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Marketing People – Improve Your Writing Skills

February 26, 2017 Leave a comment

agreementTo be a great marketing person you need to be:

  • Organized and a good project manager
  • A great communicator including being able to write effectively

This post will focus on how a marketing person can improve their writing skills.  No matter the marketing channels you use, a marketing person needs to be an excellent writer.  Period.  If you are not, then make it a goal to improve.

Each marketing channel (Twitter, blog, website, landing page, eBook, Facebook, data sheets, brochures, articles, etc.) has a different tone and style.  Make sure you know the tone to use when writing for that particular channel.

But in all cases grammar, spelling and clarity matter.  Even if it is just emails to others, writing accurately and concise is important for your career.

Here are some thoughts and suggestions on how to improve your writing:

  • Have a personal blog.  Set up a plan and write consistent blog posts.  I got to be a better writer by writing posts for my blog, especially when I decided to do a blog post a day for an entire month.  Read here for my blog post concerning that month of writing.
  • Keep a book journal.  As you read a personal development book or a business book write down notes.  Ideas are reinforced in the mind when they are written down.
  • For some, keeping a personal journal is helpful.  The more you write the better you will write. Practice, Practice, Practice.
  • Read. Read lots. Reading good writing will make you a better writer.
  • Read Stephen King’s book, On Writing.  Understand the habits and mindset of a great writer.  He mentions that after you write your draft go back in and cut down the copy.  I do this every time I write a blog post.
  • Get a copy of Strunk and White’s Elements of Style. Review is as it will give you the fundamentals you need.
  • Purchase Content Rules: How to Create Killer Blogs, Podcasts, Videos, Ebooks, Webinars (and More) That Engage Customers and Ignite Your Business by Ann Handley and C.C. Chapman.  This provides up to date information on how to write for the various marketing channels.

  • Read articles on English usage such as their vs. there or its vs. it’s.  Or how about site, cite, sight.  Nothing shows that you are not a good writer more than incorrect usage.
  • Subscribe to the Copyblogger and Problogger blogs.  Review their posts and follow their advice.
  • When in doubt about something, please look it up.  If working for a company then review the company’s style guide and look up usage when in doubt.  Be consistent.  For example, we had to make a decision on do we use “life cycle” or “lifecycle”.  Either is fine but you need to be consistent.  Also decide on capitalization.  At a company I worked at we decided to use “HelpDesk” instead of help desk to describe our support team.  Again, be consistent, including on tenses.
David Ogilvy is considered to be the father of advertising and was known for his ability to communicate a clear vision.  He wrote (in 1982) a famous memo, titled “How to Write”, to his employees.  He stated “People who think well, write well.” as well as “Good writing is not a natural gift.  You have to learn to write well.”.  Some of his hints in the memo included:
  • Write the way you talk. Naturally.
  • Use short words, short sentences and short paragraphs.
  • Never use jargon words.
It is to your benefit to improve your written communication skills.  Writing is a skill that can be taught, refined, and improved. The written word is still a powerful tool used in marketing. The better you write the better your marketing will be.  Hope that his post helped you improve.  Feel free to let me know what you have done to be a better writer.
Photo credit: stocksnap.io (68)

Share Your Skills

December 14, 2009 6 comments

ShareSkillI just read Chris Brogan’s (@chrisbrogan) blog entry regarding “Put Your Skills to Use” dated December 13, 2009. Full agreement and I have already been doing it. Chris said he was inspired by Chris Kieff’s (@Ckieff) idea to Make a Facebook Page for someone. I was inspired by the blog entry and now I’m hoping I will inspire someone.

I’m pretty good on Linkedin. When friends lose their job they don’t know what to do. I tell them get a Linkedin account, update your profile, connect with people you know and get recommendations. Of course they say how do I do that. I quickly arrange a meeting at a local coffee shop with wireless and show them what I have done and set up their Linkedin account and profile for them. I then connect with them, write a quick recommendation for them and add them to a group or two. Takes an hour but it gets my friend moving on their job search. I followup with them in a few days to see how they are doing and provide some more suggestions.  They are appreciative and I feel good.  Win Win.

Kieff’s point is that you know how to do it and there are people you know that could use your help. You can assist people with money or with your time. Giving your time is more meaningful and rewarding. Maybe you know how to do Twitter backgrounds. Maybe you know how to shoot videos for YouTube. Maybe you know how to post pictures on Flickr. Everyone has a talent or skill that they can share. I actually see those without jobs and independent consultants sharing their time more than those with jobs. That should not be the case. Everyone should donate their time to others – friends, family and people you hardly know.

I’m currently doing volunteer marketing services for a local nonprofit. They use Constant Contact as their email newsletter tool. I know it quite well. So it was a perfect fit. I enjoy the people at this nonprofit and they like me. I feel good when I leave their office every week. They think that they are getting a great deal from an experienced marketing person at no cost. I think I have the better deal with them.

So pay it forward and share your skills and knowledge.  Let me know your share stories.