Being bossy is good for business. If you build it they might come. But they won’t buy a ticket unless you tell them to.

Definite Articles

By Colleen Walsh Fong

How definite are your articles, blog posts, and other content for branding?

You can relax if my title made you think you were about to receive another Homonym Lady homily. You know, the kind where I give you a little primer on which witch to use when. Or tell you about some part of speech that is commonly misused.

You’re not. Instead I’m going to tell you to be confident in your writing when trying to persuade readers and potential customers. Dispense with wishy-washy phraseology if you want to get results. It makes readers feel like you aren’t sure about what you’re suggesting they do. In fact, don’t suggest to readers that they do anything. Tell them to do it affirmatively.

There are a few key ways to do this in your business writing.

Word Choice

The first is in the words you use. Avoid using words like “can,” “may,” and “might.”

Instead of writing “This advice can help you sell more products,” write, “Take this advice to sell more products.”

Compare the prim, “You may find this book useful in your business promotions,” to the more compelling, “This book is a great resource for promoting your business.”

Remember that “might” isn’t a mighty motivator. “You might find that making a daily to-do list can make you more productive,” is less powerful than “Daily to-do lists make many people more productive.”

And here’s a bonus. Use the assumptive “when” instead of “if.” As in “When you finish reading my book we’ll talk about how you can apply its concepts to grow your clientele.”

Prominent Placement

Lead off with the crux of your message and then expound upon it. Don’t make your readers wade through lots of text to find your core point. Most of them won’t stay with it long enough to get there. It can’t be said too often. People have the attention span of fruit flies because they’re multitasking and trained to the tweet.

Try tweaking the old real estate adage that the three most important factors in property value are location, location, location for writing. There the big three are attention span, attention span, attention span. Keep your point short, sweet, and right up front.

Call to Action

Have you ever heard the line from the movie Field of Dreams, “If you build it they will come?” Even if they come they won’t buy unless you tell them to. Give your readers a call to action by telling them exactly what you want them to do: “Like My Facebook Page,” “Subscribe to My Newsletter,” “Buy My Book,” Be sure to link up your calls to action, like I just did, to make it easy for readers to follow them.

And if you’d like some help to put power in your promotional writing contact me.

Colleen produces custom copywriting and content for branding businesses of all sizes.