Why the process of writing is a creative, central part of your business
You want people to call your number, and book a large catering job.
You want them to email you and inquire about your bookkeeping services.
You want them to purchase a 12-session coaching package from your website.
If only they knew how great your (flowers are… plumbing services are… coaching is), they’d love it.
The challenge you face is to be able to tell it to them in a way that they can and will listen to. If you make it too cluttered and obscure, they can’t listen to it. If you make it too long and dense, they won’t listen to it.
You need to find a way to use words to convey meaning. —To an increasingly overstimulated population who does not care as much as you do, and doesn’t trust you the way your mother does.
You have to work it out as you’re saying it
The process of writing is the process of defining what you have to say. It is generative, not passive. Let’s say you’re working on talking about your services: In the process, you’ll have to line up exactly what those services are, in a way you may never have done before. The act of laying it all down on paper will help you define what they actually are, and how they compare with each other.
“Oh no,” you say to yourself. “I never realized that the Gold package is actually only $10 more than the Silver package when you add it all up, and I’m giving away that much more—that’s stupid.”
“Wait a minute—what am I saying I provide as an outcome? I thought I knew, but when I’m trying to express it here, it turns out it’s not that clear after all. I guess if I can’t say, I can’t express my prospects to understand either.”
You see? You have to work it out as you’re saying it.
You have to learn how to explain it to others
The process of writing, say, a home page, is to hone and hone what you are really trying to say. It’s not always fun, because it forces you to think real hard. (Take a break, take a walk, and come back to it later… Let it gestate—but don’t stop!)
You are polishing a diamond of clarity (we hope).
You have to start speaking in a language people can relate to
By getting rid of all the “college essay speak”, the language becomes alive and human.
Let’s say you change: “Ambassador Partners Provides a Consolidated Suite of Assessment Services”…
…To: “We do the math to make sure you can send your kid to college when she turns 18.”
A little clearer, right? Well, guess what? Once you get to this level of clarity in your writing, it becomes what you’re able to do everywhere.
The clarity propogates to every area of your work
The day after I revamped my website to say all the things I really wanted to do, and wrappped it up as a clear and coherent package, I was at a community potluck. I introduced myself to someone new, and, in telling him what I did, I landed a new client, by being able to confidently express what I did.
Not only that, but when I was asked for more detail, I was able to rattle off with great clarity the details of my various packages, why they were valuable, and say this all in terms that would resonate with people.
Let me add here: The more you articulate what it is you want to do in ways that people will understand, the more you’ll be able to do just that. (The fear that no one will understand curtails us from even making the offer, or in knowing what the offer would even be.)
You cannot outsource this
As the business owner, even if I had 100 employees, there’s no way I could outsource the process of defining all the language in my website. Because I did the work, I had internalized the messages, the clarity, the language that resonated with my audience. Now in every ad I run, with every person I meet, and in everything I do, I have that clarity to call on.
That is why I think writing is a very undervalued ability to develop. It is not a passive activity, it actually creates. (That’s why I said it’s generative, not passive.) If you want help, let me know. And in any event, do consider taking the time to hone your writing—it pays dividends everywhere you go!