Title: Business Writing Tips For Profession als Word Count: 980 Summary: Effective business writing skills c an help you win that million dollar contract, earn a promotion, resolv e a dispute, or generate a signific ant increase in new business leads. Poor business writing, on the othe r hand, can never be undone; it can cause you to lose business to your competition and even cost you your job. Here are 11 easy ways you can improve your business writing skills: 1. Before you write a word of copy, make sure you know who your target Keywords:is and w... audience effective, business, writing, tips, corporate, content, writer, author , ghostwriter, ghostwriting Article Body: Effective business writing skills c an help you win that million dollar contract, earn a promotion, resolv e a dispute, or generate a signific ant increase in new business leads. Poor business writing, on the othe r hand, can never be undone; it can cause you to lose business to your competition and even cost you your job. Here are 11 easy ways you can improve your business writing skills: 1. Before you write a word of copy, make sure you know who your target audience is and what specific resu lt you_d like to achieve. If it_s a n important business communication, take five minutes to visualize you rself in the shoes of the recipient and imagine what this person_s wor ld is like. What does their typical day look li ke? What are their unique needs, go als, and challenges? What problem i s keeping them up at night? The mor e thought and research you invest i n understanding your target audienc e and how you can help them, the mo re powerful and effective your busi ness writing communications will be come. 2. Avoid using your company acronym s and buzzwords. While they might s eem cute and clever to you, it_s ve ry annoying to a busy executive who has a pile of documents and propos als to read. Avoid using academic l anguage like _ergo,_ _henceforth,_ or _so to speak,_ and as a general rule of thumb avoid use of technica l jargon. Simplify big words: write use instead of utilize, send out i nstead of disseminate, fair instead of equitable, etc. 3. Use a strong, active voice inste ad of the impersonal, passive voice . _The meeting agenda could be disc ussed further_ is passive. _Let_s d iscuss the meeting agenda_ is activ e. Express confidence and decisiven ess in your business communications . Instead of writing, _I intend to write a report on sales performance measures,_ which comes across as w eak and indecisive, write: _I_m cur rently writing a report on sales pe rformance measures for completion o n or before end of the second quarter._ 4. Write in a conversational tone i nstead of alienating your readers b y being too formal and bureaucratic _ unless you_re writing to a burea ucrat or someone who prefers formal ity. Know your audience! Even if you are writing a marketing communications piece that will be read by several thousand potential readers, make your writing as invit ing and personal as possible. You c an accomplish this feat by writing to one specific person who you can visualize as an ideal customer. Pre tend you are sitting down with this person in a bar and having a casua l conversation. Write your piece wi th this one person in mind and you will positively engage thousands of readers who will feel that you are writing directly to them! 5. Replace hyperbole with solid fac ts and reputable testimonials. Phra ses like, _We_re #1,_ _We_re the le ader in our field,_ or _We provide the best service,_ aren_t going to get you anywhere. Instead, use a fa ct such as stating that the Preside nt of a leading association ranked your company with the highest quali ty score out of 500 certified compa nies. 6. Convert product features into be nefits. Mentioning that you provide automated billing or an automatic domain name renewal service does no t engage your customer emotionally. Here_s an example of benefit orien ted copy: _Our automatic domain nam e renewal service will provide you with the added security and comfort of knowing that your domain names will never be hijacked by your comp etitors while freeing up your admin istrative time to focus on growing your business._ 7. Don_t rely on editing all your i mportant business documents from yo ur computer desktop. Print out your document and read it out loud. If you encounter any awkwardness in sp eech it means you need to re-write your piece to make it more conversa tional and flow better. By reading your document out loud, you will also be able to spot typos and errors that your computer spel ling and grammar check program migh t not have detected. As an example, you might have written _echo frien dly_ when you really meant _eco fri endly._ 8. In writing a business letter or business proposal, it is vitally im portant to write from your customer _s perspective and what will intere st them. Start off by writing about how great your customer_s company is and what specific attributes you like about the company instead of bragging about how great your compa ny is. Too much use of _I,_ _me,_ o r _our company_ is a sure sign of e go getting in the way of business. Make sure to generously use _You_ a nd _Your_ in your business copy if you want to make more sales. 9. Business writing is very differe nt from writing poetry or literatur e. Don_t meander or get carried awa y with flowery language. Write the most important point you want to ma ke in the first sentence. If you ar e writing a sales letter, you can s ignificantly increase sales by simp ly including a powerful P.S. at the end of the letter that summarizes the main point in a fresh way, crea tes a sense of urgency, or adds fur ther credibility. Here_s a powerful example: _P.S. I_ve been invited t o speak at your association_s annua l conference this coming Friday and hope to see you there._ 10. Be clear, concise, and to the p oint. Don_t assume readers will kno w what to do. Guide them by includi ng a specific call to action: _clic k on the link to get your special r eport_ or _call me to set up a no-c ost 15 minute consultation._ 11. Use word pictures to get your p oint across. Can you imagine the th rill and excitement of driving a ro cket-fast, cobalt blue Porsche 911 Turbo as it whisks you to your desi red destination? A well-written art icle or report can be like that Por sche and generate a ton of new busi ness in half the time with more fun ! After all, what_s more exciting, cold-calling prospects or having th em call you? (If writing is a chall enge, consider hiring a professional).