5 party personas to avoid in professional business writing
Don't you love a great party? What’s sometimes even better than the party itself is the post-party de-brief. As long as you’re not starring in the wrap-up. For the wrong reasons. Know what I mean?
That can happen to your business copywriting, too. Because once you click ‘send’, ‘publish’ or ‘print’, it’s there for everyone to see. Forever.
So get it right. First time. Every time.
But how do you do that?
For starters, here are 5 party personas best avoided in your business copywriting. At all times.
1. The Chronic Embellisher (aka The Credibility Crusher)
Never let the truth get in the way of a great story, so they say. While surrounding yourself with a dazzling storyteller is great fun at a party, how do you know when they're really telling the truth? If ever? Once you’ve built a reputation for being consistently factually incorrect, it’s exceptionally hard to overcome. Especially in professional business copywriting. One tiny mistake and you lose your credibility and reputation. Instantly. Always question, verify and fact check before hitting ‘send’ or ‘publish’.
2. The Incessant Talker (aka The Thoughtless Offer)
We’ve all met one, and tried to avoid them at a party (unless you’re in a non-talkative mood, in which case they’re actually pretty handy). So don’t be an incessant talker in your business copywriting. Talking at your potential client without stopping to listen to what’s on their mind. Rattling off each and every one of your services or products without ever stopping to wonder whether they’re relevant to their needs. Just assuming they are. Never assume anything. Let your potential clients get a word in. And listen. Understand what keeps them awake at night. Then you’re more likely to deliver beyond both their expectations and your competitors’ offer.
3. The Self-obsessed Egotist (aka The Arrogant Wordsmith)
Got it in one. The person who talks about themselves. Non-stop. Never asking anything about you. Because it’s all about them. Reminds me of (un)professional business copywriting I’ve seen. Especially in competitive tenders and Request for Proposal responses. The biggest mistake you can make as a proposal or tender writer is making it all about you. Your business. Your skills. How brilliant you are. Stop. Always think about the client you’re writing to. Show them you’ve listened. And understood their needs. Demonstrate that you’ve got people with the experience to meet them. Preferably backed up by a third party who thinks you’re worth your weight in gold.
4. The One Who Shall Not Be Named (aka The Careless Writer)
There’s no polite way to say it. Anyone who over indulges and redecorates a party host’s $50,000 rug is never forgotten. Or invited again. Don’t let this happen to you in your business writing. Take your time. Work out your key messages. Match them to your client’s needs. And state the benefits you offer, over your competitors, with precision and clarity. Less is more. Don’t ‘vomit’ over the page, cross your fingers and hope your client gets the gist. They won’t. Good writing takes time. Lots of copy editing. Lots. But, trust me, it’s worth the investment.
5. The Passive Wall Flower (aka The Tentative Voice)
A shy, timid wallflower who hopes someone, anyone, will talk to them. Who thinks they have nothing to say. The reality is, they’re the ones with the most intriguing and interesting things of all to say. They just need to speak up and use their active, confident voice. It’s no different in business copywriting. It’s mostly swamped by a passive, timid voice. So, be positive in your writing. Put zing in your copy using active words. Change “The tender was submitted on time by Mary” to “Mary submitted to the tender on time.” Get rid of any hint that you’re unsure, like “We could”, “We might”, “It may be possible if...” and replace with “We will”, We have,” “We do.” Be confident. Always. And what you will deliver (without telling any porky pies!).
If you see any of these party personas creeping into your business writing and need some character re-adjustment, call Belinda Findlay at Write Angles Communication on +612 419 603 359. She’s no psychologist, that’s for sure, but she’s an experienced business copywriter and has helped many businesses improve the impact and professionalism of their business writing.