When it comes to business writing overall, how do you measure up?
Overall, businesses spend $3.1 billion on remedial writing training for their employees annually. We’re not offering a class, but we have compiled a list of professional writing tips to aid you in your business communication.
Even if English wasn’t your favorite subject in school, using these tips will make you look like a pro.
Writing Like a Pro with These Tips
Know your audience.
Think about who you are writing to.
Is it a customer? A potential customer? A coworker? Your boss? There are different ways to communicate with all of these people. Keep the audience in the forefront of your mind when you start your composition.
Think about your tone.
Think about how formal you want to appear.
Do you want to sound like a corporate store or a friend? Do you want to be lighthearted or more serious? Think about this as you write; then, keep your tone consistent.
Watch your punctuation and grammar.
Some people in your audience care a lot about grammar and punctuation.
If you make a lot of mistakes, it will cost you your professionalism, causing your audience not to trust you. Use spellcheck for sure, even if you won all the spelling bees in school. Sometimes when we write quickly, we make tiny mistakes.
If you’re not sure about grammar, there are programs that will help you with this, too. If you are lucky enough to have a trusted coworker who is good at writing, have them look it over for you. They might find something you missed.
Focus on your point.
Many people ramble on about things that are not pertinent to their goal in writing.
Think about if you want to sell something, tell your customers about a new technology you have, or promote a particular service. Then, focus on that. Review your writing when you are done so that you can edit out unnecessary information that doesn’t directly relate to your point.
Don’t use jargon or buzzwords.
Your audience may not be familiar with jargon or buzzwords.
Make sure you use clear language that anyone can understand. Don’t assume they understand what you are saying. Make it clear, and leave nothing to chance.
If it helps, outline your business writing before sitting down with pen and paper (or finger and computer).
If you can organize your thoughts in an outline, you will be more effective in your composition. Then be sure to stick to your outline by referring to it constantly.
Watch your font usage.
You may think it’s fun to experiment with fonts, and it can be.
But when you are writing a business letter or advertising copy, make sure not to use too many different fonts. Stick with one or two.
Some people think that by adding a lot of words to their writing, it makes them appear more educated.
Actually, the contrary is true. A good writer can edit their copy so that it’s concise and to the point. This will help your audience remember what your point is.
Wait a day to proofread if possible.
If you can, give yourself a day to proofread. By waiting a day, you will catch more mistakes.
Research the competition.
If you are writing advertising copy, or a letter to promote an event or product at your business, be sure to research what the competition is offering.
You shouldn’t mention the competition, but keep it in mind so that your offer stands out. Be sure you have a better offer or are offering something totally different that will be even more appealing to your audience.
Perfecting Your Writing
No matter how much you write, these are great tips to refer to when writing business correspondence.
Even expert writers need to be reminded of these simple steps from time to time. Since it’s easy to ramble on, we all need a reminder to edit ourselves. Not only will these tips help you improve your writing, but they will position you as a leader in your field.
At our printing firm, we want to help you be number one. That’s why we offer professional layout and design services with high-quality paper to help you finish off your perfect marketing materials. Call us today or stop in to see how we can help.