When running an entire company, entrepreneurs often need to wear many different hats. In addition to being the CEO with whom the buck ultimately stops, they need to take the lead in hiring, creating budgets and most difficultly, creating marketing campaigns. Most small businesses don’t have the budget to hire an entire advertising department or even to contract with a public relations consultant. As a result, most of a company’s marketing material, whether for print media, web sites or even promotional products, needs to be written or approved by the owner herself.
Being a successful small business owner certainly requires a person to have some financial and managing talent. However, writing might not come naturally to everyone. For entrepreneurs who may be uncertain about how their writing will be interpreted, creating copy can be one of the most difficult parts of running a marketing campaign. Here are some tips and guidelines to bolster one’s confidence as well as to ensure that text is readable, engaging and effective.
The most important part of any writing effort is to have it proofread. One doesn’t have to be a professional editor to notice spelling errors and grammatical mistakes. The more people who have read a piece, the better, since it is easy to miss small issues. Print out any drafts and ask a handful of people to look them over casually. Anyone can be tasked with this, but look for a staff member or acquaintance who reads a fair amount so that they can offer tips on the feel of the entire piece.
Consider the length of any piece of writing. Print media can be relatively long but shouldn’t be more than a few paragraphs. Online text has no limit but should be formatted properly. Three paragraphs per page is a good rule of thumb, though longer pieces can be broken up into sections on separate pages. Promotional products cannot contain much text and therefore should have words that are used extremely sparingly.
Bullet points are very useful for highlighting important points. They immediately draw the eye toward certain key phrases or words and will make formatting any copy easier for casual writers.
The most important part of any marketing material, promotional text or copy is a call to action. The words must eventually culminate at a point where the reader is offered the choice to do something or learn more. In print media, this can be instructions to visit a store or office. Online copy usually directs consumers to give contact information. Promotional products simply exhort a customer to keep a certain organization, product or service in mind.