Business writing is more than just the words on a page. It’s choosing the right words that will connect with people in a way that makes them do something. It’s knowing whether a metered postcard or a stamped envelope would be a more effective mailing. It’s understanding that fonts, and colors, and paper type, and posting frequency—all these details convey the personality of your business.
Sending a message
What story is your business writing telling your customers and prospects? What message are you sending with your sign, business cards, brochures, letters, posters, website, and other business collateral? A lot of small businesses work hard to get the information right, and they spend money to get it in front of people’s eyes, but they don’t think about what the writing style, graphics, and layout might be telling people.
The photo above shows an extreme example of this. The content is accurate and probably effective. It is placed on a large sign near an active intersection with a traffic light, which is a great place to reach people. Yet somehow the overall effect is probably undermining the goal of the advertisement! Would you call this phone number and trust this business owner with your tax documents?
You probably know better than to trust your business story to a can of spray paint. But you may be making smaller, subtler business writing errors that undermine your message. For example:
- Are you sure that apostrophe belongs there?
- Would a serial comma help clarify the meaning of that sentence?
- Do you know whether to say “composed of” or “comprised of”?
Your content might be “good enough” if you write it yourself, but will it be as effective as possible? Correct grammar and usage can help ensure that you give a professional impression, even to any English-major nerds who might be thinking about making a purchase.
As a business owner, you don’t want to have to know when to use a semi-colon. You have a business to run! Hiring a professional to handle your business writing is a smart business decision. It frees you to focus on the things you do really well, the things that only you can do.
Better business writing—better business results
Moreover, investing in professional business writing will be more effective, producing results that you probably won’t get by doing the writing yourself. After all, a professional writer has experience with things like:
- Presenting product benefits instead of features
- Appealing to a prospect’s emotions first, then providing facts to affirm the decision
- Choosing web keywords that match how your prospects phrase their searches
Hiring a professional is a smart business decision. When companies hire LifeLines to handle their business writing, they get better business results. The right words in the right format can make a story effective, efficient, and profitable. Poor business writing can actually cost you money.
Investing in your business
Join the ranks of satisfied business customers who partner with LifeLines to reach their prospects. Email me. If you’re not quite ready to take your business to the next level, visit the Business Writing category of this website. The articles I’ve written about various business problems might be all you need.
You can also look at the samples and endorsements below, from business owners like you.
- D. Brown Roofing Company—David Brown originally came to me for business cards, and as those cards helped generate interest, he wondered if he should also have an online presence. I knew Dave wouldn’t want the hassle of making ongoing decisions about a full website, so we decided instead to enhance his listing with Manta.com. I chose words and phrases that would help him get found online as well as distinguish him from other roofing companies.
- Matthysse Kuyper DeGraff Funeral Homes—Mike Matthysse serves from the Grandville, Michigan, location of his family’s funeral home. I first met him in 2006 when a friend of my family died suddenly and I helped prepare the memorial folder for her funeral. When Mike realized that beautifully written custom memorial folders should be an extension of Matthysse Kuiper DeGraaf’s ministry to grieving families, we began working together to make that happen.
- Ann Schenkel—as an Independent Shaklee Distributor, Ann had been doing her own business writing for many years. She came to me for help making the transition to online business communications. I helped Ann set up a business blog that connects customers to her Shaklee products website. She maintains the site and updates it regularly with health information for her subscribers.
- Dermatology Associates is a local dermatology clinic that needed all their services described in a simple brochure that patients could read in the waiting room. After a meeting with the lead doctor and a review of their existing folder of materials, I designed a straightforward piece that met their needs.
- Window and Door Superstore of Oak Forest—When Owner Steve VanEk decided to do something a little different with his advertising dollars, he contacted me to write an “advertorial.” I interviewed one of his frequent customers and used her glowing testimonial in a news-style ad in a local paper.
- Prospecting letter: Downtown Flossmoor Business Association
- Brochure: Providence Management & Development
- News release: birdseyeview
- Business cards: various businesses
- Using Facebook’s Timeline to share your story (ideas for businesses)
“Melanie, Thank you for coming out to cover the ‘mayor and friends’ visit. You have proven again your commitment to supporting us at HH, and it means so much to me. The pictures that you put on Facebook painted a great picture of the event.”
—Rob C, 2013
“Once again I have to say what a great job you do on the company blog. I loved Rose’s amazing story and your terrific writing puts it all together. Thank you for all you do!”
—Pat R, 2012
“You know how sometimes you know when you’ve picked the right birthday/anniversary/thinking-of-you card—because you start to cry, right in the middle of Walgreens? Well, this radio spot gave me the chills when I read it. That’s good enough for me. :)”
—Tammy V, 2012
“I always enjoying working with you. I believe you do a terrific job, and I am always interested on your take on things. The manual from last Thursday’s training session was extremely well written.”
—Richard N, 2012
“Melanie helped me create effective press releases for the launch of my business in 2007. Her efforts resulted in several speaking engagements and a wonderful, full-page article on the front page of the Southtown Business Section, Sunday Edition.”
–Lara V, 2008
“Melanie excels in her creativity and ability to quickly grasp the concept of what exactly her client is looking for. I am confident to leave my project in her hands and am excited to see what she produces. I have never been even slightly disappointed. She is very detailed, excited about the possibilities and always meets the deadlines.”
“Having worked with Melanie for years, I have learned to appreciate her stellar ability in designing print materials which exemplify the products and/or services of each unique client she serves. I highly recommend her!”
“Melanie’s work for us combines the best in what we desire to meet our freelance needs. She follows the parameters of the client’s style and brand while offering much of her own expertise and creativity. I trust her completely to handle sensitive content, and I appreciate her quick turnaround on projects. I highly recommend her to others who value these qualities.”