No matter what stage your business is at, it’s always going to be important to keep people up-to-date with what’s going on.
In this day and age, there are an increasing number of ways you can do this; Facebook, Twitter, Blogs, or good old fashioned Newsletters.
Each have their pros and cons, but here are a few pointers.
Make every word count. Unless your audience is very dedicated, it won’t want to wade through lots of words to find the important stuff. If you struggle with being concise, set yourself a word count; you’ll be surprised!
If you’re in any doubt about the importance of being concise, check out Allison Lai’s page. She gives 10 really important benefits, such as how it demonstrates your organisational skills and caters for those readers with short attention spans (or little time!)
Include a story
Everyone loves an anecdote. They can (and often the best ones) are short; what have been the successes this week or year? Do you particularly remember clients you’ve worked with and helped? Funny stories work best – people relate to entertainment much more than harrowing emotion. Here, Parker suggests that anecdotes are a good tool to use at the beginning of an article; they draw people in, show that your business is operating in the ‘real world’ and give readers a little bit of background knowledge. It may well be this story that sticks in the readers’ mind for the longest time.
Give regular updates
If you’ve got an audience, keep it! It’s hard to say how often is ‘right’ to update; it depends on the medium that you’re using – Twitter is brilliant for many updates a day, a newsletter might be better written every four months. Make sure you have enough news before you write an update. No-one wants to read an update (or tweet) that is word rich but information poor.
Remember also that many emails or posted letters may be only briefly looked at before being discarded if they do not appear interesting at first glance. It’s more productive for everyone if you spend lots of time perfecting a less frequent newsletter than little time spent on constant ‘updates’.
Make sure your grammar is right
Use spell check! Depending on your business and its stage, you might get away with occasional grammar and spelling mistakes, but poor grammar can change the meaning of a sentence and will put those pernickety customers off. Good grammar shows the audience that you have attention to detail and can be trusted to provide good service. So make sure you check all of your apostrophes and ‘there, they’re, their’s’. It will be worth your time.
In fact, click here for a list grammar and punctuation as number one on its list of common business plan mistakes.
Finally, don’t forget that news spreads fast by word of mouth; make sure that the news getting out is the news you want people to know!
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Image credits: shawngraham.me