Saturday, 23 January 2010

Business Writing: what readers add in

He stood there as if glued to the carpet, faced us all down and said,'There's one lesson and one only you need to master.'

All his students waited for the answer to the writing universe's question.

'Get out of your ego.'

Simple. And it is when you dig into what he meant. I came across this quote by a different writer later and it slammed the eqo quote back into my head.

'Writing gives you the illusion of control, and then you realize it's just an illusion, that people are going to bring their own stuff into it.' David Sedaris

Because in business writing we tend to think that we know best. We know our product, our service back to front and inside out. Which means that we know what our readers, clients, customers need to hear.

Naturally. Of course. We're right.


How many things do you have to accomplish in a day, an hour or even ten minutes?

I've already run out of fingers. Which means that even if people want to read what you've written, even if it's at the top of their to-do list screaming for attention, their mind is already stuffed.

So they're bringing to your writing, all the conflicting concerns they have. Which means what?

Unless you get to the point that's in their head you've already lost the battle for their attention.

What do you need to do then?

  1. Behave as if you are your own customer and know nothing.
  2. Come up with no more than 3 reasons for them to buy from you.
  3. Make it easy for them to do business with you.

All simple stuff. Which we forget too often.

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