Tip 1

Do you write gobbledegook and expect to connect with your clients? Keeping it simple could save you a lot of time and money.

Government agencies, information technology companies, businesses trying to "sound" superior to their competitors, all make this mistake. 

Tip 2

Connecting with the people reading your message means communicating clearly so they can easily and quickly understand who you are and what you do. 

You should never use a long, difficult word when the simple version will do. For example:

  • Fugacious means fleeting, hard to capture
  • Precipitation means showers, drizzle, rain, rainfall
  • Somnambulism means sleepwalking
  • Ameliorate means improve
  • Ambulatory means moveable
  • Clandestine means secret.

You have all heard the saying, why use three words when one will do, and in certain circumstances I thoroughly agree with that statement. But it is not good to reduce a phrase to just one or two words if they cannot be understood correctly.

Some phrases can be left out completely or the sentence can be rewritten. For example:

In terms of the marketing strategy, we intend to use a good cross section of exposure.... The alternatives are... We intend to use a good cross section of exposure in our marketing strategy. Or... Our marketing strategy will give us a good cross section of exposure.

Don't make your sentences too long. Studies have shown that the average is between 15 and 20 words: 25 maximum.

Write sentences of between 10 and 16 words for advertising and marketing material, and cap the length at 20 words for formal writing, procedures manuals and other instruction material. Tailor the sentence length to the message.

If you've written sentences with 30, 35 or 40 words, rewrite the sentence. Usually, you can take out, and, the, that and but, add a full stop/period and start a new sentence.

The longer the sentence, the more concentration is needed to understand the message.

Tip 3

Do you write down your goals? If you do you're more likely to get what you want.

 

Here are simple ways to set a goal and note your achievements.

 

Setting an income goal

If you want to earn $50,000 a year, that's $1,000 per week, $200 per day, and if you charge $50 per hour, that’s four chargeable hours a day. Double all these figures if you want to earn $100,000 a year.


Goals and your to-do list

On Friday decide the goals you want to achieve during the next week and write them on Monday in your diary or in your electronic calendar. Every day write a “to-do” list with the actions needed to achieve the goals. The list should have about three to five activities.

Turn to Saturday in your paper diary and list your achievements or put them in your electronic calendar.

You may not have signed a multi million dollar contract, discussed the formula for changing the world, but I bet almost without exception you have achieved much more than you realise, simply because you didn’t write it down at the time. Or thought it was not worth recording.

Here’s a quote “A self-employed person plays their own tune and stands out from the rest of the band”.

Tip 4

Content is everything and the rules for writing it have changed.  Documents are published in many places, on paper, computer screen, website, mobile device or your company's intranet.

Although the rules for content writing have changed, no one seems to have taken any notice.