“I didn’t want to think my website may be destroying the reputation of my company by having mistakes … it turned out there were quite a few.”
I know it’s an old platitude, but first impressions DO matter.
Perhaps more so nowadays than ever. Some experts say you have 6 seconds to get a visitor’s attention when they land on your website, others say it’s as little as half a second.
Why Immaculate Image Matters To Your Business
Imagine you’ve secured a meeting with a big prospect. If you can win his business your troubles are over. You’re well prepared. You’ve done your homework. You even know the names of his children and dog.
You know the competition will be stiff, but you have your strategy ready.
The meeting seems to go well, but it’s only when you look at yourself in the bathroom mirror afterwards that you discover there’s a bright green strand of spinach stuck between your two front teeth.
No matter how well you did, you can’t go back and change that impression. The client will remember you forever as “the candidate with spinach on their teeth”. The careless one.
All other things being equal, someone with cleaner teeth will land the deal.
Because you were careless.
The same applies to the words that you write.
Carelessness Costs Custom – Proof!
Back in 2011, British entrepreneur Charles Duncombe discovered that simple spelling errors were costing the economy literally millions. His findings were so significant that they were reported on the BBC’s news website.
One website he looked at doubled its revenue after an overlooked typo was made good.
Duncombe had very good reason to care. His company is a major supplier of data to the big comparison sites.
Their job includes scrutinising every last detail of websites to determine what makes one solicitor, energy company or finance organisation, (for example) out-perform its rivals.
It’s not as simple as price. Neither will the winner always be the one with a cute animal mascot.
In the end, the factor that wins or loses new business could come down to a misplaced apostrophe.
The Hidden Dangers Of The Spell Checker
Your spell checker is about as useful as a feather duster in a builder’s yard. It can do a superficial clean-up job, but after that you need something a lot more sophisticated.
For example, are you sure that you and everyone in your organisation knows whether “could of” or “could have” is correct? There are no spelling mistakes in those words, but the incorrect version is as repulsive as that spinach to an English speaker who knows their grammar.
Nor will it pick up the excruciating horror in sentences such as:
“Rugby is a game played by men with egg shaped balls.”
Perhaps on a website of student humour that would be appropriate, but it will hardly do if you are promoting a fashionable sportswear brand!
You may be old enough to remember those TV ads for deodorant where “B.O.” (body odour) was the embarrassing problem “even your best friend wouldn’t tell you about.”
I’m Peter Clarke. I’m a proofreader – and not only will I be your business’ best friend but I will tell you if your writing stinks!
In short, I can save your business time, money, embarrassment and customers.
“Three Powerful Reasons Your Business Needs A Proofreader”
Reason One: Having your business’ written messages proofread gives you more confidence.
For example, just look at the immense difference Judith Massey, an HR professional, experienced:
“…I know that it’s very hard to proofread your own copy because when you re-read it, you read what you think you’ve written and not what you’ve actually written! I didn’t want to think that my website may be destroying the reputation of my company by having similar mistakes – and it turned out that there were quite a few…”
Reason Two: I’ll give you a FREE consultation so we can work in tandem to tailor a package that suits you and your business.
I work with businesses of all kinds – solicitors, accountants, financial advisers, educationalists, not to mention the obvious ones such as writers, web copy writers and small business owners.
Plus, no job is too small!
Wherever you’re sending out a message in writing, ask yourself how much it will matter if there are mistakes you haven’t spotted.
I will be happy to check your
- Web page copy
- Brochure or flyer copy
- CV/Resumé or applications of any kind
- Almost any kind of written material as long as it’s in English
Reason Three: I have an arsenal of results-based testimonials from my clients.These are real results that real people have had from using my service. By the way, these are 100% genuine. Every single one of them AND dozens more like them are on file at my office.
You’ll meet a few more of them in just a moment.
Here’s a summary of the kind of benefits you can expect from:
Basic “Oops-Proofing” Of Your Material…
- Confidence that your company’s message reflects your professionalism at every level.
- Eliminate the embarrassment factor entirely when securing new business – whether that’s via your website, brochure, online advertising or any other means.
- Free up time to focus on running your business – where you should be. By writing once and letting me take over, you’ll have freed up all the precious time you’d otherwise have spent reading and re-reading – and re-writing. (And STILL risking overlooking an error or two).
- Remove the risk of expensive and time-consuming reprinting costs. (Remember, many printers are not proofreaders. Besides, they don’t have time and it’s not their job. The same is true of web designers – they’ll do the layout, but they’re probably going to copy and paste the words you send without reading them!)
