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Whether you’re an executive, a content creator or a full-blown entrepreneur, you have to communicate with stakeholders and clients alike to move the needle. Too often, entrepreneurs place too much emphasis on social media posts, paid ads or the next shiny new marketing strategy, when in fact good writing alone can be enough to move the needle.
For the longest time, I was one of the former and not the latter. After years of haphazard experimentation in marketing and social media, developing a singular focus on written content is what has helped me jumpstart my business. If Morning Brew’s acquisition last year taught us anything, it’s that consumers are happy to hand over their attention to quality writing, and this attention is incredibly lucrative; the company generated around $20 million in 2020 at over 25% profit.
The benefits of writing are boundless. Not only does it improve your communication skills — vital for any business — it helps you process your thoughts with clarity and grow your self-confidence. Writing also helps you expand your network, crank out new content and build out standard operating procedures that will help you scale your business. With the future of work remaining uncertain, what better way to connect with your customers and clients than through your writing?
Just as good writing can transform your business, bad writing can just as easily harm it. Unfortunately, the world is full of writing advice, and it can be intimidating. From my experience, here are the tips that make the biggest difference.
Learn the tools of the trade
Author Natalie Canavor put it best when she wrote “You are what you write these days.”
As a business owner, nothing will lessen your credibility faster than poor writing. And unless you discover you have a natural gift for words, you’ll likely find yourself struggling in the early days. A reputation for bad writing is hard to shift, so save yourself time and stress and learn the tools of the trade.
Headline construction, copywriting, email marketing and storytelling are all important levers for growing an online business.The investment of even a few hours to master the basics will pay you tenfold throughout your career.
Write like the expert you are
When I first began creating content and sharing my thoughts online, I struggled with the concept of positioning myself as a subject matter expert. Despite walking the walk, I got caught up in the fact that there were other far more successful entrepreneurs in my industry.
In the real world, I was comfortable, confident even, talking about my business and offering advice to others. But when it came time to put those thoughts into words to be shared online, I felt cluttered. This lack of confidence manifested itself in the form of apologetic, passive writing that served neither readers nor clients.
Then one day, someone reached out and thanked me for a tutorial-style blog post. They appreciated not only the information and insights I shared, but also the way I shared them and peppered in personality along the way. It dawned on me at that moment that being an expert doesn’t have to mean being the best in the world. It simply means you have insights and perspectives about your industry that are valuable to others. It’s your duty to share these insights, and as a bonus you’ll see a credibility boost along the way.
Lean into your personal journey
Did you know there are now AI-powered article-writing websites all over the internet? Services like WriteSonic and AIWriter can certainly help you with entry-level construction, but if you really want to make it rain, you’ll need to give us something that robots can’t: Personal authenticity.
Get a little vulnerable and share with us how it’s really going. Show us some nitty-gritty behind-the-scenes insights from your business. Allow your audience to see your highs and lows and experience them with you. Providing this context is an effective way to get your audience engaged with your content and, more importantly, related to you on a more human level.
When you truly connect with your audience and capture their attention, your business will grow. As John Kotter and James Hesket write in their book Corporate Culture & Performance, companies that can demonstrate their values through storytelling outperform their counterparts in both stock price and profit performance.
Expand your influence first and your wallet second
If you really want to build influence that better supports your business, you’ll need to find your own voice, develop your own style and carve out your own space. When you have influence, your words can turn into money; this structure doesn’t work the other way around.
Writing has taken my entrepreneurial career to the next level. It’s opened new doors, grown my network and expanded my influence. While there’s no quick fix — writing takes a lifetime to master — the returns can be transformative, both personally and financially.
As David Perell argues, “A well-written article can change your life because the internet rewards people who think well.” You already think well, so start sharing it through writing today to transform your business for months and years to come.