Tweak Your Biz » Marketing » Why Good Editing Makes Good Business Sense

Why Good Editing Makes Good Business Sense



You have spent hours preparing a document for presentation. Your PowerPoint slides are all ready. You’ve submitted all the documents you’ve been asked to submit. You know exactly what you’re going to say. When you go through your material, you discover a howling typo. Ah, it’ll be grand, you think. They’re not going to turn down your business just because of a little spelling mistake.

No, they can’t. But you don’t want to give them any reason to look unfavourably on you. It’s like when someone’s giving a presentation and they have a stain on their shirt. It starts off as a small thing, but it soon becomes all you can see.

Do you want a misspelled word or rogue apostrophe to be all people see about your business?

The effect of good editing is invisible. You can’t say that you’ll increase your sales by 20% if you spell every word in your document correctly. And there are plenty of customers or clients who won’t even notice a typo or rogue apostrophe. But there are also plenty who will. Good editing enhances your professional image. If makes your content easy to look at and easy to read. It shows that you pay attention to detail, which builds trust.

More than that, good editing makes it easier for customers and clients to understand your message. Even a stray comma can cause a customer to interpret a different meaning from your words than you intended. After all, Irish patriot Roger Casement was hung because of a misplaced comma. If your content is precise and error free, there will be no barrier to customers and clients getting your point and ultimately buying from you.

Here are some answers to the most common editing dilemmas that we face.

  • Q. How do I cut down my content without losing the substance of what I want to say? There are a few handy ways. Chances are, you’ve repeated yourself more than once. Get rid of all repetitions, except the ones that convey your message in the shortest number of words. If your sentences are long, chop them down or divide them in half. For example, quotes are often full of dead wood, so you can streamline those.
  • Q. I don’t have enough material, how can I bulk it up? This is a harder problem to resolve, but there are ways around it. Chances are, you didn’t add certain content, because you didn’t think it was relevant. Now’s the time to put it in. Or you can expand on points you’ve already made with case studies or linked articles.
  • Q. How do I weed out typos? There are three main ways. Read it out loud, read it backwards and step back. Reading your work out loud helps you to spot clunky and ambiguous sentences as well as typos. Reading it backwards breaks your familiarity with the words and forces you to examine each one. And stepping back means giving your mind a break, so that when you come back to your work, your eyes will be fresh and you’ll spot errors.

(pic: http://3.bp.blogspot.com)



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The Author:

Every business has a story. Your story helps your business stand out from the crowd. It's your story that customers ultimately buy into. I help businesses tell their story using a three-step process. Define the story: Identify what you do, how you do it and above all, why you do it? Refine the story: Decide who's interested in your story and where to spread the word. Deliver the story: through blogs, newsletters, mailshots, social media posts, press releases and brochures. http://www.writewordseditorial.ie

Add Your Comment

  • Guest

    Roger Casemont? Surely you mean Roger Casement? At least he wasn’t hung by a misplaced coma…

  • http://www.tweakyourbiz.com Bloggertone.com

    Fixed! Maybe Derbhile was just testing ;)

  • http://www.sianphillips.ie Sian Phillips

    Great post Derbhile. I recently had a classic example of a company who lost a possible client because of bad spelling on their website. One of my clients was looking for a professional (not going to say what or I’ll get inundated with people offering services). So I mentioned someone I’d heard of and we had a look at their website. Within 30 seconds we had switched from it because of poor spelling. It’s not difficult to check spelling or even getting someone else to check it for you.

  • http://www.encouragingexcellence.ie/ Mairéad Kelly

    Great post Derbhile.  I’ve been using the read it backwards suggestion to check my spellings, especially those that make it past the nearly useless spell checker :(  When even that doesn’t work taking a break and getting someone else to proof read my posts certainly helps.

    I’m one of those people who spots a little error really fast and I prefer it when someone tells me about the ones I’ve missed so I can correct them.  They do tend to magnify in size very rapidly and can create such a bad impression, which can be avoided.

  • Derbhile

    Thanks. It’s embarrassing to be caught out, but it really tightens your game.

  • Derbhile

    Decisions can come down to a hair’s breath. Sian’s example shows that a misplaced apostrophe could be the difference between you getting and not getting the contract.

  • http://www.smartsolutions.ie/blog/ Elaine Rogers

    At my last “real job” we had our Christmas Party in January, a weekend away with spouses/partners. Every year was a success and the two locations got to network in a social and informal gathering. And what happend in the residents bar, stayed in the residents bar.

    My point is that it never felt like “lip service” as it was organised well, thought went into location and services, and the presence of the spouse/partner changed the dynamic. It also meant that the stereotype “boss with a few two many” behaved himself somewhat :)

    Great post Elli, it’s important to recognise hard work and dedication with something other than a “thank you” and rewards.

  • http://www.click2engage.com/ Sabina

    Just after reading this post the other day, I’ve come across this article (http://bit.ly/x0RXa5) on the use of LinkedIn and how this employee was effectively driven to quit his job after ticking the “looking for career opportunities” box on his LinkedIn profile. 
    While the Twitter account ownership situation is what can only be described, as Niall said, a grey area, and clearly a well defined social media policy, a must for any company,would have helped to avoid any litigation in the first place, it seems to me that employees would need to have their say in this to protect their own online freedom and identity. Though it should obviously be covered under a social media policy if the employee is using the network representing the company as opposed as an individual entity, I would never have thought that a company could or should have any control over a person’s preferences and settings on a LinkedIn account. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/anneperezonline Anne De Pury Perez

    Interesting article.  Something I hadn’t even been aware of. Worth looking at as both an employee and an employer for a company thanks for sharing

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    I’m lucky to find this great selection of useful resources. Thank you!

  • http://www.robinsonleadership.com/ Toronto Team Building

    This is an interesting subject. And also very necessary. The key to building a great team is chemistry. And this chemistry can be build both inside the company, and especially outside. The reasons you’ve mentioned are very well pointed. A team has to have fun too, and mixing business with pleasure is the perfect way to create those bonds a team is required to have.