April 24, 2012
These tips, and more wisdom from Ogilvy can be found in The Unpublished David Ogilvy: A Selection of His Writings from the Files of His Partners. I especially like #4. Here goes.
Good writing is not a natural gift. You have to learn to write well. Here are 10 hints:
1. Read the Roman-Raphaelson book on writing. Read it three times.
2. Write the way you talk. Naturally.
3. Use short words, short sentences and short paragraphs.
4. Never use jargon words like reconceptualize, demassification,attitudinally, judgmentally. They are hallmarks of a pretentious ass.
5. Never write more than two pages on any subject.
6. Check your quotations.
7. Never send a letter or a memo on the day you write it. Read it aloud the next morning — and then edit it.
8. If it is something important, get a colleague to improve it.
9. Before you send your letter or your memo, make sure it is crystal clear what you want the recipient to do.
10. If you want ACTION, don’t write. Go and tell the guy what you want.
February 16, 2012
One of the truly great things about the World Wide Web is that we are all connected. All connected – and seeking information. We’re all hunting around for information on every crazy topic you can imagine: from changing your car’s oil to investing in particular stocks to cooking chicken on the grill. When people search for the topic you specialize in, wouldn’t it be great to share a little bit of your knowledge – while building a little trust along the way? Who knows, this person could become a long-time client.
And how do you do that, you might ask? Simple: write an article.
OK – hold on – let’s not get crazy. I can string a few sentences together but a full-blown article? Yes – you can do it. Just make sure you follow these simple guidelines, post the article to your blog and voila – instant sharing – instant help and you’re well on the way to making new friends and influencing people.
When you write your article, be very sure to consider your audience – who do you want to read the article? Well, a prospective client, that’s who! So – you have to speak to their issues and make sure you are being REAL. In other words, write from your heart and above all DON’T TRY TO SELL ANYTHING. Just SHARE. A couple of tips:
1. Be yourself – be “authentic”. It’s a buzzword, I know, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t true. When you sit down to write, do it in your own voice and bring your passion to the table. When you show your passion, it can be a very attractive element along with the quality information you are sharing. Don’t hold back.
2. What are the most common questions your clients ask? What are their biggest problems? This is a great way decide what you should be writing about. Think back to other clients you’ve worked with — or clients you want to work with. When it comes to your expertise, what do clients need most from you. Can you write about an example when someone came to you with this problem and you solved it? That’s a great reason for an article — proof of performance!!
3. Give tips. People love tips. a checklist is even better. Tips are short, easy to follow hints that will assist your potential client in seeing the problem clearly and giving some options on how to handle it. Many times, they see that your expertise will be invaluable (and money-saving, too) and will connect with you for more information or help.
The key is – show a sample of your expertise and knowledge. If you help them solve one small problem, chances are you are building enough trust along the way to be hired when the big problem hits.