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3 things you must do when writing for business


It doesn’t matter if you’re writing a handbook or a white paper. The goal is the same: Be clear.

Many would argue that a brand’s tone and style lies at the core of business writing. However, if your brand’s personality is ambiguous, then you’re going to confuse your target audience.

Suppose you have two writers for a company that builds accounting software. While one develops authoritative, cut-and-dry sounding emails, the other creates white papers that possess a lighter, inspirational tone. This creates inconsistency, and can make your audience wonder what kind of company they’re dealing with.

In addition to establishing consistency, there are three other approaches you must take when writing for businesses:

1. Establish the purpose 

Ask yourself: Why are you writing the material that you are? How is this content going to provide value to your colleagues or your target audience? There’s no sense in writing anything if it’s not going to deliver knowledge. You must identify what’s captivating to your audience and integrate this factor into your work.

2. Blueprint a delivery 

The material you’re creating will largely determine how you choose to drive the purpose of your piece home. For example, a white paper is designed to identify and analyse a specific problem, referencing reputable source material to support your conclusion.

A good writer knows how to play with the emotions of his or her audience. That’s how you keep a reader’s attention. When outlining a white paper, figure out how the flow of the piece will inspire specific sentiments. Remember that these emotions can be tempered. For example, you may want a reader to experience realisation at certain points.

3. Read it to yourself 

Christina Desmarais, a contributor to Inc., maintained that one of the most important things she learned to do in a business writing course was reading her material out loud. This will not only help you affirm the purpose and delivery of your piece, but also find any grammatical errors.

In addition, you can assess how the copy makes you feel. Does it inspire the emotions you want to foster in your audience?

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