Business writing is vital to your success in the workplace. However, how do you learn to improve it when you’re always so busy? There is a way you can work on your writing without having to dedicate hours and hours to it. Use these ten hacks to help improve your business writing, and impress the right people.
Before you write a word, think about who you’re writing for. If it’s an email to a singular person, think about them. What’s their day like? How busy are they? What do they need from you? If it’s to a group of customers, think about what they want from you, and how you can benefit them. If you write with your audience in mind, you’ll be able to get the most of the process.
No matter who you’re writing for, keep your tone conversational. Imagine you’re sitting across from them at lunch, rather than talking to them in the boardroom. If you’re too formal in your writing, it could easily put the reader off. Keep it light, and they’re much more likely to pay attention.
When writing, it’s easy to forget that not everyone will know the same jargon and buzzwords as you do. Keep them out of your writing. If you don’t, it’s easy to alienate readers as they don’t understand what you’re talking about.
If you boast about your work or your company without the facts, then it just looks like hyperbole. Back up anything you say with solid facts and evidence. You then show that your company can back up all their claims and aren’t just all flash.
Whatever you’re writing, make sure that you get to the point quickly. Readers can quickly lose interest, and even more so when they’re reading off a screen. Put your main point in your first sentence, and then use the rest of the piece to elaborate on it. Just make sure you don’t go on for too long, though.
Any customer reading your writing wants to know what you can do for them. If you talk about yourself too much using ‘I’ or ‘we’, you’re not telling the customer how you can benefit them. Focus on how you can make their life easier, and how your product is a benefit to them.
You never have to write alone. There’s plenty of help out there that can get you through the entire writing and editing process. Give these tools a try:
Nothing will turn a reader off faster than getting their name wrong. Double check before you hit ‘send’ on that email. Have you spelled their name right? Have you called them ‘Ms.’ rather than ‘Miss’? It’s the little details that matter, so make sure you’ve got them right.
Overuse of exclamation points can make you sound like a huckster, overemphasising your point. This doesn’t mean you can’t use them at all, but be prudent in your use of them. Elmore Leonard said you shouldn’t be allowed more than two or three exclamation points per 100,00 words of text. You don’t have to go that far, but keep this in mind when you’re writing.
Your readers get emails upon emails every day, so they won’t have time to read long texts. Keep your emails to five sentences or fewer, and you’ll have their attention. Use these hacks when you’re writing, and you’ll be sure to see a great improvement in your communications. Every little helps when you’re trying to win over an audience.
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