Professional Writing, Every Time
Marketing copy represents your business in front of the general public. When it’s not professional, it becomes evident to readers, and can cost you in the long run. Misspell a few words on the company home page, and there could be a financial implication unknown until the error is discovered or pointed out. That’s why it’s so important to check, and check again.
Where things become confusing, is that not every type of business writing needs to be formal. Sometimes there’s an overwhelming urge to turn every blog post into a sterile article, stating industry news in the same way that your competition, and all of the industry leaders have already stated it. It’s OK to fight that urge when you blog or write your website content.
Do you run a suit and tie business?
That’s OK if the answer is yes. You can keep the copy formal to reflect the voice of the company. There’s thousands of doctors, lawyers, B2B, and B2C professionals who have built very successful businesses this way. Keep offering readers and customers quality information and building relationships.
There’s some good news however, for those who don’t necessarily run this type of company.
Informal and professional is a working combination.
Utilize your voice. Let your customers know who you are. Not every piece of marketing material needs to read like a court filing or dissertation.
Want examples of highly successful informal copy? Try Woot or Groupon. Their copy not only informs, but entertains you at the same time. Both companies have reached a high level of success with shorts and a t shirt attitude in a suit and tie world. Why?
Because they were honest about who they are.
There’s a misconception out there. Informal does not automatically equal unprofessional. Sometimes, informal is just informal.
Unprofessional is still bad.
Even if you decide to let your guard down a little, some truths never change. While it doesn’t have to read like a resume or a job application, your marketing writing should still:
- Utilize proper spelling and grammar
- Not trash your competition
- Not include off-color language or jokes
- Not include snarky comments or gossip
The more personality you show your customers, the better.
Show your customers who you are now. It’s better than them finding out later. Think about it from a customer’s point of view. If your readers feel like they know you now, they’ll be more inclined to buy from you later.
Matt Brennan is a Chicago-area marketing writer and copy editor. He is also the author of Write Right-Sell Now.
DIS AIN’T HW MOST OF D EMPLOYERS N MANAGERS THINK LIKE
N FORMALISM SUCKS! HELL DAMN SUCKS!!
I fall into this trap a lot, dreaming of all I want to acsmcplioh with some unimproved land that I have. The solution for me is to get out there and do SOMETHING every day to move that dream a little closer to reality. Dreaming is fine, as long as you are also doing.
You still didn’t tell me the difference of the two