If you aren’t going to hire a copywriter, you’d better get reading

Books on shelf

How many times do you hear business people say, “I’m rubbish at spelling / grammar / writing”, yet they do all their own copywriting? Anyone running their own business is going to be capable of stringing a sentence together – but badly written copy can affect all aspects of your business, from finances to winning new clients.

As a small business owner, here are a few examples of occasions when you may need to write clearly and well:

1. Email responses to new clients

You receive a query from a potential client about your products and services – how do you respond? If it’s with a rambling email that is badly written and contains spelling and grammatical errors, you are clearly less likely to win the work.

2. Email responses to existing clients

If your client has a complaint or a query, again, the response you give can have a dramatic effect on whether you continue working with that client. You need to think carefully not only about your response, but also the tone of it and the way you phrase the words.

3. Quotes for business

If you prepare a quote for some new business, it’s important that you set out the quote clearly and without ambiguity. If the client isn’t clear on what they are getting for their money, they may go elsewhere, even if yours was the better deal. Equally, you could be storing up trouble for yourself down the line if you and your client understood the quote differently because of the language you used.

4. Press releases to promote your business

A badly written press release without all the relevant information is less likely to get picked up by the media – especially today when most newspapers are understaffed and journalists are pushed for time.

5. Website copy

The first thing that most people do when they are thinking of using a company’s services is to look on their website. If you don’t have a website, then get one. If you can, get your website designed and written by professionals. Note the plural: professionals. Website design and copywriting are different skills. If you are writing your own website copy, it has to sell your products and services in the best way possible, using terms that address the needs of potential clients and give them all the information they need. Otherwise, they will go elsewhere.

Writing your own copy

If you have decided to write your own copy, you need to get reading. The more you read – whatever it is – the more you will soak up language, improve your phrasing, spelling and grammar, and learn how to better write about your business. If you read for pleasure, you will probably already have a better facility with language than your competitors. If reading has never been your thing, then try and find something that you can engage with, for example a business book that will give you tips and ideas as well as using language that you will need to be familiar with.

Finally, whatever you are selling, you’ll need to use the right words to appeal to your potential customers. So don’t leave writing about your business to the last minute, give it the time and effort it deserves – and that will bring results.

Copywriting

Creative, affordable copywriting that will help you sell your products and services. From blogging packages and web content to press releases and e-marketing, we offer professional copywriting in Huddersfield and Leeds and across West Yorkshire and the UK.

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Journalism

Read my monthly column in The Eye magazine, interviews with top authors in Excelle magazine, features written for Around Town magazine and a variety of articles written for the national press.

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Events

From Joanne Harris to Iain Banks, find out more about events with bestselling authors and creative writing courses in Huddersfield run by Key Words.

For business there’s a choice of Writing for Business seminars, one-off masterclasses and speaking engagements, as well as our monthly Coffee & Cake Business Network event at Café Society in Huddersfield

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