What you say in print represents what you say in person. Whether you're writing a letter, an email, a blog, a newsletter or a book, you MUST read over what you've written very carefully before you print or send. A newsletter or email that's full of typos and grammatical errors represents you as a person who doesn't attend to details, is careless, is ignorant, or is illiterate. And yet, you are none of those things!
Imagine this: You're at a networking event and approach someone with your hand out. He smiles warmly, shakes your hand, and says, "I's glad to meet youse. Where done you come from?" Do you expect him to have half a clue about business? About working with people? Probably not.
No matter the format of your writing, the software you're using to write it has a spell checker. USE IT! But buyer beware...spell checkers are not always correct or thorough. My method is to spell check first, then go back over my document and read it out loud to catch any grammatical or other errors.
And don't get Me started On Capitalizing words that Shouldn't be capitalized. I know two people who do this all the time. Capital letters belong on proper names, the first word of sentences, and titles. That's it. Nothing else.
If you're in doubt about anything you write, simply read someone else's work as a guide. Most reading we do contains very few errors. Don't look like a doofus - spell check, proofread, and present yourself as the intelligent professional you are!
Those of you who know me, personally or through my work, know that I'm all about organization. I've blogged about it, guided clients through it, and practice it in my work. I often take the time during the renewal of spring to re-evaluate my own practices. Am I using time efficiently? Do I balance life and work? What are my priorities for clients?
But sometimes we don't see areas in which we could improve as we're going through our daily work. It can be an interesting exercise to step back from the "DOING" and take a look at HOW you're doing.
Jot down an informal step-by-step listing of how you do what you do. This exercise can help you see more clearly what could change to save you time or effort.
Many years ago I was involved with Total Quality Improvement processes and disaster recovery for an employer. As analytical as I can be, it was one of the most enjoyable tasks I had there. It taught me a great deal about efficiencies and repeated evaluation of systems. I tend to get too bogged down in lists, but I have done this exercise myself to great advantage.
Another way to step back is to engage some outside guidance. I recently "accidentally" (yeah, right!) found a new friend and client who offers just such a service. Lisa Crilley Mallis of System Savvy Consulting offers an objective, expert look at personal and business systems. As a time strategy visionary, Lisa teaches you how to regain control of your life, pick tasks with a purpose, and eliminate distractions.
However you go about it, do a self-review soon!
I am often asked by clients and prospects about the feasibility of creating a newsletter. Yes, our inboxes are flooded daily with emails, newsletters, spam, announcements - more than we can handle, usually!
However, a newsletter can benefit both you and your readers, if handled properly. There are many online guides as to the best format, the best content, the best times to issue, etc. These considerations may vary depending on your business.
But key to all good newsletters is brief, concise information presented in an attractive and easy to read format, issued often enough to maintain the reader's attention but not often enough to become an irritation.
Email marketing services like Constant Contact or MailChimp make managing a mailing list and content very easy. Keep in mind that newer Anti-Spam laws restrict your mailing list to people who have either given direct written permission to subscribe them (like with a mailing list form at an event) or who subscribe directly on a website or social media platform.
There are benefits for you as the producer as well. Newsletters keep your business in front of prospects, present your services and your knowledge in your field, and increase your following. Overall, a well-done newsletter is a fabulous way to increase your exposure!
Some wise person in the last few years developed one of the greatest resources to personal success - the ability to publish one's own book! Many people choose to avoid the traditional method of publishing, due to expense, time and effort. Did you know that expense, time, and effort can be nearly eliminated from the process?
Thanks to CreateSpace, a beautiful printed book can be produced on demand (i.e. when an order is received) at NO cost to the author. It can be a bit complicated to ensure your book is formatted perfectly to fit their guidelines, but with an experienced guide to take you through the process, the result can be everything you desire.
Thanks to Kindle Direct Publishing, through a similar process you can publish a book specifically for the reader device market. No print copy is produced, but the perfectly formatted product is available on Amazon for anyone with the device to read it.
I've said before that everyone in the heart-based community should have a book out - your words and your heart are important to spreading those seeds of light! Now you don't need a major cash investment to get it done. Do your research and start writing today!
EVERY heart-centered worker should have a book out. Yes, YOU TOO! Here's why.
In the process of the editing / proofreading work I do for authors of all sorts, there's one thing about all others that makes a difference in the organization of written words - the outline. Think of it this way - would you move houses or go on a long journey without a plan?
We're taught basic outlining in elementary school and some of us haven't used the concept since. But whether you're writing an article, a blog or a book, it's critical to a smooth flow of ideas to jot down the basic structure before you begin. I've edited several projects that are very disjointed, repetitive, and disorganized - had the piece gone out like that, no reader would have grasped the information the author intended to convey.
Here's a simple way to start. Write down each major category you want to cover. Let's say, for example, you want to write a book for beginning artists. Categories might be materials needed, resources, kinds of pencils, kinds of paint, choosing a pad or canvas, etc. Look at it another way - think of file folders. What "folder" would you need to file your thoughts into?
Once you have the basic list written, add sub-categories of topics you want to cover. Check the order of what you've written - does the flow and structure reflect where you want to take the reader?
Next time you have anything to write, try this out - you'll find it's a lot easier to flesh out an effective, easy-to-read piece!
I have clients who love to communicate and those who don't. But whether they love to or not, they all DO communicate in some way or another - it's part of life, of course, but also part of doing business.
Whether you like to communicate through writing is another story. I wrote before about getting your ideas out of your brain and onto paper, and even if you're not a top-notch writer, you can still communicate your brilliant ideas through blogging.
Creating and maintaining a blog can serve multiple purposes. Yes, of course it communicates the information you want to share, but it also communicates who you are, your personality and talents, your skills and gifts. For instance, if you regularly read this or my spiritual blog, you know more about me than most.
There are so many ways to set up an online blog with little or no cost. Here's a quick down-and-dirty suggestion list to get you thinking.
Welcome! These stories, tips and tricks are intended to help you save time, and be more organized and effective in your work. New items will be added frequently so check back often.