The rise in power of the digital world has both blessed and cursed communications.


Now that written communication is so much easier and faster, increasingly people everywhere are writing both screen and paper-based communication themselves.

This can be a fantastic benefit and bonus to your business if done well, but if that’s not the case then it can be a dreaded curse that is hard to shake.

To make sure that your writing is effective, impactful and that it will cause the audience to act or feel some way, you need to know how to approach the task in the first place.

Getting the approach wrong can be time consuming, costly and professionally embarrassing.

Persuasive writing is not just about words. No writing is. It’s about people and community and all that it involves.

The importance of knowing your audience individually and as a community, tribe or niche cannot be underestimated. The successful execution of the majority of the ten steps below requires you to know them as well as you know yourself.


The approach

The two vital keys in your approach should be: to define and develop your message and to understand your target audience.

Then you’ve got to grab hold of their attention fast, because they’ve got a gazillion other things to do instead of read your stuff.

And finally for any business message to succeed it has to supply what human nature needs – something worthwhile in it for the recipient , no matter how subtle – to create the impulse and motivation needed to overcome people’s innate resistance to change.


Follow the steps

So how do you make sure that you get on your audience’s communication network and then on their particular wavelength?

Work your way through these never-fail steps:

  1. Clearly define what the message must achieve
  2. Understand and get to know your reader/audience
  3. Know how your reader/audience will receive your message
  4. Build your message out of the right foundations
  5. Make sure there’s something ‘in it for them’ that’s worthwhile
  6. Write in your audience/readers language
  7. Follow acceptable grammar and spelling – they do still matter
  8. Keep the writing style simple
  9. Work your chosen medium – hard copy/print, press, marcomms or electronic/web, blog, social – and make sure the medium you choose is favoured by your reader/audience
  10. Know why and when you need to call in a professional writer to help

If you understand and get these ten steps right on every business writing project you undertake, then you can be assured that what you write will be effective and absolutely right for the purpose.


Will this work for you? Do you have any more steps to add? Let us know in the comments.

Photo via stock.xchng user Eastop


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