Writing, like networking and sales, is a business skill that many people find intimidating and tough to master. While writing may fall outside your wheelhouse and feel uncomfortable at first, few things affect the first impression you make on a potential customer—for better or worse—more than the written word. A few simple strategies can help you improve this vital business skill.
You may think that writing isn’t an important element of being a health coach or exercise professional but, even if you don’t write blogs or maintain a robust website, you likely communicate with potential and current clients or participants via social media posts, emails and texts each and every day.
You can probably recall situations when you were considering using a product or service but were turned off by the unprofessionalism of a poorly written email or a website riddled with typos, misspellings or confusing instruction. Perhaps the opposite is also true: Have you ever been unsure about a purchase until you visited a website or read through social media posts and came away impressed enough to buy?
You want to be sure you’re on the right side of that equation, and the key is to always maintain professionalism.
Here are a few tips that will help improve your business writing:
- Remember the value of good writing. Be mindful of the fact that every time you communicate with a potential or current client, you have the opportunity to establish your professionalism and make a good impression. This holds true whether you’re talking face to face, texting to confirm an appointment or posting a motivational tip on social media. A good businessperson never squanders an opportunity to connect.
- Think first. Be sure to think through what you want to say before writing it down. It’s generally obvious when something is written in a stream-of-consciousness manner; these communications tend to confuse, meander or miss the point entirely.
- Be direct. If you’re asking a question or confirming an appointment, state this clearly in the first sentence. Respect your customers’ time by getting right to the point.
- Avoid slang, jargon and abbreviations. Casual writing is perfectly fine in a group text among a circle of friends but should be avoided when you are representing yourself or your business. Proper grammar, spelling and punctuation are foundational elements of good writing.
- Be courteous and respectful. Always say please and thank you, and use a professional closing, such as “Best regards,” or “Sincerely.” If you’re attempting to sell your services, you may want to close an email with something more engaging and action-oriented, like “Thanks in advance” or “I look forward to hearing from you.”
- Proofread before hitting “send.” Always re-read what you write before sending it to a client or participant before posting it online. This will help you avoid simple and potentially embarrassing mistakes.
- Hire some help if you need it. Hiring a professional writer to develop your website or post a weekly blog that will educate your clients or drive potential sales may be a worthwhile investment. You can also hire services to post social media updates or edit email templates that you can use repeatedly. Remember, you may not be able to manage every aspect of your business, so offloading tasks that fall outside your current skill set can save you a lot of time that you could be spending more wisely.