Business Writing Pitfalls to Avoid
September 15 2017
As a mortgage professional, you know the value of face-to-face communication. But have you given much thought to your writing? How you write can have a significant impact on how clients perceive you. Doing it well helps establish authority and expertise; it makes you seem more trustworthy. Sloppy writing, however, can come across as unprofessional and less credible.
Common Mistakes to Avoid
- Jargon jumbles -- You may be exchanging correspondence on behalf of your business, but you don't want to overwhelm your audience with industry jargon. Make your message clear and easy to understand.
- Formatting faux pas -- Whether you're crafting a blog post or an email, refrain from composing a solid block of text. Use proper formatting. Break up paragraphs and sections with white space, subheadings and bullets to make it easier to skim and read.
- Word confusion -- Unfortunately, not everyone knows the difference between "affect" and "effect," "your" and "you're" or "they're," "their" and "there." But as a mortgage professional with a written message to convey, you should. If nothing else, consider adding a browser tool such as Grammarly to check your work. Grammar Girl is another excellent resource.
- Punctuation pitfalls -- Commas and semicolons often confuse otherwise strong writers. Remember that commas are used to offset introductory words and phrases, separate independent clauses and split elements in a series. Semicolons, however, connect closely related independent clauses.
Becoming a Better Writer
If you want to write like a pro, you have to take your writing seriously. It's not something you can do on the spur of the moment or while multitasking. It takes focus and planning. You have to know the purpose of your content, the impression you wish to make and how you want your audience to respond. This will allow you to organize your thoughts and construct a clear message.