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OK, so we know you can write about your business. You can lay words out in a logical and palatable way so they are readable and so they make sense. But writing gets more complex than that doesn’t it? It gets more complex when we start to ask ourselves (for example) whether we want to educate the reader, inspire the reader or entertain the reader. The content changes depending on the objective, and so too will the tone as we skip from one of those three approaches to the next.
Whilst no short story you’ll ever read can make you a better business writer overnight, this short story does contain four pointers about your ‘Business Writing Mindset’ that will help you to ‘up’ your writing game as a business owner. Particularly if you are in a space where the consumer has lots of choice and where brands jostle and fight for
There’s an old Native American proverb about how we as humans communicate with each other. It is:
“Those who tell stories rule the world.”
We could explore endlessly how important or unimportant this claim is, and how accurate or inaccurate we think it is. But think about this…
Great storytellers are the people most likely to be listened to. The people most likely to be listened to command most of the attention. The people that command most of the attention are those most able to influence and persuade. So yes, there is clearly something in this.
But what makes good written storytelling for a business? What should be happening in our mind when we are thinking about how to write about our businesses? Maybe if we understand that better – we can improve how we write and communicate as a whole.
Here are four things to think about as a business owner as you create copy for your business that you want people to actually read.
Four things for business owners to think about, so prospects are more likely to read you.
“I am not writing so that I can sell to you. I am writing so you can work out if I am the kind of person you want to buy from.”
If you keep this in mind, your copy becomes more helpful than salesy, which immediately has the potential to make you more likeable. But you can only take this approach sincerely and well if you accept that not all of your readers are customers. Your copy has to help them to decide whether they are in – or whether they are out.
“I write for the love of writing. I like telling my story! I write to see if I can find stories that matter. And to see if I can tell them well.”
Now, this sounds simple. But it isn’t. And it’s in two parts. Finding the best stories to tell is one thing. Telling them well is another. Lots of businesses have found their story but tell it badly. And there are businesses that don’t really know what to say, but that are very vocal. Both of these approaches, ultimately, are clearly sub-optimal.
“Writing is like loving. The relationship builds. It is built on trust. Shared memories develop. We have ups and downs. And
things take time to blossom.”
The message here is to be patient with your communication. Because even if you do find the best thing to say and even if you do say it really well, timing is important too. So don’t force it. Enjoy the writing journey. Be consistent. Let the relationship build.
“There should be a voyeuristic aspect to what I write. When they read my words, they should feel like a (welcome) voyeur. Not
The thinking behind this fourth notion is around honesty and transparency. A great business writer called David Taylor (The Naked Leader) once said that you should never say anything about an employee behind their back that you would not say when they were in the room with you. The same goes for clients and customers. Let your writing be conversations and insights that any potential customer or client would be intrigued to listen in on.
So there you go, four things to think about on the subject of developing a great Business Writing Mindset.
If your thinking is better, your writing will be better too. Good luck.