage on unwieldy sentences. Also, avoid meaningless buzzwords, like “operationalize” or “synergize.”
2. Use bullets. Often, bullets help to simplify the presentation of information. One of the easiest ways to highlight the benefits of your product or service is to share the information in short “sound bites” that users can scan quickly. Bullets break up text visually and make it easier for people to read—and don’t forget, everyone loves a numbered list!
3. Always use spelling and grammar checking tools. One of the fastest ways to undermine your credibility as an entrepreneur is to make spelling or grammar mistakes in communicating your message. Show customers—and potential customers—that you are accurate, professional, and credible by checking (and double-checking!) your written work.
As a business owner, your word is both your bond and a reflection of your reliability. Don’t undermine yourself with sloppy writing.
4. Be positive and specific. People respond best to positive reinforcement, so try saying, “please be sure to…” rather than “make sure you do not…” Additionally, it is important for an entrepreneur to be clear. Rather than saying that you will provide information “later,” be specific and provide a date and expected delivery time. A vague disclaimer is no one’s friend!
5. Know when to take conversations offline. Written communication is a simple way to loop several people in on an important topic or decision. However, when your team is divided over certain issues, it is integral for an entrepreneur to know when to call for face-to-face interaction. Also, be aware of email etiquette and only hit “Reply All” when everyone on the list really does need to receive the message.
How important are good writing skills for you as a small business owner? Do you have any tips to add?
Leave your comments below and please share this article with your friends.
About Allison VanVest
A self-proclaimed word nerd, Allison VanNest works with Grammarly to help perfect written English. Connect with Allie, the Grammarly team, and more than 859,000 Grammarly Facebook fans at www.facebook.com/grammarly.
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