Each Christmas, we spend a lot of time reviewing the year just gone. We scrutinise the numbers in our businesses; sales figures, production figures, financial figures and so on……we look at the numbers that Google Analytics throws up and try to decipher what the heck it all means.
But what about the words? Do we spend as much time worrying about them as we do with figures? Probably not.
Some people do worry about the words because they don’t feel confident in their own writing abilities. There’s nothing wrong with that. We’re all different.
Many of us, however, pay lip service to the quality of the words that we write and subsequently publish. We’re so pressurised by a lack of time, the first thing that goes out the window, is the checking process. Once you’ve pressed the ‘send’ button, it’s gone; mistakes and all. You’ve lost control of it and depending on where you’ve sent it you may not even know who’s going to read it.
For many businesses there is an expectation from their readers for the words that they publish to be correct, e.g. those of you in the legal, financial, education, learning & development sectors are expected to ensure that your written material is accurate, professional-looking and above all free from errors.
The first thing that will be damaged as a result of your errors is your hard-earned reputation.
So why don’t we focus on the words we write so much nowadays? Do they not matter? I think they’re equally as important, if not more important than the figures.
‘But you’re a proofreader, you’re bound to say that’, I hear you say. So what?
Just think about HOW you promote your business.
- You write words for your website
- You write words on a flyer or a brochure
- You write words in a newsletter
- You write words in an advertisement
- You write words in a blog post and on social media
I could go on and list all the other things you do that involve writing words….
If you think about it you probably write a lot more words than you do numbers so what better reason to give them the TLC they deserve this Christmas.
A really good way of giving your words some valued TLC is to make sure they are checked properly, so here are 5 top tips that you can use to proofread your own writing:
- Print off what you’ve written and put it to one side. Come back to it after a couple of hours. Your eyes and brain will have done something else by then and will be fresh to have another look.
- Get somebody else to read it – if they’ve got the time.
- Read it out loud.
- Read it backwards. Doing that you will focus on every word and check that it’s spelt correctly.
- If you don’t trust your own ability or knowledge of the English language sufficiently to do it yourself – call in a trained expert.
Working with a proofreader on a regular basis will save you time and money. You’ll be able to use that time to do something more profitable for your business.
By working together, you can be confident that your writing will be conveying the right message and that your customers will have confidence in you and your business.
If you think you need some help to give your words some TLC, give me a call…
Peter Clarke T: 07843 304743 E: firstname.lastname@example.org