This post was written by TCCS member, Sarah White
Ever thought “I don’t sound professional. My writing isn’t clever or formal enough”?
Then this post is for you.
Disclaimer: Following these innovative writing techniques won’t necessarily increase your following or your revenue. In fact, you should probably consider this article as a guide to how not to write.
At the end of the day, we all know that using long words, industry jargon, and clever cliches makes us sound professional and intelligent, right?
Maybe you need to be more proactive and less reactive.
Think outside the box.
Go the extra mile.
Be more client-focused and quality-driven.
This in-depth analysis will show you how to make your writing sound cleverer and more corporate, and help you come across as the sophisticated, well-educated person you really are.
Let’s put this one to bed.
1. Utilise larger words
Instead of using everyday language and writing for everyone, be more ingenious (i.e. clever).
For example, replace the easy-to-understand phrase ‘get results’ with the grander-sounding ‘procure outcomes’. It means the same thing, but sounds like you know more of your shizzle. It’s a win-win situation!
2. Use longer sentences
Normal copywriting rules state that short, snappy sentences are easier to read. But they don’t sound very clever, so make sure you use as many words as possible.
Why use just four words, when extending the sentence to accommodate many more possible phrases could give your reader ample opportunity to figure out what the hairy horse nostrils you’re talking about. Or lose them forthwith. Whatever.
3. Have lengthier paragraphs
Instead of sticking to one- or two-sentence paragraphs, you can include many more sentences in each paragraph. A big block of unbroken text shows you have a lot to say, and so you must know what you’re talking about. It also shows that you’re an expert, highly educated, well-read, blah blah, who can be trusted. Just when you think this could be enough said on the matter, and that you should probably wrap up this particular paragraph, you could add one or two more sentences that could loosely be described as relevant because as we’ve already said, bigger blocks of text show you must have something interesting to read … oh, sorry. I got carried away there. End of paragraph – finally. Was it interesting though?
4. Remember business cliches
There are some words and phrases all big successful businesses should be using.
Make sure to always reach out to clients, penetrate the market, and keep the big picture in mind.
And if you’re scrabbling around for more clichés to use, then I have a treat for you. There’s a veritable dumping of them scattered throughout this blog. You’re welcome!
5. Remove all contractions
You cannot sound clever and successful if you are using words like “can’t” or “you’re”. It just does not work and will not help your cause.
If you struggle to stick to this rule, just read out loud what you have written. If you sound like a robot then you have done what is asked of you.
6. Use three words instead of one
In this current global market, we don’t have to pivot in our businesses so much as strategically perform an innovative directional spin.
Maybe if Ross had used ‘innovative directional spin’ in that Friends scene they’d have got the sofa up that damn stairwell.
7. Practice industry jargon
Any big, successful business knows there’s an industry language that everyone in the boardroom understands. Forget being unique; stick to the blue sky thinkings, the bandwidths, and the deep divings.
If you use “aftermarket accessory” without missing a beat, there’s no need to change it to the simpler phrase “extras” for those who aren’t in the know.
8. The passive voice must be used
For our sentences to be longer, the passive voice needs to be used.
Longer sentences appear to be cleverer and more professional, as agreed in Point 2. Additionally, for writing to be less personal and more official (which is the tone all businesses should aim for) the passive voice needs to be used.
9. Always include acronyms
Using KPI or ROI or WTAF (who knows that one?) makes you sound knowledgeable and up to date.
Assume everybody knows what they are and use them from the get-go. You’ve heard somewhere that shorter copy does better, so using an acronym is a great way of reducing your word count.
10. Apply “me-me” language
Talking about yourself instead of it being all about your client makes so much more sense. After all, you’re the expert and so you need to show off your credentials.
Including your qualifications, where you studied, what you like to do in your spare time and what you’re passionate about really helps a prospective client pick you out of a line-up when deciding who they want to jump into business bed with.
11. Correctness over authenticity
Make sure you come across casual and develop connections with your audience by using social speak such as ‘woke’ (the new political buzzword).
It might not complement your busines values or legitimacy,. But it’s modern, recognised, and will draw attention to your brand one way or another. And any publicity is good publicity, right?
Over to you
So now you know how to produce professional, intelligent, successful business writing, just by remembering these 11 professional techniques.
Try to incorporate them into your everyday copy, and I guarantee your engagement levels will never be the same.
Let me know how it goes for you. And if you have any more professional tips, I’d love to hear about them.
Want to hear something funny? This blog post got a score of 6 on the Hemingway App readability score. Grade 6! Once a copywriter, always a copywriter I suppose…
Sarah White is a copywriter specialising in the equine-based business niche.
She gives back time and sanity to small businesses and bigger brands when it comes to creating horsey marketing words for their business.
Experience in words that sell and even more experience with horses makes her the ideal choice for these niche businesses.