People tend to underestimate the power of good writing. For business owners, it’s easy to think, “I can’t afford to hire a writer,” or “I have so-and-so who has a marketing degree. They should be able to write.” That is not necessarily true. With social media now at the forefront, it’s even more essential to hire an excellent writer. Why? You need someone to make your company look good.
Some writers are Jack- and Jill’s-of-all-trades. They can write your correspondence, your blog, edit your emails, letters and blogs and still have the know-how to get you attention on Twitter. Yet many businesses don’t see this as value. Or maybe they do, but aren’t willing to pay for it. Writing is a skill like anything else and an excellent writer can make or break your company. So, why haven’t you hired one?
Maybe you don’t know how to determine good writing from bad. How could you? You aren’t a writer and can’t be expected to have expertise in everything. Regardless, most of us can tell when writing is good and it is more than just being able to spell. So, to help, here are examples of good writing vs. bad writing when it comes to writing a letter.
Juggling work with a family can be tough without a support group. Being a business owner makes this even tougher.
Women-owned firms employ 13 million people and generate more than $1.9 trillion in revenue. But fewer than 3 percent of all women-owned firms have revenues of $1 million or more compared to 6 percent of men-owned firms.
Since this letter was for growing a community of women, the first example is the correct way to grab attention. It’s relatable to a women business owner. It draws her in. Obviously, this is something that you want so your letter doesn’t end up in the trash. The second example, while full of good information, doesn’t get to the point in that first sentence. It’s also full of numbers. Eyes tend to glaze over numbers.
So, how do you hire this writer? Just like any other position you’d hire for, ask for examples of their work and accomplishments. This could be anything from a personal blog, articles they’ve written, or even their Twitter account. Then, you need to ask what they’ve done for other clients. For example, maybe they grew a client’s Twitter followers from 800 to 2,000 in a month’s time. This proves they know what they’re doing. Or, if you need someone to write your press releases, ask if they have examples, and so on. Most writers have a plethora of clips, so don’t be afraid to ask for them.
I know writing and Twitter, especially, can be a bit daunting. Summing up what you want to say in 140 characters can be tough. But, again, a good writer can make it happen. Maybe you find a former newspaper reporter who’s good at snappy headlines because, really, Twitter is kind of a platform of headlines. You want to pull users in with a tease so they click on your link, just like a newspaper wants a reader to peruse its articles.
I’ve personally seen the difference fantastic writing has made for my own business as well as for the many of the businesses we work with through the Make Mine a Million $ Business program. But I’d love to hear what you think. Leave a comment or question below!
If you think you have what it takes to make your business a million, join us in San Francisco Nov. 7-9 for the Make Mine a Million $ Business conference to take your business to the next level. American Express cardholders can register for free using code AMEX.
Nell Merlino is the Founder and President of Count Me In for Women’s Economic Independence, the leading national not-for-profit provider of resources for women to grow their micro businesses into million $ enterprises. She is the creative force behind Take Our Daughters to Work Day and the author of “Stepping Out of Line: Lessons for Women Who Want It Their Way in Life, in Love, and at Work,” from Broadway Books, which is available from Amazon.com.