Top 5 Writing Tips For Entrepreneurs
THIS IS REALLY AMAZING!
I READ THE BELOW AND AM LIKE 'WOW!' Am amazed at the truthfulness and factuality of the below datum. Enjoy!
Can you be a terrible writer and still be successful as an entrepreneur? Sure. You can also be short and play in the NBA, but it helps to be tall, and you will be a better entrepreneur than you would otherwise be if you can write well. I’ve been told that I write well. I haven’t taken the time to analyze whether that’s true or not, but what I do know is that I enjoy writing, and that I see the value in it for my business, inasmuch as I run an online marketing firm and “content marketing” is all the rage these days, which means lots of writing.
Writing a lot means making lots of mistakes in terms of spelling, grammar, and more ambiguous ways. Correcting spelling is generally easy enough what with spell check, although as anyone knows spell check won’t tell you if “your” or “you’re” is the correct verbiage to use. For checking my work for improvement beyond the simple spelling errors, one of the services I use is Grammarly. It’s an online services that quickly and easily makes your writing better and makes you sound like a pro, or at least helps you avoid looking like a fool.
I believe good writing skills can enrich anyone’s life, but are particularly important for entrepreneurs. According to a recent study from Grammarly there may be a strong correlation between accurate writing and career success. Professionals with fewer grammar errors achieve higher positions. For entrepreneurs, this could mean the difference between gaining or losing a customer—or even succeeding or failing at the business. So I asked Allison VanNest of Grammarly to give me some tips on writing for entrepreneurs. Here are her top five:
- Be brief. As Shakespeare wrote, “Brevity is the soul of wit.” The most effective entrepreneurs are those who can communicate the value of their business succinctly to a variety of audiences. Try using the Paramedic Method, as outlined here, to perform triage on unwieldy sentences. Also, avoid meaningless buzzwords, like “operationalize” or “synergize.” Here are 65 words to cut from your writing.
- Use bullets. Often, bullets help to simplify the presentation of information. One of the easiest ways to highlight the benefits of your product or service is to share the information in short “sound bites” that users can scan quickly. Bullets break up text visually and make it easier for people to read—and don’t forget, everyone loves a numbered list!
- Always use spelling and grammar checking tools. One of the fastest ways to undermine your credibility as an entrepreneur is to make spelling or grammar mistakes in communicating your message. Show customers—and potential customers—that you are accurate, professional, and credible by checking (and double-checking!) your written work. As a business owner, your word is both your bond and a reflection of your reliability. Don’t undermine yourself with sloppy writing.
- Be positive and specific. People respond best to positive reinforcement, so try saying, “please be sure to…” rather than “make sure you do not…” Additionally, it is important for an entrepreneur to be clear. Rather than saying that you will provide information “later,” be specific and provide a date and expected delivery time. A vague disclaimer is no one’s friend!
- Know when to take conversations offline. Written communication is a simple way to loop several people in on an important topic or decision. However, when your team is divided over certain issues, it is integral for an entrepreneur to know when to call for face-to-face interaction. Also, be aware of email etiquette and only hit “Reply All” when everyone on the list really does need to receive the message.
“For many entrepreneurs, your writing is a reflection of your professionalism, your attention to detail, and even your brand,” VanNest says. “Taking care to write accurately is one easy way to move your business in the right direction. Even if you find the (admittedly complex) rules of grammar to be fiddly at best, others will notice when you mix up your homonyms or dangle your participles.”I owe my passion for writing to my mother who taught me to love reading when I was young, but passion without skill merely results in a bigger mess. Whatever skill I have in the craft of writing I owe to my father who was, and still is, a stickler for proper grammar and clarity when it comes to wordcraft. Even though I’m approaching my 40′s, my father still corrects me, and in fact reads all these posts I make on Forbes and sends me a list of errors he finds, along with suggestions for improving my future writing.
Writing has been a blessing to me as an entrepreneur. I use it every day as I send emails, write posts like this one, create content for a client’s website, or send out a tweet. In addition to VanNest’s tips, I would also recommend following websites like Copyblogger and ProBlogger, and investing time in reading the books If You Want To Write by Brenda Ueland, On Writing by Stephen King (yes, that Stephen King), and On Writing Well by William Zinsser. And while you’re at it, it wouldn’t hurt to listen to a bit of Travis’ hit single Writing to Reach You.
How important are writing skills to your role as an entrepreneur? What writing tips have helped you?
About Allison VanVestA self-proclaimed word nerd, Allison VanNest works with Grammarly to help perfect written English. Connect with Allie, the Grammarly team, and more than 859,000 Grammarly Facebook fans at www.facebook.com/grammarly.
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