Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Why Hire a Professional Writer, part 3: I Don't Cut Hair

Parts 1 and 2 established how writing can be used to obscure when it should really unveil, and how good writing engages readers, drawing them in while getting its message across. 

Who, then, should you trust to do the writing for your business?

I have heard managers and business owners say “Well, the employee I assigned to write this has a college degree, so she obviously knows how to write.” At which time I have to remind them that I got through Kindergarten and know how to use scissors, but you wouldn’t want me cutting your hair.

Think about that when you’re ready to hand off that writing project to that employee who isn’t a writer. How much would you hesitate in handing her a pair of scissors to cut your hair? Do you want clients and prospects seeing your business through writing that’s the text equivalent of a bad haircut?

A professional writer is someone with the talent, skill, and experience to create writing that informs and engages readers. A professional writer can help you by

  • Defining your message and audience and working out the most effective ways to get your message to that audience
  • Recognizing tired or clich├ęd ideas and finding fresh approaches
  • Creating writing that is concise, compelling, consistent, and free from the distractions of grammar, punctuation, usage, and spelling errors
  • Freeing you and your staff to focus your time on your jobs and growing your business

Words present us to the world. And the words you choose to present your business to the world affect how your prospects and clients perceive it in much the same way that how your hair looks affects how people perceive you.

Do you want your business out there with a bad haircut? A really bad haircut? Then think about it before handing those scissors to that employee or picking them up yourself. Just because I can use scissors doesn’t mean I can cut hair; just because someone can use MS Word doesn’t mean they can write. Trust your words to someone whose job it is to know words, who can create effective writing to present your business compellingly.

And without leaving the bangs way too short and that little cowlick sticking up.