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Why Entrepreneurs Should Write

All entrepreneurs should be capable of writing a decent piece of content on the topics around their business. It is especially important for those who are not native English speakers like me.

I do not pretend such an importance of writing to be the final truth, but my experience shows that my startup activities matured almost simultaneously to the skill of writing. But how do you learn such a skill, especially if your first language is not English?

If you want to learn something new, you need to teach it, or at least, be able to properly communicate information in an educational manner. I’m living in Italy now, therefore I can’t pass by the opportunity to mention that this concept was known since ancient Roman times as the proverb, docendo discimus — by teaching, we learn. Perhaps derived from Seneca the Younger (c. 4 BC — 65 AD).

The best way to master the skill of writing is by learning more about the skill (courses, e-learning, practical writing classes etc.), practicing your new skill on a consistent basis, and then teaching what you have learned to others.

But why should I as an entrepreneur develop my writing skills?

Writing helps one order ideas in a digestible way so that readers would be able to understand ones thoughts without any further explanation. For a non-native English speaker like me this does mean that I need to organize information in my mind first, and then spend a lot of time thinking about the subject matter at hand. To complicate matters, the skill of writing for a non-native English-speaking entrepreneur or businessman (-woman) is even more intricate. Therefore the mastership of conveying a message of complex concepts in an easy to understand way is often regarded as very hard to achieve. But if you could master this skill, you would be ahead of many others. Not only your business will benefit in that you will be able to communicate your message effectively, but you will increase your businesses’ reach in the international and online market considerably.

It is further important for an entrepreneur, CEO, manager or project manager from a project management perspective, to be able to communicate concepts, goals and ideas clearly, explain technical terminology and requirements effectively and in easy-to-understand terms to all the team members, no matter their language abilities. (You should thus be able and comfortable to explain difficult information and concepts in person, in a meeting, or in writing.)

Brainstorming ideas, concepts and information becomes ‘visible’ to team members if a leader is able to communicate effectively. But so often an important message is lost on team members due to the lack of effective communication- or writing skills. Without proper communication skills (and/or writing skills) it would be very hard to steer the project in a proper direction.

When writing for your business, the goal is to create valuable content (hopefully). To write valuable content you do need to write content that resonates with your target audience, addresses their needs and ‘speak’ to them on an emotional level.

Emotion = Motion = Sales

Writing such content has a direct influence on your startup’s success and sales revenue. Valuable and informative content (articles, blogs, marketing material, product descriptions, emails etc.) attracts users to your business, assures them that you know what you are doing, increases trust in your business (or products) and creates loyal customers who will return time and time again to your website. These users often provide valuable feedback, which can be used to improve products, customer service or your business model.

Invaluable, non-comprehensive information discourages customers, which results in a loss of revenue or future traffic to your website or web store. And worst of all, word spreads among users like wildfire. “Don’t use that site. They can’t even spell or use English properly.”

No Users = No Business

Here is a curious fact. The first hire at Unbounce was actually a full-time, content editor.

Georgiana Laudi, VP of Marketing at Unbounce, said: “So yes, we put a job posting up and that was actually the role that Stefanie Grieser, was hired for. I brought her on to help with social media campaigns, blog writing and blog management. So the three of us sort of went nuts on blogging.”

As an entrepreneur you will need to write dozens and even hundreds of pieces while hunting for your overnight business success:

  • Pitching a product or your business concept to journalists and/or VC’s?
    Guess what, they don’t like reading poorly written emails.
  • Tutorials, FAQ, Answers, Comments, Help Messages.
    It is hard to persuade a customer without a good command of a language.
  • Social Media
    I hope you are not going to ignore this valuable marketing channel until hiring a social media agency?
  • Customer service responses and prospective communication need to be well written, professional, to the point and easy to understand.
  • Emails form one of the most important communication methods available to entrepreneurs today. A successful email marketing campaign has the potential to help your business succeed or fail.
  • App. Descriptions
    Apps are still big news, but they sell mostly because of a well-written application description and screenshots copy that entices the reader (customer) to click the ‘buy’ or ‘get’ button.
  • Copy Writing (Advertisements, Marketing Material, Blogs, Brochures etc.)
    Copy writing for advertisements, blogs, articles, brochures, emails and marketing campaigns are extremely important, if not, the most important aspect to ‘get right.’ The world’s most successful and wealthiest businessmen know that copywriting is more important than anything else in a business. Powerful copy writing has the ability to boost your website onto the first page of Google, and thus drive customers your way. Bad copy leaves a bitter taste in the mouth of any prospective customer. Finally, you test your assumptions for MVP with copy.

I understand that you could always hire an agency to do all your writing for you, but often times you do need to write the outline yourself before forwarding it to an agency. Therefore I believe any entrepreneur should be able to write his or her own content.

Finally, could writing contribute to your personal growth. By regularly sharing your thoughts and ideas with others will you find inevitable growth in your communication abilities, vocabulary, and foreign language skills. Making new friends from around the globe becomes a breeze as your abilities improve, and expanding your business into the English market becomes that much easier.

As an entrepreneur, how do you feel about the importance of improving your writing skills? Do you agree that your business could benefit by learning to write and communicate more effectively?

Please let me know your thoughts below. And don’t forget to have a look at my Italian Startup Routes.Tips where I master my skills!