writing for business
content production, digital copywriting, editing, proofreading, typos, writing tips

Writing tips for non-writers: writing for business

writing for business
Writing for business

Would you like to know how to write purposefully, authentically and effectively in your business? Understanding how to best communicate with your stakeholders can improve business, build credibility and foster excellent relationships. I have plucked a handful of key steps you can take to guarantee an improvement in your writing skills.

Identify a purpose

What is the purpose of your content? Is it internal or external communications? Is it marketing or informative? There is no point spending hours and resources creating content if you don’t know why you are creating it. There are many reasons you might choose to create content, and taking the time to nut out exactly why you want this content will be invaluable to you. It will save time in the long run and will help inform where you want to use the content.

Know where you want to publish your content

Deciding where you want to publish your content should absolutely affect what you produce. Is this content for the web? Is it an annual report for board members? Is it an article for print? Is it an email to a client or colleague? You should take a different approach for each platform. Know ahead of time where you want to publish your content and use that to guide your approach.

Generally speaking, writing for business requires a professional and approachable tone. Be direct, be simple and be clear. If your business has a style guide, you can follow that guide for the right approach.

Identify your call to action

Once you know the desired outcome of your content you have identified your call to action. Make that call clear. Identify it early and always return to it. If any content that you’ve created does not support your call to action – is it necessary?

Know your style

Designing a consistent voice for your business is vital. If you haven’t already, engage a communications specialist, either internally or externally and create a style guide now. This document will help you and your colleagues create consistent, on point, on-brand content for every platform.

Remember to create a guide that includes all the platforms on which you will be conducting business including but not limited to:

  • Emails
  • Reports (external and internal)
  • Website
  • Blog or online articles
  • Newsletters
  • Brochures
  • Social Media
  • Overall printed style
  • Overall digital style

Save your templates

If you have written a great email, or you’re particularly proud of a report you’ve produced, save it. Ensure that you design templates as part of your style guide. This will save time and guarantee a degree of consistency.

Many people do no have experience writing, yet their jobs require writing. Make it easier for them and yourself. Design templates that are easy to follow and save them.

You’ve gotta accentuate the positive

Starting a piece of content with something you can’t do just reminds people what you can’t do. Where possible always lead the focus back to what you can do. Using optimistic language engages your reader on a confident and positive level. Leading with what you can do intrinsically instills your reader with confidence in your ability to do what you need to.

Use the active voice wherever possible. It saves time. It is more direct. It gets your point across in the most efficient way. Unless you are making a specific point, there is no place for a passive voice in business writing.

Get rid of your jargon

When you’re in an industry full of jargon, it’s often difficult to simplify your language and create engaging and clear content. Read my earlier blog for tips on how you can KISS your jargon-filled copy goodbye.

Check it once then check it again.

Pay particular attention to names, titles, gender and dates. By making a mistake this simple you can almost certainly lose a degree of credibility from your reader. Check your facts and then check them again.

Make sure you haven’t made any silly and obvious spelling or grammatical errors. You can refer back to this spelling and grammar checklist for some tips. Don’t just rely on the internet to check your work. Check your content and then check it again.

Ask someone to proofread your content.

Check it one more time.

Ask for help

If you’re still unsure, ask for help. If you don’t have a communications specialist in-house, consider engaging someone like me to help you with your business content.

There are some great courses out there. For a personalised writing training course for your business, get in touch with Make it Peachy for a free consultation.

Decorated pumpkins in a garden
content production, copywriting, digital copywriting, research, storytelling, writing tips

Give your customers a treat this Halloween, not a trick

We’ve all been there. Happily surfing the web and up pops a fantastic looking article. Off we go, trusting and naïve, and there at the end of our click is a nasty, boring, uninteresting monster, completely unrelated to the original bait. We feel violated. How can we slay the evil click bait monster? For starters, don’t contribute to it. Positive, reciprocal and useful relationships are based on mutual respect and exchange of useful products, services and information.

You can make a point of creating engaging, relevant content, and treat your customers to a great service. Below are five tips for keeping your content interesting and still engaging for your audience.

Don’t be a vampire: substance over seduction

No one is denying that sex sells. The sexy and captivating vampire sucks you in with his charm and good looks. Instead of giving you the best night of your night, you are left with a very sore neck and a rather impressive iron deficiency. Don’t do this to your potential customers.

By all means, spend time to create great headlines and sexy invitations. Don’t leave it at that. Make sure that whatever you promise, you can deliver. Create entertaining content that is both helpful and engaging.

You can’t slay the beast if you don’t know what it is

Buffy the Vampire Slayer may have had super strength and mad kung fu skills, but she would never have defeated the big bad without the knowledge. She relied heavily on the researching skills of her team to determine just exactly what she was fighting and how she could win.

Always hit the books, or rather net, and research, research, research!

Who is talking in your industry?

What are they talking about?

Who is your audience?

What do they want?

How can you provide it?

Without answering these questions, you’ll never be able to create or even curate the best and most enticing content.

Identify your weapon and use only that

If you have discovered that a silver bullet is the only thing that will defeat a werewolf, you grab a gun with silver bullets. You don’t overload yourself with a crossbow, a sword, a light saber and a wooden stake. All you’d be doing is weighing yourself down with excess crap, and it will likely just get in the way.

Strip down your intent to the cleanest content you can. Simplify what you’re able to and get rid of the fluff you don’t need. It’s wasteful and boring and you will likely just lose your audience before you even begin.

Be forever vigilant

If you are going to make yourself known to the big bad, you’d better be prepared. It could come at you at any time, and you need to be armed and ready.

Ensure that your digital content is accurate, useful and up to date at all times. You don’t know what or when a customer is going to take interest in your content, so it’s important to make sure that your content is relevant.

If you’re outgunned, call for backup

You wouldn’t run into car park full of crazed zombies alone and unarmed.

Don’t create and curate just for the sake of it. Make sure you are able to provide great and practical content. If you find yourself overwhelmed, time poor or simply unable to get started, ask for help.

There are some incredible resources online that offer tips, advice or industry relevant information. Follow engaging blogs, industry leaders and inspiring content providers for inspiration.

If you are not sure where to start, many content consultants can work with you from the beginning. They can help guide you out of the darkness and into the content haven.

Don’t throw eggs at your customers this Halloween; give them some delicious candy that lasts.