Friday, 6 April 2012

Business Writing: how to write to communicate and connect

Writing is a fundamental skill in business that scares many people. They’re afraid of the blank page. They’re afraid of grammar and punctuation. They’re afraid of getting it ‘wrong’.

So why should we put ourselves through torture to write?  Simple... to talk to others.  By others in this case I mean the people who are interested in what you offer. And much as you might prefer it, you can't talk personally to everyone especially if your business is global.

But that's the thing, you can do.

What are we trying to achieve when we write?

Let’s look at what we’re trying to do when we write. Whether we write for our business or we’re a would be novelist, our aim is to make some connection with our reader that will persuade them to carry on reading. This is essential for both when you want to sell.

Why am I talking about novels when this article is about business writing?

If you've ever read any novel, how did it grip you?  Was it so involving you kept turning the page?
Or did it bore you and you shut the book in frustration.

The exact same thing happens on many business websites, and in many brochures.

Why are you in business ?

Because you have a passion for something. Though money is important, nobody goes into business because they simply want to make money. You want to help people achieve more feel better, solve problems and enjoy their lives.

And make some money.

Have you had the experience of buying something and all that happened was they sales person took your money.  No smile, no words, no connection.  A mechanical process.

If you’re in business the ongoing relationship is what counts. It takes 80% more effort to make the first sale than succeeding ones. If you build the relationship from the beginning with that connection.

So whether you do it online, in print or in person, that's essential.
Putting you and the reader into the story
There's a story behind every purchase, whether it's a birthday card, a swimming pool or insurance.  What's the story you're telling about what you sell?

And what's the story your reader is in the middle of when they think about their purchase and your product or service.

Could be a special party for a centarian, a facility for the grandchildren or taking care of the family.

Doesn't the writing have to be 'proper'?
Yes of course you want your writing to be grammatical but that’s a service that can be bought in. What can’t be bought in is the passion and drive you have to pass on your knowledge, expertise and problem solving problems.

And you can't buy in your interest in people's stories.

If you want to be an effective business writer, put your reader into the picture.  Concentrate on that first.

Then drill down to the tiniest details of your product and service that you’re proud of and want to share with others and think how they'll fit into the stories you meet.  From there you can build up your writing from those key essentials.

Never settle for boring writing. Breathe yourself and your passion into your writing and your writing will bring you the results you want.

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