Words can make or break a business deal. They have the potential to convert unaware prospects into repeat buyers. Businesses become brands when they communicate their vision effectively. So, how do you bridge the gap between your company’s vision and your buyer’s need?
Writing is the thing that will come to your rescue. It is one of the effective mediums to create more clarity, boost confidence and strengthen your credibility in buyers’ eyes.
If you’re an entrepreneur, chances are, you have control over your professional life, but you still have to make many stressful decisions. To minimize the stress of writing, check out the following 61 questions to improve your business-writing skills to win the hearts of your target audience and thereby increase your online sales.
- Thought process: Do you plan in advance to make your writing more direct and efficient?
- Ideation: Do you write your first draft without worrying about perfection?
- Communication: Are you clear with the theme of your article? (If you are not clear about your theme, expect the same from your readers)
- Feel the pain: Are you putting yourself in your buyers’ shoes?
- Action: What are the actionable takeaways from your article?
- Benefit: Are you presenting the benefit to gain your readers’ attention?
- Curiosity: Does your headline force readers to click the link for more information?
- Convey: Does your headline convey the same benefit as your article’s theme?
- Specific: Is your headline specific, not too general, to get an instant reaction?
- Study: Do you study headlines of popular business blogs and magazines in your industry?
- Visualize: Do you help readers visualize the benefits of your product/service?
- Aggravate: Do you up the ante of your the story by introducing the villain (the pain points)?
- Hero: Do you calm your readers by presenting the hero (solution) of the story?
- Justify: Are you making a true connection between your audience members’ time and their high expectations?
- Referral: Do you expect readers to become your brand ambassadors by sharing the content?
- Next visit: Do you expect a next visit by the same reader to learn more about your offer?
- Over-deliver: Do you surprise your readers by delivering more than was expected?
- Intention: Are you listening with the intention of solving your customers’ problems?
- Capture: Does your listening capture the mood of your target audience?
- Action: Does your listening translate into actionable content?
- Drive: Do your subheadings push readers to the body paragraph?
- Short: Is your paragraph short enough to retain the engagement level?
- Simple: Are your sentences simple, smooth and easy to read?
- Connect: Do you maintain the connection when jumping from one sub-topic to another?
- Questions: Are you asking the right set of questions to involve your audience?
- Bullet: Are you engaging the audience with bullet points to make digestible content?
- Frequency: Are you on the same wavelength with your target audience?
- Feel: Do you generate feelings for your readers’ pain points?
- Experience: Do you share customer experiences to build a strong connection?
- Jargon: Are you (incorrectly) using technical terms to confuse your readers?
- Passive voice: Do you (incorrectly) use passive voice to make ideas hard to follow?
- Adverbs: Are you eliminating useless adverbs to simplify the message?
- Transition: Are you using transitional phrases to create smooth jumps? (e.g., “There’s more,” “Here’s the kicker,” “Let me explain”)
- Very: Do you use “very” to express dull and unclear phrases? (e.g., use “exhausted” instead of “very tired,” “vibrant” instead of “very colorful”)
- Choice: Do you (incorrectly) offer multiple options that may produce decision paralysis for readers?
- Cut the fat: Do you remove unnecessary words or sentences?
- Originality: Does your buyer yawn over your boring clichés? (Remove phrases like “service-oriented” and “high-quality.” Instead, express the benefits of your product/services.)
- One goal: Are you focusing on one goal to dig deep into a single topic?
- One person: Do you please everyone to dilute the reader experience?
- Examples: Are you using real-life examples to create more clarity?
- Conversational: Is your writing too formal to alienate readers from your offering?
- Vulnerable: Are you showing your “real” side, to build deep connections? (People buy you first, before buying your offer.)
- True feelings: Do you share how you feel, to make your content more relatable?
- Replicate: Are you sharing those things that matter to you?
- Realistic Goals: Are you setting realistic goals for your readers?
- Testimonials: Do you include customer testimonials to build trust and credibility?
- Authority: Are you conveying confidence and decisiveness through content?
- Data: Do you back your content with industry research or data?
- Opinions: Are you taking the opinion of influencers to back your content?
- Summarize: Are you summing up the topic by touching on the main points?
- Feedback: Do you ask questions to receive suggestions or queries in the comments section?
- Specific: Are you making a clear call to action? (Don’t hesitate. If you are not clear, no one will take action.)
Before hitting the ‘publish’ button
- Read: Do you read your content aloud to avoid typos, missing words and errors?
- Perspective: Do you present the ideas from an audience perspective? (Replace “I,” “our company” and “my” with “you” and “your.”)
- Capture: Have you captured the hopes, fears, aspirations and desires of your target audience?
- Practice: Do you work extensively on your headlines before publishing the post?
- Feedback: Do you ask your office team for the feedback?
- Experiment: Do you experiment with your writing style to strike a perfect chord with readers?
- Check: Do you keep a check on social media comments? (You might get an idea for your next article.)
- Habit: Do you practice the art of writing on a daily basis?
- Numbers: Are you gauging the interest of your readers by analyzing the number of likes, shares and comments?
The above article was originally published by me for Entrepreneur Magazine.