The need for business writing
I could start right here and explain all the ways in which you could improve your business writing skills, but then you might just look at me, or the article, and go “Why should I want to do that at all?” After all, I read somewhere that answering the question “Why” is one of the most effective ways to make people read your content, so this might as well be an experiment. But seriously, what are some of the reasons why you need to improve your business writing skills?
This is an information-driven world
We are living in what is known as the information world and now, more than ever, knowledge is power. If people know more about your brand, you are more powerful than the competition, you are more powerful. Writing is one of the easiest ways to get information about you out there. Don’t believe me? Just look at the billions of dollars spent in writing training today.
Most business people do not have business writing skills
Yes, apparently business acumen does not equate to writing prowess. This is evident in the high regard that is paid to business writers by hiring managers. Therefore, this means that once you have business writing skills you place yourself strategically if you are looking for a job, and you give yourself a competitive advantage if you are a business owner.
Inspires confidence in you
Ultimately, writing is about communication, which in turn is about presenting yourself to the world. How you communicate determines how seriously your prospective partners will perceive you and how potential investors will be convinced that yours is the next big idea. A direct translation of this is if you write better you present yourself much more neatly to the world. That may mean the difference between clinching your next big deal and closing shop when no one believes in your potential because you simply cannot communicate it.
How to improve your writing skills
Now the “why” is out of the question so let’s get straight down to the “how” of improving business writing skills.
Given the choice, I would pick reading a couple of books over attending a writing training anyway. Now, hear me out before you dismiss mine as optimistic overconfidence. I perceive reading as some indirect form of apprenticeship. You learn how to do it from people that have already done it by studying the end product. In reading, you will also find material on better writing and learn exactly what styles and language you should use as used by other writers.
Think before you write
This might seem like a no-brainer to most people, but as one professional pointed out, one of the most common writing errors that people commit is thinking what to write as they write. This means that even if you have a message the audience would be interested in, you might lose them because the resulting piece is less structured and quite possibly repetitive. So, to avoid all that spend time reflecting on your aims and researching for material before settling down to write.
Avoid technical terms
Jargon is bound to come up a lot in business writing, but the best business writers are those that can avoid using these terms and still get their message across. Their use is often indicative of lazy thinking and even worse, may hinder the understanding of your message by most of the audience. So instead of jargon, go for clear and concise writing.
The writing six-pack is what you get when you have put in so much practice into your writing that people just want you to pick up that pen and grace their minds with your writing. It is the type of writing that draws in a larger audience every other time, converts prospects, and brings better results to your firm. The key here is practice. You could read all the books in the world, attend all seminars advertised, but you still will not be as good a writer as the one who only reads when it’s a necessity but puts in daily practice. Why? Because writing is a skill, and to hone a skill you must practice.
Use writing tools
There are numerous tools to improve your writing out there. They may not be too helpful in developing business writing creativity, content or ideas, but they do ensure that the grammar in your writing is flawless. Most people do not like proofreading their work while others are sloppy at it and this is harmful to the very image you are trying to cultivate in your writing.
Hire a freelancer
Well, this has not exactly improved on your business writing skills, but it is one way of reaping the exact benefits of mastering the same art. There are many firms out there claiming to be the best writing websites and it is upon you to decide which one you would rather have. They will most probably give you good results while you are still learning the art yourself. Also, remember what we said about reading? You can read their articles and compare them against what you would have written to gauge your progress.