Though it may be on a keyboard or an iPad instead of a typewriter, effective writing is key for anyone in business.
As a business professional, it is important to be able to clearly communicate with your potential customers or clients. All written communication should convey your thoughts, opinions, and data in a way that is easy to understand, grammatically correct, and invokes trust with the consumer.
You do not have to have an English degree to become a good writer. All it takes is a little direction and a little practice.
Know your Audience
It is of utmost importance to know who you are writing to. Just as a children’s book author and an academic scholar would not write the same, nor should you write with the same tone and manner for two different audiences. If your customer or client works in a more formal setting, double-check your writing to ensure it’s all grammatically correct and free from spelling errors. If you are working with someone who is more laid back, you can take a few liberties in how you address them. Whoever you are writing to, though, be sure you would be proud of what you sent if it was read by their boss.
Good writing does not have to be littered with lengthy adjectives and spruced up verbiage. Read your words aloud. If they sound silly when you hear them, chances are they will also sound silly when you read them.
In Middle School, you were told to use the “active voice” in your writing. With this in mind, you can easily streamline your writing to be clearer and more direct. For example, you should not say, “There are three things we need to do to improve your business.” Instead, you could say, “There are three things that would improve your business.” The latter is more direct and can understand exactly what you are telling them.
Call to Action
If what you are writing requires a call to action for the recipient, it is important for the reader to know exactly what is expected of them. Do not bury requests in the middle of a paragraph. Ensure that when your client references your document that they can easily identify what is needed from them. Usually, a bulleted list or paragraph that includes an entry sentence is most helpful.
Check. Check again.
No one has ever said, “Spellcheck is perfect.” You should always proofread your work (twice, in our opinion), and maybe have a friend review your document, before sending off important emails or documents.