Let’s get to the point.
Editing in writing and design is often the most critical step. In this age of instant information, instant access, instant gratification, here today gone yesterday attention span, it’s important to be concise with your communication.
Helping companies, and ourselves, get a message across we often find the need to streamline large blocks of copy. Even when there’s consensus that it should be done it can still become a laborious task where pride and feelings can become the defendant of sentences.
It’s easy for all of us, in the middle of a writer’s high, to fail to think about how we ourselves engage and buy online. Our time is precious. Our attention spans short. Our desire for the right information, right now, is great. Yet when it’s our turn to hit the keys, one more paragraph is no problem.
What if we could approach the online communication process better right from the beginning? What if thinking inside the box, a box, helped us to develop better content?
Here are some thinking and doing tips for delivering a more concise online message:
1. Step outside your role and leave your pride at the door.
Try to understand the information that will be useful to your audience.
2. Lead with your benefit foot.
You may have the new coolest, best, product or service but if you don’t lead with the benefit the reader may never buy in which means they may never buy at all.
3. Mind the Jargon.
Be sure the terms and phrases you’re using are understood by the buyer. You’re not writing for competitors or industry colleagues.
4. Reduce the opportunities to overwrite.
Simply, don’t allow yourself space. The 140 character limit imposed by Twitter has made us rethink what’s important and urgent. Now, it’s also created a mad world of abbreviations and social slang but still. The idea is not to restrict but to provide focus. A trick that works for some is to write your draft on a small note card first instead of jumping into wide open spaces of a blank document.
How do you focus your online message? Share your tips and tricks below.
Photo credit: Andy Melton