The importance of effective communication, in any business, simply cannot be overstated. Whether you’re trying to communicate with teams or employees in-house, or trying to engage potential customers, effective communication skills are vital to the success of your business. This, of course, particularly applies to our copy, whether it’s for individual products and services, advertisements, brochures or the company website.
The problem for many entrepreneurs is that while they are subject matter experts in their chosen field, such extensive knowledge and expertise can prove to be an impediment when it comes to selling their product in a clear, concise and engaging way.
Entrepreneurs are often so passionate about their product or service that it becomes difficult to critique their own content. To you, everything is important but to a potential client that’s simply not the case. Distil your message down to the most salient points, those that your potential client most needs to hear. If you are not sure how much is too much information think “need to know” not “nice to know.”
If you’re having trouble with this process, ask someone else to read through your website and promotional materials. If not an editing professional, at least ask a friend. A person who knows nothing about your chosen profession is ideal because if you can clearly convey your message to someone with no previous knowledge of your business that’s a great start.
Another excellent exercise is to take a sample paragraph (perhaps the one where you attempt to explain what your product or service is) and distil that message down to just ten words. Can you get your point across in ten words or less? If you offer multiple services make sure your message doesn’t sound muddled, implying you don’t have a focus.
This last piece of advice might sound obvious, but it never ceases to amaze me how often it’s ignored: Always spell check! There is nothing sloppier than reading a website riddled with spelling mistakes. I understand grammar and syntax is often challenging and particularly for newcomers, the vagaries of the English language can be frustrating. But spelling? The computer does that for you!
Of course, if all else fails then you can simply hire a copywriting professional to cover this stuff for you, but if your budget doesn’t stretch to that then a few simple tips and a bit of practice can make the world of difference with your business copy.