1. Ask why. With the pressure on, we often get started on writing a fact sheet or blog before we really understand its purpose. Quality business writing is clear in its intent and speaks to the audience in a way that suits them (not you). There’s no use writing a two-page fact sheet if the message would be better delivered via video or a series of case studies. So start with asking why you need to communicate before investing too much time in the ‘product’.
2. Provide a solution. Great businesses answer questions before you’ve even asked them. Be helpful. Offer suggestions and tips that go a little further than your product or service offering. Being seen as a helpful, trustworthy business is great for your brand reputation.
3. Always include a call to action. This doesn’t have to be complicated. It just needs to provide a conclusive, simple action for the reader. It’s a suggested way for them to purchase, inquire, book, share, or explore further. There’s nothing worse than getting to the end of an inspiring read and then not knowing how to take the next step.
4. Make it easy for your reader. On a website, add useful page links to more information, stats or relevant blogs. In a report or other document, include footnotes, page references, contents and/or an index, infographics, images and captions. We’re a skimming generation, so the easier you can make it for your reader, the more likely they’ll get to the end and take action.We're a skimming generation, so the easier you can make it for your reader, the more likely they'll get to the end and take action. Click To Tweet
5. Add emotion. Genuine stories or anecdotes can generate strong emotions. When we feel something, we remember it. Try to be as authentic as you can. Some content marketers have even identified ‘trigger’ words to inject into text to make it more persuasive.
6. Allow time for final edits. A great website, app or report that has taken months to compile can be instantly let down by a rushed release. I’m sure it’s not just me who lets out a groan when I see a typo on a homepage or in an executive summary. A copy editor may suggest some restructuring, or pick up lots of typos that could detract from the message. But rushing the edit will not help. Just as you factor in time for graphic design or testing, allow time for a thorough edit.
7. Don’t forget the final proofread. Even after an edit, design and approvals, inevitably a caption or page number goes missing. The contents page may go skewwhiff after a few revisions. A thorough proofread just prior to release/print is important – ideally with fresh eyes.
If you’re looking for help to add energy to your business writing, get in touch with me today!
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