Do you struggle with business writing?
10 foolproof tips to help you win over more clients with the power of the written word.
Business writing doesn’t have to be something you dread. Think of it as a tool to enhance your professional success. To give you a helping hand, here’s my top 10 foolproof tips for business writing (in no particular order):
- Be clear. Be concise. “Say less” has never been more relevant than in business writing. There’s nothing worse than being interested in a brand/company/person, going to their website, and getting lost trying to understand its purpose or what it’s about. Use language that’s clear and easily understandable. Get straight to the point—there’s nothing to gain in adding extra words if your meaning becomes confusing.
- Know who you’re writing for. Understand who your audience is and write forthem. One size does not fit all in business writing. It’s crucial to figure out who your target audience is and aim to appeal to them.
- Get across your brand. Whether you’re writing your content, or you’ve hired someone to do it for you, don’t lose the message you want to convey about your brand/image in translation. Identify your key messages and ensure they’re your content’s focal point.
- Pay attention to punctuation and grammar. This should go without saying, but make sure your writing is grammatically correct. If English isn’t your strong point, invest in using a trusted program like Grammarly, which does most of the hard work for you. And don’t forget about punctuation. It can make or break what you’re trying to convey (see, for example, our article on the Oxford comma).
- Make it easy to scan. This As a business owner or professional, you’ll understand how busy life can get. So, why make it harder for audiences to read your content? You want them to scan your writing easily, find what they want to know and gauge what you’re saying without having to overthink it. I’d advise breaking up your copy with headings – they signpost to readers what each section contains and help them stay focused on your message.
- Give good substance. Keep your content exciting and relevant. Avoid unnecessary jargon just to fill space. Stick to what’s essential and make it informative.
- Add some humour. Just because you’re a professional, doesn’t mean you have to be bland. Add some humour to make your content stand out and be memorable. Entertain your reader while they’re browsing your site and you’ll be rewarded with more likes/leads/sales.
- Be conversational. Keep it casual! Your audience should have an easy time reading your content. You’re more likely to keep them glued to what you’re saying if you use a conversational tone. It’s not like you’re writing an academic essay. Try to write as if you’re speaking to someone in person.
- Stay credible. And on that note, just because you’re not writing an academic essay, doesn’t mean your content shouldn’t be credible. Make sure details are up-to-date and indisputable. Even if something sound good, don’t use it unless you’ve got evidence to back it up.
- Use the right lingo. Outdated lingo is a surefire way to lose your audience fast. Show readers your ‘hip’ and current. Avoid old-fashioned sayings, regardless of how polite and professional you think they sound.
And that’s it! If you’ve made it this far, I must have done my job well. See, business writing doesn’t have to be hard. But if you do find business writing tricky, pass it on to some more capable hands.