Why do brilliant people often have such a difficult time writing effective materials? Quite simply, they haven’t mastered the five rules of effectively written business communications.
- Know the Specifics of Your Audience–You need to tailor your message to your clients’ demographics. Do a survey of your most loyal customers to determine which demographic gives you the most business. Really get to know who walks through your doors, find out what’s important to them.
- Organize Material According to the Way Your Reader Thinks About the Subject –Realize that not everyone thinks like you. The better you know your clientele, the better you can organize your information to meet their needs. Do they typically want to know bottom line price first, then features and benefits? Do they tend to think testimonials are more important than facts?
- Write to Express, Not to Impress–The more a person is successful, the more often he or she thinks that big words and long documents impress people. In reality, just the opposite is true. People who write with the hopes to impress others only accomplish one thing—they lose the reader! Examine each marketing piece you write and distill its core message or purpose down to one or two sentences.
- In Messages Containing Both Good and Bad News, Give the Bad First–At some point, every person will have to deliver bad news to a customer. Whenever you communicate bad news in writing, state it first, and then counter it with a bit of good news. By ending with the good news, you take the sting off the bad news and leave your reader with a positive image
- Write Colloquially When Appropriate–People like to read documents that sound as if the message is coming from a real person, not an Ivy League scholar. Have you ever re-read your own writing and said, “It sounds all wrong!”? That’s because the tone of your writing was likely wrong. Determining this is important because a follow-up letter shouldn’t have the same tone as a web copy. Most prospects don’t want to do business with someone who is insecure, so keep the tone of your writing colloquial and approachable. The more effectively you write the more business you’ll gain.