An Important Business Skill
If you had to choose one skill as a business owner that would help you achieve your overall business goal, what would you choose?
Having started and pivoted a few different projects over the years, the one skill I would say is going to help achieve my overall business goal falls under the category of communication.
Even though communication can take the form of written, verbal and visual styles, the one I believe is going to stand me in good stead is the written form of communication.
Writing Instead Of Sales
Why not sales you ask?
Well, being able to write our thoughts and ideas down in different styles will help us with all aspects of our business. Including the development of sales skills.
We need to write our pitches, blog posts, press releases, social media post and so on. All of these lead to sales. When you think about it, writing is also used to gather our thoughts before we speak.
At one point or another we have all had to write, most notable in school when we had to write essays about topics we were less than enthusiastic about.
Reflecting back to those days, I can see that the skills gained in researching and writing essays during those teenage years created the foundations for learning the written form of communication.
Fast forward to life as a business owner, where there are lots of writing tasks that need to be completed I’m glad I can do all my own writing.
Writing As A Non Professional
Before opting to do all my own writing, I spent some time outsourcing blog post writing. At the time, I spent a lot of time dealing with numbers and, outsourcing the writing of blog posts seemed to be a good idea.
As writers started submitting their work, I realised I was spending a lot of time editing their submissions. This made me wonder why I had outsourced the writing in the first place. Surely I could have done the writing myself and it would have taken me less time to complete.
Doing My Own Writing
Being out of practice with writing anything more than emails, I was convinced I could do a better job than the outsourced writers. This was when I started to re-train myself to write.
Starting small, the re-training process started by writing 500 words a day for 30 days. Sometimes I got topics to write about from a list of topics I had created and other times I wrote about whatever was on my mind.
Research Based Vs Free Form
As part of writing 500 words a day I tested my writing skills by doing research based as well as free form writing.
Of those two types of writing, I found there was little difference between how I tackled them. Other than knowing all pieces of writing had to have a beginning, a middle and an end, the process used went something like this:
Decide a topic
Create an outline,
Write first draft
This writing plan does give structure, however, it having an outline sometimes feels restrictive in what can be written as I tend to sometimes get new writing topics while writing.
In these situations I can either ignore those new topic ideas or I can write about them.
Bizarrely, this is one of the many times my sites name SloppySuccess#makeastart, has come in handy as before I had the site, I would have more than likely forced myself to keep writing about the original topic, which would have inevitably lead to me not finishing. Instead, I carry on writing and let myself go off on a tangent. Doing this has enabled me to finish writing quicker, it also has given me multiple pieces of writing I can use.
The process may come across as Sloppy, then again being able to have more than one piece of writing, during a single writing session, makes it a Success … hence SloppySuccess!
The more I wrote, the easier I found writing. The additional pieces written were turned into published blog posts.
So, as it turns out, whether I am writing a post that needs some research or free form, going off on a tangent seems to work for me.
Other Forms Of Writing
With other forms of writing, I try to be as succinct as possible.
My emails are short and to the point and this has helped with pitching my site to publications to get media attention as no one has time to read lengthy submissions pitching a site or a blog post topic.
Visual communication is still a work in progress for me. Thankfully we have apps to use in creating images for social media posts and videos that allows visual messages to be conveyed to your audience
As for verbal communication, being able to see people’s reaction as you speak makes it easier to adjust what you are saying so it doesn’t get misinterpreted. You get to know when to chunk down or chunk up what you are saying based on who you are talking to.
Even though a target of writing 500 words a day for 30 days was set, which got extended to 60 days as it became a bit of a therapeutic exercise, I am still apprehensive whenever I write. In using apps like Grammarly to check my writing, I seem to use a lot of passive voice and my punctuation is all over the place.
Still, this hasn’t deterred me writing.
At some point, I will look to outsource writing again. Until then, I will keep doing it myself and try and figure out what ‘passive voice’ really means.
Image Credits: unsplash_image