By Matthew Toren
Have you ever read something that inspired you? Something that resonated with you emotionally and intellectually in a way you couldn’t even articulate? Such is the power of effective writing. Over millennia, the written word has influenced the course of history time and time again. It may seem like writing has lost some importance in today’s multi-media world. On the contrary, people still respond immeasurably to inspirational words. Even a stimulating video clip has its genesis with a blank page. Improve your skills as a writer you’ll improve your value as an entrepreneur.
Business is About Communication
Every aspect of your business involves constructive communication. You need to connect with customers, you need to effectively converse with employees, and you need to exchange ideas with other entrepreneurs for networking purposes. By improving your communication abilities, you’ll move forward in every aspect of your business.
Communication is About Utilizing Words
In order to get your message across, you need to paint a picture with your words. You need to create language that will echo in the minds of your readers. This doesn’t mean you need to be overly verbose or fill your email newsletters with flowery prose reminiscent of Jane Austen. You simply need to find a way to formulate an emotional connection.
The best way to improve your writing skills is to read more. How much time do you spend reading daily? Unless you’re an avid reading hobbyist, it’s probably not much. With television and ubiquitous web accessibility, it’s not easy to sit down in a comfortable chair and open up a book. Put aside some time every day to read. Think of it as a contributing factor to your success, not just a leisure time activity. Read more and read effectively. Don’t try to speed read through pages just to tell yourself you’ve accomplished your reading goals. Read carefully and absorb information. Pause for reflection, backtrack and re-read passages you found confusing, and look up unknown words in a dictionary. Read from a variety of sources. Don’t just limit yourself to reading articles relevant to your business or reading excellent copy for motivation. Read essays and fiction. Nobody understands the power of writing as a creative craft like novelists.
Practice makes perfect and writing is no exception. If you struggle with writing, put aside some time every day to work on your skills. Spend a little more time than usual on something simple like an email to a friend or colleague. Write your own business proposals. Find someone you trust and admire to read and review your material. Be open to suggestions and don’t be afraid to try new things. As time goes by, you’ll notice that writing becomes easier and more natural. You’ll know you’re on the right track when people respond to your emails telling you they were so entertained they read your message twice.
Know Your Audience
Different words mean different things to different people. When you’re writing, it’s helpful to imagine your potential reader. Put yourself in his shoes and visualize what it is he’d like to read. Make your points relevant to your imagined reader and use your reactions and emotions to estimate those of your reader. Eventually, this imagined reader will become like a little voice in your head, suggesting ideas and reinforcing concepts to push your writing forward.
Unleash Your Creativity
Your writing should be informative and helpful, but don’t neglect the power of your creative side to really inspire readers. Great writing, and especially great copywriting, tells a story to create emotional resonance. If you’re feeling stifled, try writing a short story for fun. It may seem like a high school homework project, but the process will teach you about narrative structure, expressive words, and captivating your audience.
Call To Action
Remember the function that your writing is there to serve. As your writing improves and you begin to connect with readers on a personal level, you’ll gain their trust and admiration. Now it’s time to craft a successful call to action. Give your readers something to get excited about and offer them a solution to a challenge.
Consider your writing like you would consider other contributing factors to your business. Give it the attention it deserves. What are your feelings on writing? Love it? Hate it? Does any writer particularly inspire you?