Whether you like it or not, in business, the act of writing is a vital part of the job. In all of your communications, you want to be clear, informative and strategic, and how you present yourself in writing is no exception. With this in mind, it’s best to confront your fears when it comes to writing and push onward by asking yourself three basic questions to help improve those skills.
Am I communicating clearly? Shakespeare may have said that “Brevity is the soul of wit,” but even he knew that sometimes you have to get your point across. The problem can be how long it takes you to get your point across. How wordy is your writing? Or is it too short and unclear? Take a break from what you’ve written, and then come back to it with fresh eyes. Does it still make sense and seem clear without being overly long? If it does, then you know you are on the right track.
What are my guilty pleasures? Just like you have junk food preferences, you have favourite words and phrases that you may not realize you are constantly using. But those with whom you communicate sure do. Do spot checks for overuse of common words, phrases or cliches that may be cluttering up your writing. Always watch for typos, misspelled words and slang. Remember that if you are representing your business on social media, you can keep it casual yet professional.
Is this right for my audience? We write to express an idea and share that idea with others. How you write an email to a family friend may be very different from how you write an email to a work colleague. Always take care to consider who will be reading what you’ve written; then ask yourself if it is appropriate. You should also consider where your writing will appear. For example, an advertisement on Facebook should be different from a customer email. It should be short, catchy and appeal to a broad audience while a customer email should be personal to the customer and address a specific issue.
Improving and gaining confidence in your writing skills will help you communicate more effectively with your customer base. It will enable you to communicate clearly and with authority for the right medium and audience, so you can get your message across with confidence.