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I need some help with my consulting business. In particular, I need assistance with my writing skills. I have excellent verbal, presentation, and analytical skills, but I have below average writing and reading skills. I have been this way all my life and find that my poor reading and writing skills are a huge hindrance in starting up my consulting business.  I am in need of some method or resource (I am willing to purchase this resource) to aid me with proof reading, writing up proposals, and web site content improvements.

 

Any suggestions or stories from others with a similar situation?

Tags: communication, proof, reading.

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As the late Mayor Daley of Chicago would say "print what I mean, not what I say".  I too share your problem with written communication.  While I've worked on it, I realize that it is not, nor never will be my strength so I have found ways - tools to compensate.  Here are some:

  • I try to have someone proof read my work.  This can be my wife, my kids, or even my VA from the Philippines. If a 12 year old or someone with English as a second language can understand it you know you are communicating clearly and with out jargon.
  • I make the outline and have someone else "write it pretty"  There is a site called Zerys that has native English speaking writers at a very reasonable rate.  This also helps to target your audience.  If I'm writing copy for 50 year old woman recovering from bunion surgery, who better than a 50 years old woman to write the copy. Another blog post was about an athlete recovery from an achilles tendon rupture which was written by a college journalism major who played soccer.
  • As you can see from how I started the last 2 paragraphs, I tend to talk about me too much.  There is a We We Calculator that grades how customer focused a piece is compare to self focused.
  • Finally before I send out a mass email in addition to the above I run it through the email grader free from Hubspot.  It's another unbiased opinion.

 

Realize your strengths and your weakness and find tools to work around them.  Finally when before I hit SEND before doing any of the above, I try to apologize and remind people, sorry "I are engineer".

 

My best advice would be to include others to help where you are weak: copywriters, proofreaders, teachers, coaches, etc. Lots of resources here and elsewhere (often for free!).

Scott - I have the exact OPPOSITE orientation. In fact, I specialize in extracting the "wow" from snarls of information and converting it into rock-star written materials. Would love to help if I can. Cheers, Jeff 

Jeff, I am interested in how you might be able to help. How might we begin a dialogue to understand each other?

Scott - Send me an email and we can get started: jeffcraven@me.com 

I am in the same situation you are in, Scott.  I know the speaking levels are average, but my writing skills needs some work. I've asked writers, teachers, and other folks in the same career field about how to write better.  They all said to keep writing!  Read from authors who have writing styles you adore...and then, keep writing.  Like everything else, it will take some time, but eventually we both will find our "voice" in writing.

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