A marketing communications expert and former District Post editor from Horsham has set up his own consultancy to help businesses improve their writing.
James Hood, the editor at Fine Sussex magazine, is now helping clients across the South and in London to write more effectively and banish complex corporate waffle and jargon.
James has been a copywriter and communications professional for over 12 years and told The District Post that effective, well-structured writing is not just a luxury or ‘nice-to-have’ for companies that want to get ahead.
“Good writing is essential for businesses, directors and marketing pros who want to get more customers, sell more products or services, and make more cash.
“If your marketing material is written to encourage an action, inspire an emotion or even written so simply that it gets read and understood by more people, you’re going to have more success as a business”, James said.
With ‘brand language’ a big buzz word in business at the moment, increasingly organisations are turning to communications experts like James to help them create marketing messages that will help them attract and keep customers.
James added: “An organisation’s ‘tone of voice’ or ‘brand language’ is all about the way you behave in your written and verbal communications. For example are you a young, quirky, hip start-up that wants a street-wise tone? Or are you a 100 year-old accountancy firm that needs to have a distinguished, decisive tone. It all helps create a brand that people can associate with and therefore buy from.
“We have seen the positive effect that a well thought out brand language can have to organisations like Innocent Smoothies and Virgin. But it doesn’t have to be as obvious as that. There are ways you can make the writing on your website, marketing literature and even in your emails better to ensure they achieve whatever you want them to. If it’s done well, that can translate into more profit.”
To hire James to create marketing communications that win you more business, call 07900923458, email firstname.lastname@example.org or go to conveyconsultancy.co.uk for more about the services available.
Some of James’ top tips for business writing success are:
Cut the jargon
Industry-specific terminology is lazy or just makes the writer feel important. Change technical words to something even a 10-year-old would understand. It’s just good manners.
Cut to the chase
Don’t dance around an issue or start emails with ‘I just thought I’d email you to tell you that…’ Get to the point – and fast. People have very little time for waffle these days. The direct approach will mean your writing actually gets read.
When writing to anyone, but especially to customers, ask yourself ‘who cares?’ It will help you to include the essential information and not startle your reader with page after page of words.
Stop ‘passionating’ all over the place
If I had a pound for every time I’d read the words ‘we are passionate about’ I would probably be sipping a Mojito in Barbados right now. My point is words like ‘passionate’ and ‘committed to’ are so overused they have become meaningless to most consumers. Use the short time you have to get their attention and tell them something they will value.