One thing all entrepreneurs have in common is that we seek to influence others through our writing.
We’re constantly asking ourselves questions like:
How can I speak to the needs, drives and longings of my potential clients?
How can I convince people that my products and services will benefit them greatly?
How can I powerfully demonstrate my clients’ need for the services I offer?
What strategies will win people to a new point of view?
What can I do so that people thirst for something better?
How can I communicate my message in the most persuasive way?
Writing for impact is both a skill and an art. If we want to influence others, we can’t just “wing it.” Our writing can’t be something we just throw together with a lame hope that something good will come of it.
Consider these 5 elements for writing with impact:
- Contemplate. To contemplate means to consider, to mull over, to reflect on, and think about. We often rush this step when writing. We get an idea and “pluck it off the tree like unripe fruit.” Instead of letting it mature in our minds, we blurt out an idea that’s only partway thought-out. It’s only “half-baked.”
Take time to let your idea incubate. Mindmap or brainstorm your idea. Look at it from every angle. Devote enough time to let a good idea develop into a great one. You’ll know when your idea is ripe enough to pluck.
- Concise. Keep your writing tight. Use words sparingly. Technology has groomed us to expect speed and brevity. When someone drones on, we get bored and antsy. We lose interest.
“Vigorous writing is concise. A sentence should contain no unnecessary words, a paragraph no unnecessary sentences,
for the same reason that a drawing should have no unnecessary lines and a machine no unnecessary parts.” (William Strunk, Jr., co-author of The Elements of Style.)
- Clear. Without clarity, people may not even realize what we’re saying. How tragic to send a piece of copy or post a blog that leaves readers wondering what was said! Avoid fancy, obscure, or ambiguous words. We’re not trying to impress others with our vocabulary. We want to communicate clearly.
When you write, put yourself in your customer’s shoes. Read and reread what you’ve written. Read the piece aloud.
How clear is it? A bit foggy? Or crystal clear? Ask your spouse or someone else to read what you’ve written. Give them permission to give you honest feedback.
- Creative. Be creative, but let conciseness and clarity tame your creativity. We want to be clever, but not so clever as to be confusing. Our writing should never be dry, dull, or boring! When we write, we don’t want to lead our readers up a colourless stairwell, but to the glorious heights of a mountain meadow.
With creativity, we make our reading fun and give the reader a glimpse into who we are. Creativity in our writing reveals our passions and our humanness. This attracts others to us. Creativity endears us to others because through it we become vulnerable. And vulnerability gives others reason to trust us.
- Compelling. Our writing may display all the other qualities and still lack the element that evokes action. What we write must be compelling. Nearly any writing seeks to persuade. What is it that you want your reader to do? After reading your piece, how clear is their next step? Why would they even choose to take that step? What is compelling about your
Think about this: we can write something we’re really proud of. We’ve put a lot of thought into it and it’s clear, concise, and creative. But unless it’s compelling, it’s just fluff. It may be “tasty,” but lacking in any “nourishment.”
How can this piece of writing challenge or change your reader’s life? In what way will their situation improve by what you’ve told them? Our writing must compel our readers to action.
Writing is a primary tool of the entrepreneur. We write to inform, convince, entertain, persuade, and prompt others to action. We all want our writing to impact others in a positive way. And when these 5 elements permeate everything we write, we know we’re
writing for impact.
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