"To write an effective technical material, one needs to hone his creativity. It takes creativity, after all, to shorten expressions."
- Sheila Viesca, TalkShop

Monday, March 4, 2013

Write to Sell

After all, the pen is more profitable than the sword.
What is the point of writing if no one is going to buy your ideas?  Even seasoned writers tend to get carried away with impressive vocabulary and complicated explanations, not minding how easy they lull their readers to sleep.  Whatever you want to say or sell, you improve your chances when you focus on achieving these writing goals:

1. Always have the reader in mind.  Plan your composition and presentation according to what will be pleasing and relevant to the reader.  The reader's concern and perspective is your North star in writing.

2. Know the rules of the game.  Be polite and professional.  Be sure to give sincere compliments and non-offensive observations if you have to.  Also, be friendly without over-fraternizing.  Your written expressions should be conversational, but remember that you are having a conversation with a client, not a childhood chum.

3. Respond accordingly.  Make sure that your letter responds to the reader's needs.  No one likes to waste time on unnecessary chat.  And your letter will seem just that if you are not able to identify  reader's objective at the onset.   Always know why you are writing in the first place.

4. Focus on the benefits more than the features and processes.   Do not get carried away with the features of your service or product.  They mean little to the reader especially if he does not have the time to ponder on converting them to benefits.  Your writing should be as straightforward as possible and that means helping your reader focus not on your product but on how his life will be better because of it.

5. Use simple words. Avoid jargons, abbreviations, acronyms, and other fad expressions.

6. Keep it short.

7.  Plan your closing.  The last part of your letter should restate the objective, instructing or advising the reader on what he will do with the information.

Most importantly, keep writing.  nothing beats practice.  We are our worst critics and will therefore have a greater chance improving when we become more at ease with our writing.  It also does not hurt to partner with a colleague so you can motivate each other to write regularly and review each other's work.

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