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The three Ws of writing about your service

Wednesday, 13 February 2013 | By Linnet Hunter

In these days of online promotion and social media we can forget that sometimes, prospective clients need a physical reminder of your business to take with them after a conference or networking event.

 

So how do we get the clearest message across about what we offer as a solopreneur in a written flyer? Three key things to remember are WHO, WHY and WHAT; the w-w-w of writing a message that people will pay attention to.

 

Who are you writing for?

 

This is about your reader, your client and your audience: create a clear picture of who you are talking to and what they are listening for.

 

Like a radio announcer who speaks directly to his listeners, you can make your message more direct and personal if you have developed a strong idea of even one person you are addressing.

 

It may even help to imagine one friend or acquaintance you know quite well who has asked about your work and write an answer expressly for them. This helps focus your message.

 

Why are you writing this?

 

This relates to the purpose of your communication. In answering this question think about what action you would like your reader to take after reading it.

 

Do you want them to call you for more info? Book a workshop session? Engage your services? Go on the website? Order a product?

 

The answer will dictate the kind of information you include and the order you place it in.

 

Hint: “To tell them about me” is not sufficient answer to this question ­– focus on the action. This helps you decide what to include.

 

What are you writing about?

 

Consider what they need to know in order to take the action described in the answer to "why?" and include only that.

 

Don’t rabbit on. Keep it brief and your sentences short. In these days of websites and the need to scan read pages quickly for key details, people are not as likely to spend time going over slabs of text.

 

If you can use images to capture the feel of some of your message, so much the better. In fact if your budget is small, spend it on high quality graphics. There are several excellent online sources for these.

 

The most prominent information on a brochure is your contact information and this may be repeated on each page. Make sure all details are correct before going to print.

 

Hard experience talking here as my partner recently spent $1,000 on magazine advertising only to discover his phone number was incorrectly entered. I take partial responsibility for this error (we both checked the copy) and it is not a good feeling.

 

The example shown here arrived in my letterbox recently and I think it’s a good one. Note the clarity of the offer and key information that will encourage me to ring him.

 

For no logical reason whatsoever, I notice that I judge this person’s reliability and competence to do his work by his flyer. And so will your clients. So be short, sweet and effective:

 

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