What goes through your mind when you see a small business routinely publishing poorly-written content on its website, blog, social media accounts, emails, or flyers?
If I had to guess, I bet you're thinking ...
"Do these people even know how to spell?"
"I can't believe someone didn't proof this before sending it out!"
"Look at all those run-on sentences; this doesn't even make sense!"
Even if you're nice enough to keep from saying any of that out loud, you can't help but dole out a few eye rolls, gasps, and a whole lot of internal judging.
It's OK. You're not alone.
While it's fun to tease friends on social media for grammar and spelling errors, similar mistakes and poorly-written content authored by a small business can quickly wreak havoc on that company's image. In fact, studies consistently show that when choosing between two companies, customers prefer the one with clear, engaging, and error-free written content.
Poorly-Written Content Is No Laughing Matter
Here are 5 ways poorly-written content is hurting your small business:
A rough first impression
Starting on the right foot is the name of the game. You may do your job better than anyone else and bend over backward with unrivaled customer service. Still, if the first thing customers see is written communication riddled with misspellings or inconsistent punctuation, their confidence in doing business with you will suffer.
It's a sign that you have poor attention to detail
A business with errors in its correspondence or marketing materials sends the message that quality and attention to detail might not be the most important thing. If that's the case, a customer might think that attitude will translate to the company's products and services.
Mistakes come in all forms, whether it's writing your instead of you're in a sentence or some other flub. These mistakes alter the meaning of your message – leading to confusion and misunderstanding between you and your client base.
Distractions, distractions, distractions
I don't know about you, but it's distracting when I find an error. Customers often focus so much on what you messed up on that they stop reading.
Lawsuits and disagreements
Check out this article. It's about a lawsuit over a missing Oxford comma that resulted in a $5 million settlement. If this doesn't convince you that poorly-written content or misleading information can get your business in a ton of hot water, then I don't know what else will.
Error-free written content ensures customers see you as an authority in your craft. So, take the right steps now by using writing and editing program tools like Grammarly, manually double-checking (triple-check if you have to) your work, and having multiple sets of eyes look everything over before sending it out to the masses.
Even tactics such as reading your copy out loud and taking a 30-minute break before returning for more edits can significantly reduce unnecessary errors.
And if all else fails, hire a writing and editing service like Edit This® to do it for you!
Call Edit This in Denton, TX, for all your writing and editing needs.
Whether you need us to write content from scratch or put a better spin on something you've written, Edit This is the local writing and editing partner every business owner needs.
Our writing and editing services cover clients nationwide but are local to anyone in Denton, Corinth, Lake Dallas, Shady Shores, Hickory Creek, Lewisville, Flower Mound, Highland Village, Argyle, and the rest of DFW.
Thanks for reading!
STEVE GAMEL is the President & Owner of Edit This®, a writing and editing services company located in Denton, TX. He is also the author of Write Like You Mean It: Mastering Your Passion For The Written Word. Steve handles anything involving the written word. Give him a call today to help give your business a unique and authentic voice.