Friday, 12 February 2010

Writing; what's genuine?

I was working on a client's website this morning to show what she's been doing recently.  It's one of the sites I love to work on because she's a graphic designer.  But coming from a background of designing for children gives her a fresh take on business design.  That's what's genuine about her and that's what I do my best to put across to people who visit her site. 

Years ago when I first went into business, I became frustrated and demoralised at many of the business practices I met.  Wasn't me and I found it difficult to fit into that setting.  Which is why I've always tried my best to offer honest service and straightforward dealing in my own businesses.

How do you get across the real in business?

Since I started writing for business, the question of what's genuine has come up time and again.  Because without putting too fine a point on it, many of the approaches in writing for business were and still are all about the business.  Too little attention was paid to what the reader of business documents like brochures and websites needed and too much was written about the business.

My writing training was in direct marketing where the focus is all on what do I need to do and write to get into the reader's mind and solve the problem that's uppermost.  All facts, features and elements of the business or product were there to prove that the product worked for others and would work for the reader with the same issue.

What effect has the internet had?

The internet has made it more difficult to convince, and many marketers have now flocked to use direct marketing methods as opposed to image marketing.  And online marketers are increasingly using techniques that are loose and chummy compared to former business models.

Whatever model you use, I believe it has to come from a foundation of respect for your reader and their needs.  Yes sometimes they may misuse what you offer.  But that's their issue.  Better that we behave honestly with all, than that we pick and choose. 

So where does that leave us as writers and marketers?

It means we have to be choosy about who we follow and are influenced by.  It means we have to be choosy about who we work with. And it means that our writing should sing with the joy and passion that we and our clients have for what they do. 

That's what's genuine.

Let me know what you think about this.

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