Solid writing skills are a requirement for all business owners. Think about it: when you want to influence people to buy your products or services, you write social media updates and blog posts. When you want to promote your brand, you do that by writing online articles.
Even if you hire writers to do those things for you, you need to understand that the category of business writing includes many other aspects. Are you writing emails on daily basis? Are you constructing business plans? Are you writing speeches and crafting presentations? A successful business person has to be a talented writer as well. Your words should get the attention of the reader and hold it until you make your point as clearly as possible.
Mary Roberts, an editor at a UK writing service, explains that professional writers can help, but businesspeople can’t always count on them. “People of all professions hire us to write business plans, presentations, speeches, online articles, blog posts, and all other kinds of content,” she says. “We can do that under their instructions. However, at one point or another, they will have to write an email message to an important person. Their ideas have to shine through concise, attention-grabbing text. Learn how to write, so you’ll avoid embarrassment.”
Is there an easy way to gain better business writing skills? We have 7 steps that will help you upgrade your written expression.
1. Don’t assume you can’t write
It’s your mindset that determines your chances for success. Remember: anyone can become better at business writing with practice. You can, too.
2. Start with a plan
An outline will save your writing from deviations. When you have a mental plan for the email you’re about to write, it’s easy to go into the wrong direction and miss out on some important points. If you start without a mental plan, you risk ending up with a messy text that no one understands. That’s why it’s important to have a plan… in writing!
Write down the objectives you want to achieve with the email or other kind of content you’re writing. Then, you can carry on with the next steps.
3. Stick to accurate information
When you’re writing to a business partner or you’re working on a text for the online audience, it’s important to support your words with facts. One of the main principles in business writing is accuracy. Get the latest statistics and use only reliable resources. The Internet is full of misinformation and manipulations, which you need to avoid.
If you need studies, use Google Scholar instead of Google. Find authoritative educational or governmental sources to support your arguments.
4. Be straightforward
You’re not writing an essay that needs an introduction, three body paragraphs and a conclusion. In business writing, you need to get to the point without making a shiny entrance. The writing skills you developed at school are important. They set the foundation for business writing. However, that doesn’t mean you need to turn each email message into an essay.
Present the main idea right at the start so you’ll save the reader time figuring out what’s this all about. Then, you’ll support that idea with arguments.
5. Cut the jargon
When you’re about to write an email to a potential business partner, you tend to infuse the jargon of your niche in the text. Industry-specific acronyms and buzzwords are a typical manner of expression, but save them for tweets.
If you throw in too much jargon into the text, you risk writing something completely incomprehensive for the target reader. You don’t want them looking for definitions in Urban Dictionary when they are trying to decode your message.
6. Cut the fluff
If you can make a point with one sentence, why turn it into a paragraph? If you mean to say giving up, why would you change that simple word with forfeiture? Concise writing is powerful writing. Be brief and as clear as possible. Avoid adverbs; they make the point look weak and exaggerated.
Being concise doesn’t mean being short. Some emails or text will be over 1,500 words long. Still, the sentences and paragraphs should be short and the style as clear as possible.
Before you hit the send button, you need to go through the text once again to make sure you didn’t use your instead of you’re. With the previous step, you edited and you got rid of all unnecessary words and phrases. Now, you need to focus on details. Make sure the spelling, punctuation, grammar and syntax are fine before you let someone read the text.
You’ll Keep Getting Better
Writing is a skill that gets better with practice. Make enough time in your schedule for all projects and emails you have to write, and make an effort. With time, you and everyone else will notice your progress.
Brenda Savoie is a content marketer, private English tutor, and desperate dreamer. Writing her first romantic novel. Seeking contentment through mindfulness. Find her on Twitter and Facebook.