6 Writing Tips To Increase Your $$$
We rely on written words to get what we want. As uber-consultant Alan Weiss says, “Language controls discussion, discussion controls relationships, and relationships control business.” Do you make your writing as compelling as possible?
Improve your writing and you’ll change the arc of your career. Yes, you can literally double or triple your salary because articulate, effective leaders get paid much more than “muddled thinkers.” Language and leadership are inseparable. Your history has not been shaped or moved by mediocre words.
Why edit your words? Because every thought or word produced by the firing of your neurons is not immediately fit for public consumption.
Your may doubt that salary claim but look at your resume. A well-written resume can be the difference between obtaining a satisfying job and a dead-end one. Effective writing makes a huge difference in every job, eg, a researcher who writes effectively will get 5 – 10 times as many grants over their career.
If you’re an ascending leader, your ability to use words to motivate others can easily double your rate of advancement. It’s good to be obviously intelligent but better to consistently articulate recommendations that can be acted upon by others. Communicating with clarity increases your value.
Here’s how to communicate clearly all the time:
1.) Have a repeatable message. Too many blogs, articles, and emails have no clear message, which makes it impossible to repeat. In our digital age, being easily repeated is the difference between fame and forgotten.
For example, search engines place clear and focused pieces much higher than random and rambling ones.
Creating repeatable messages is necessary to increasing your salary or income. In most companies, it takes more than one person’s opinion to double your salary. The people who control your financial fate must be able to easily grasp both your messages as well as the value you add.
Ask yourself: why am I writing this? What do I want the reader to takeaway? More importantly, what do I want the reader to do after reading my words?
2.) Know your audience. Writing everything in the same style is simply ineffective. Instead adapt your style and approach to match the needs of the people you wish to influence.
Bosses don’t think like their subordinates. The people in Accounting don’t think like the people in Marketing. Write accordingly.
Some people crave facts and figures, others crave stories. To deliver a message into someone’s brain you must package it in a form they can assimilate easily. That may mean using 100 words or less; for others, it may mean including three pages of support materials. Your task as a communicator is to know the requirements of each audience.
Ask yourself: who is going to read this and how do they think? You’ll find clues by re-reading anything that they sent to you.
3.) Be powerful, not passive. Powerful professionals do things; they don’t sit passively while others take action. But too many professionals write in the passive tense, like this:
After careful consideration, our department’s new operating policy was approved this morning by the management team.
That’s lousy writing. No one gets excited by it. Far better to write:
We just created five simple principles to make daily life in our department easier and simpler.
Whenever you write, show people how and why to take action.
4.) Use examples. Examples lift your words from abstract thoughts (which most people ignore) to concrete realities. It’s a fact, if you don’t know how to implement an idea, it isn’t useful to you.
Examples show readers how to implement your ideas.
If you want your boss to approve a new expense, tell then why the expense is a good investment then give examples of how it will expedite progress to the goal.
5.) Use more pictures and fewer words. Know why nearly every LinkedIn article (and this one) starts with an image? Because people read articles with images.
The same is true for documents. People think in pictures. Omitting pictures is failing to reach people. Plus, you can use images to direct attention to your key points.
Don’t waste words. This is crucial. Only use as many words as is necessary to get your point across clearly. No more.
6. Write at least three drafts. You may argue but the hard reality is that you need to rewrite your first draft and then keep rewriting until you’ve accomplished all five aforementioned tips.
I write at least three drafts of everything, even emails. When I violate this principle, I regret it. By regret, I mean it costs me: I don’t get the appointment, I don’t get a reply, I am misunderstood, I lose business, etc.
I learned the hard way so you don’t have to.