see photosiStockClick for full photo gallery: 10 Tips For Better Business Writing The ubiquity of e-mail means that everyone in business, from lords of finance to programmers who dream in code, needs to write intelligently.
I’ve been asked to give a brief lesson on how to write content for the web. While it’s writing we’re going to cover, to apply the lesson I want you to think of yourself as an artist. You’re going to paint a picture—illustrate a point (or several).
I love a story where a small business goes head to head with bigger businesses and wins, don’t you? So I got pretty excited when I heard tour operator Sean Blocksidge talk at the recent Social Media Tourism Symposium.
Whether it’s a business proposal or a persuasive paper, writing to persuade can be a difficult undertaking. However, it is possible with a little bit of training and a whole lot of understanding about what it takes to truly “sell” a message – or yourself. Here are some easy ways to encourage readers to see things your way:
Be honest. When you are writing with a specific goal in mind, it’s important to make sure that you are presenting your facts both accurately and logically. Honesty is the best policy in sales or persuasive writing, so don’t deviate from the truth. Make it your policy to double-check your content – and when possible, to cite exactly where you found it.
Be engaging. The opening line of a novel tends to garner a lot of attention; specifically, readers believe that it sets the tone for the entire piece. (Take a look at the 100 best opening lines here.) In your business writing – whether you’re working on an opening paragraph or an executive summary – remember that first impressions are equally important. Be clear and concise so you can hook a reader’s attention and hold it through the end.
Be focused. Chances are that your readers will not be interested in your background in whaling, or your uncanny ability to snowboard blindfolded. Although you may want to share certain information in a pitch, proposal, or presentation, make sure that it is relevant to the topic at hand, and that it is clearly highlights specific benefits for your readers. Whenever possible, include information and statistics that helps them to see just how much their business can benefit from your idea.
Proofread. Every sentence is important when you are writing to convince. Don’t allow a few silly grammatical and spelling errors to cloud the reader’s ability to focus on your topic. According to a recent study from Grammarly:
Professionals with fewer grammar errors in their Linkedin profiles achieve higher positions. Those who failed to progress to a director-level position within the first 10 years of their careers made 2.5 times as many grammar mistakes as their director-level colleagues.Fewer grammar errors correlate with more promotions. Professionals with one to four promotions over their 10-year careers made 45 percent more grammar errors than those with six to nine promotions in the same time frame.
Good grammar is good business, and your ability to write may indicate to potential employers and employers, alike, your level of attention to detail, your critical thinking skills, and your intellectual aptitude.
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