My mother taught me to read and write when I was around 4 years old. Somehow I always thought that it is just what everyone does. I never realized that some people find writing hard. Thinking back on it, my mother may be the main reason for me becoming a freelance writer. I remember her writing short stories when I was small. Maybe with my writing I am fulfilling a dream she sowed the seed for.
As a freelance writer, I have come to see that writing is not only about stories. The need for good writing skills stretch a lot further. I have come to learn that good writing skills are as important in business as it is when you are writing a children’s storybook. This bodes the question: Can you be a terrible writer and still be successful in business? Sure you can. You can also be 20 kg overweight and become a run-way model. To become a model, it helps to be thin. In the same way it will help you be a better businessperson if you are able to write well.
This morning I rejected a business proposal someone e-mailed me. I barely read it because a lack of good writing skill made it hard to follow. I clicked through to this person’s LinkedIn profile and even there it seemed incoherent. I deleted the e-mail without even replying. (Bad manners, I know. I will retrieve it after writing this and write a nice rejection letter; like that would make him feel better!)
If he hired a freelance writer to rewrite his LinkedIn profile and his business proposal, he is sure to attract a lot more business than he is at the moment. The point I’m trying to make is: if the e-mail or even his LinkedIn profile was well written, it would have inspired a lot more confidence in me. I probably would have looked at his proposal in more depth.
Even the most proficient writer makes mistakes. From spelling errors to grammar that would make my old English teacher cringe, I make them every day. You won’t believe how these rules differ between South Africa, the USA, the UK and Australia. However, one can still keep as close to the rules as possible. Because I do so much freelance writing, I always look at the market I’m writing a certain piece for and then adhere to the grammar rules of that demographic as close as possible. Spell check helps correct mistakes to a certain extent and hopefully helps me look like less of a fool.
Since writing is so important to business success, you will do well to follow the following tips:
- Make it short and sweet. Nobody has time to read long-winded pieces that drone on and on about how good your business is.
- If at all possible, make use of bullet points. It makes for easier reading and is usually very effective in getting your message across.
- You have no reason not to use spell check. It will make sure that you at least avoid some of your spelling errors. And don’t forget to proofread whatever you have written.
- E-mail conversations have become the order of the day. However, there are times when you need to take the conversation offline and have a face-to-face interaction. In business, it is important not to always hide behind your keyboard – even if you are an excellent penman.
Good writing skills can help your business, as it is a reflection of your level of professionalism and attention to detail. No matter what business you are in, well-written pieces can give you the edge over your competition.
Although we have all these writing tools like spell check at our disposal, for some writing a press release, a business letter or a presentation, seems an insurmountable obstacle. That is what freelance writers are for. We can take your business to the next level by writing your official correspondence, press releases, presentations and of course that ever-important website content. If you have trouble doing your own writing, contact me for a free quote. I am just too happy to be of assistance and help your business grow.