Professional writing is something we all do dozens of times a day; but how much thought do we really give it? The way we write in a professional setting sets the tone for not only our selves but the company we represent. If we have spelling mistakes, grammatical errors, or are simply too wordy that can make a negative impression on those we are communicating with.
Everything we write in our day to day working lives, from emails to social media posts all reflect upon us and our companies. Therefore, we need to make sure we are coming across as best we can. Writing matters, and many people have trouble remembering how much it can impact us. Writing is how we tell stories, make deals, convey history; it is the fundamental for human communication. Writing in the workplace or in a business setting is no exception.
Marketing Materials covers a wide range of writing tasks: from sales copy on websites to social media posts to blogs on your own website. Marketing is the first thing a prospective client or the general public will see of your company, so you need to make sure it is well received. If your copy is riddled with spelling errors or typos it sends a bad message.
First you need to look at your general advertising copy: Newspapers, billboards, websites, etc. Figure out the message you are trying to send and who you want to see it. Make sure it is easy to read from far away or in small print text. Avoiding errors will help with this, it will allow your potential clients to read it easier.
You also need to consider visual aids. If you are worried about not being able to fully get your point across without having one large text block, consider pictures. Using visual aids such as graphs or photos of your product can help people better understand what you are trying to say without having to read as much.
Next, look at your social media posts: Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc. Even though this may seem as a more casual setting or form of advertising, it still matters. Social media these days reaches a massive audience base and can spread your message further than you originally thought.
Posts can be shared and sent to others across different platforms, so you need to be careful with what you say. Anytime you are posting anything you are representing your company. Your opinion has no place in the work environment and so it should not have a place on the company social media. Spelling, grammar, and sentence structure errors all also matter, so make sure to triple check before posting.
Finally, look at personal marketing: Networking, your personal website, client communications, etc. Most people do not think of any of these as marketing, however, when it comes to the professional world, everything is marketing. Anything you say or do regarding your company can have a big impact. If you are making a blog post for your companies' website, you need to make sure that you have no mistakes. The smallest mistake in your writing can defer potential clients.
Marketing is the first look a potential client or the general public has at your company. You need to make sure that from the very start your company comes across as professional.
Business proposals are everything when it comes to first contact. Whether you are sending one to your boss for a new project or to a new client; they are the first point of contact people will get from you. You need to make sure that you are coming across professionally, clearly, and to the point. There are a few things you need to be thinking about when writing a proposal:
- What is your purpose? Think about what you are trying to achieve by sending this proposal and make sure that is your soul focus and topic point.
- Who is your audience? Is it your boss? Is it a new client? Your audience matters as you need to know who you are talking to. If you are writing for your boss, you do not need to explain every facet of the company and its policies. However, if you are writing to a first-time client who knows nothing about what the company does or how they run things, you may need to explain more.
- Stick to the point. Do not go off on tangents. You do not need to be talking about everything all at once, all that does is confuse the reader and deter them from wanting to read more.
- Use active writing. What that means is do not sound passive. If you are hovering around a point or avoiding getting straight to the point, it can come off as too passive. Now I am not saying go out and tell your boss or client what to do and when to do it as if you are in charge. But what I am saying is you should be straightforward. You do not want to come off as if you do not know what you are talking about.
- Avoid text blocks. Whenever possible, avoid long overly wordy text blocks. No one wants to read a three-page proposal with no breaks. They will get bored or lost and give up reading it all together. Keep your paragraphs, if possible, between 3-5 sentences and break up big groups of text with new headers.
Your proposals are very important, and they can make or break a potential new deal with a client or cost you that promotion. Be careful with what you say and how you say it. Most importantly make sure you are considering all these points when writing.
I am sure anyone reading this has written at least a handful of emails throughout their lives. Emails are the foundation that keeps businesses going. It is how everyone in the professional world communicates, whether it is with clients or your boss or your colleagues. However, not everyone thinks of emails as business writing, but it is.
Sending emails may seem a boring mundane task you have got to do a hundred times throughout the day, but they are everything. Most people will quickly type out an email and send it off without giving it another thought. The way you write emails can make or break your entire professional career. Clients and your boss will forever remember if you have typos or grammatical errors in your emails constantly.
It has been proven that people are less likely to want to continue to work with or in the future with a company that sends poorly written emails. Granted one or two occasional mistakes is simply just human error and most people will ignore it. However, constant and unchecked mistakes is seen as lazy and unprofessional and can cause major issues for you in the future.
When writing emails, make sure to proofread them. Now yes, I understand that most of you are very busy at work and many of you have better things to do with your time than re-read an email. However, it will help you immensely in the long run.
Once you do it a few times it will feel routine and less like a burden or extra task you must do. It will also allow you to go back and fix any mistakes you may have made before sending it and potentially coming across as unprofessional to a new client. There are reason teachers tried to engrain it into us all throughout school, it works, and it helps.
Internal communication may be the last thing you think of when needing to sound professional, but everything counts. Internal communication in this sense refers to communication throughout a company with other employees, whether that be your boss, colleague, or subordinate. When you are speaking, or in this case writing emails or likewise you need to sound professional and like you deserve to be there.
Writing in the workplace or professional setting is like proving you know what you are talking about. Everything in the way you present yourself matters in a professional setting. You would not show up to work in your pajamas, in the same way you need to make sure you are communicating properly.
Poor writing cannot only affect your performance, but the performance of the people you work with. If you are not clear in what you are saying or make mistakes and do not correct them, it can affect everyone else around you. For example: if you are emailing your partner on a project at work and tell them that “79% of clients reach out for future projects” when you actually meant “97% of clients reach out for future projects”, that can greatly affect not only you but your partner as well. Simple mistakes can make or break your career, so you need to be careful.
The way you talk to anyone, whether it be a client, your boss, or a colleague matters. You need to make sure you are writing everything from emails to proposals correctly and clearly.