- To do what no spell-checker or any AI technology can do – read your messages with a human pair of eyes! Computers may be fast but they’re still stupid. Your message is aimed ultimately at human customers, so it makes sense to have a trained but neutral human being check your work first … before you discover that spinach all over your smile!
(Think of my “Oops Proofing” service as the equivalent of the bathroom mirror which, of course, you’d check first.)
Listen To What More Of My Clients Have To Say …
“…Saving me time & money…”
“Where I can read something 20 times over and not spot a single mistake, Peter can home in on them in usually a very quick turnaround period saving me time and money…” – Nikie Forster – Director, Curious Lighthouse Learning Consultancy
“We cannot afford to get it wrong…”
“…everything we send out … has to be right otherwise we risk looking unprofessional and potential clients may lose confidence.
We cannot afford to get it wrong and this ‘second pair of eyes’ provides us with the reassurance we require before incurring costs of sending documents to print or publication.” – HF – Swain & Co Solicitors
“Only a trained ‘eagle-eye’ would spot them…”
“I asked Peter if he could proofread [my document] and turn it around within 24 hours. In fact, he was a lot quicker than that and has done a superb job. He identified a number of errors, some so small that only a trained ‘eagle-eye’ would spot them.” – Russell Streeter – Excelsior Business Development Ltd
By now, you’re probably wondering “How much will this cost?”
Let me ask you this:
What’s one client worth to you, say over a year? A few thousand?
How about over five or ten years? Tens of thousands, probably.
I know it depends what your industry is. Yet consider this: even if only one in every hundred visitors goes to a rival, you’ve just lost all those thousands of pounds he or she would have spent with you.
Remember Charles Duncombe? That website whose sales doubled after a typo was corrected was selling – of all things – ladies tights!
That business was losing 50% of its online revenue due to a typing error!
How about the job you so badly want? A misspelling or typo in your application could mean the difference between an interview or a “We regret to inform you…” letter.
Such lost opportunities are costly in lost income and in a whole way of life, potentially. Some doors won’t open twice and to have them slammed in your face forever over a simple typo could be one of those things you never really forgive yourself for.
All of which is a long-winded way of saying that £40 an hour is an extremely smart investment for you to make in your business’ future and your personal peace of mind.
Yes, that’s my rate. £40 an hour. A steal, isn’t it?
Typically, I can get through 1500 words – around 4 A4 pages – of normal typing in an hour.
But before you start doing all the mental arithmetic, remember I’m offering you a free “Oops Proofing” consultation.
What To Do Now
Just call me to make an appointment. If I’m not here, leave a message and I’ll get back to you typically by the next working day.
My number is 07843 304743 (It’s at the top of every page on this website too. Why not put it in your contacts now?)
Then, we can meet online or over the phone to discuss your exact project and needs. I’m pretty good at leaving my customers with a smile on their face … and no egg on their shirts!
I’m looking forward to your call.
All the best,
Q: What exactly do you do, apart from spell checking?
A: Proofreading is SO much more than mere spell checking. For example I look for:
- Identifying and correcting spelling, grammar and punctuation, as appropriate.
- If you have your own house style, I’ll check that your content adheres to that style.
- I’ll check the type sizes, styles and fonts used for text and headings and that they are consistent.
- I’ll check that any captions correspond with illustrations or tables and that they are consistent with your text.
- I’ll check that information in the contents page(s) and the body of text corresponds
- I’ll check that your page numbering is sequential to ensure that your documents are complete.
- I’ll check to make sure your documents look professional and will create a GREAT impression with your readers.
Q: Does this really apply to my business?
A: In a word, if you use written English to get any part of your business message across, yes. Of course, it might matter more to some industries than others – you can always weigh that up after we’ve spoken on the phone.
But remember the ladies’ tights website whose business increased by 100% because of a typo! I can’t promise results like that, of course, but you can rest assured that you won’t be losing custom because of overlooked typing or grammatical errors.
Q: Do you guarantee your work?
A: I guarantee you a top quality job, yes. I even limit the amount of time I will spend in front of a screen so that I don’t lose focus while I’m working.
In other words, I pay meticulous attention to detail, including my own levels of concentration so that you get immaculate work returned every time.
Q: Is this work you get done by cheap labour, like students?
A: Absolutely not! I’m skilled and trained and I have many years of experience in proofreading. I wouldn’t dream of trusting anyone else to do what I can do. Besides, I really do love my job, so why would I farm it out?
Your business and reputation is at stake and I take that as seriously as you do.
Q: Sounds great! But I still have a few more questions about how you can help me.
A: Perfect! Let’s talk. Pick up the phone and call me. Asking costs nothing. I’m friendly, polite and helpful – and if I really think I can’t help you, I’ll tell you that too!
So what are you waiting for?
Dial now! 07843 304743