During my first job out of college, I was given a book by the company’s CEO: Writing That Works; How to Communicate Effectively In Business by Kenneth Roman.
It was originally written when professionals typed up memos, so I was skeptical that it had any valuable information. But much to my surprise, I discovered a few critical rules for becoming a better writer:
Lesson one – Write well, Do well
One of the first chapter headers (and my favorite lesson) reads “People who write well, do well.”
This is especially true for business owners and executives because your writing is the first way a potential customer gets to know your business or you—whether it’s via your website, blog, or social media posts.
The idea is this: When you communicate your thoughts clearly, use correct grammar and focus on sentence structure, you help build rapport with your reader.
This means the opposite is also true: When you rush through your writing, forget the grammar commandments and use too many words, you can come off as careless, sloppy, or even ignorant.
The result? You may push away your prospects.
Stay mindful and use your writing to persuade readers to take immediate action, convert strangers into believers and create authority.
The extra effort will support every part of your business (and your personal life) by strengthening and speeding up communication. And at the end of the day, clear communication is your gateway to getting anything and everything accomplished.
Lesson two – Don’t mumble
This leads me to the book’s next lesson, “Don’t mumble.”
You read that right: we’re not talking about grammar, spelling, introduction, or conclusion. Mumbling is simply the act of trying too hard, using words you normally wouldn’t, or explaining in too much detail.
“Kalyn is an example of the kind of marketer who is known to utilize writing for growing her business .”
There is nothing inherently wrong with this sentence, but writing like this muddies up your communication. And it makes it difficult for the reader to find the takeaway, answer, or action in your piece.
To make it more clear, write like this instead:
“Kalyn uses good writing to grow her business.”
See what I did here? I kept it simple, wrote in an active voice, and went straight to the point. This type of clear, casual writing engages readers and converts prospects.
I want to note here that grammar is still important. It’s just also as important to keep your writing simple and easy to read.
Lesson three – Practice makes
Becoming a good writer is not an overnight action.
Just like any other decision to grow, it takes focus, practice, and time. But it’s worth the investment because writing (and more generally communicating) affects every facet of your life–whether it’s your business, interpersonal relationships, or personal expression.
Plus, improving your writing doesn’t have to be an overwhelming task. Simply take a little time (even ten minutes will do) every day to write, edit and rewrite.
Another low-key, low-pressure way to strengthen your writing is by keeping a journal. There are no rules, no readers. It’s just you, your thoughts, and your words, so it’s a safe space to play with your writing!
Put it into play
It’s time to take these three great lessons and practice them in your own life. Remember that people who write well, do well; effective writers don’t mumble; and good writing happens over time, not overnight.
Ready to dig deep and put these lessons into play? Check out Part Two—where I cover basic writing tips to improve and polish any type of writing.