Category: ‘Uncategorized’

Think Complete Thoughts

August 26, 2013 Posted by jeff@heartlandwriter.net

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Whenever I write an email to someone or send a text on the Smart phone my lovely wife bought for me, I insist on using grammar and punctuation that is correct because, well… I just can’t do it any other way. I have too many memories of my dad looking at me and shaking his head in disappointment as he read my English homework and saying “You can do better than this”. Words were his business and he was of the opinion that the pursuit of accuracy in communications was a no-brainer. Do it right or don’t do it at all.

 

So I refuse to indulge in the practice of communicating in short bursts of cryptic messages such as those used while sending messages on cell phones or on Twitter. It almost always results in lazy thinking and I won’t be a part of it, especially in business communications. That’s not to say that texting or Tweeting isn’t  justified or useful, but it needs to be a grammatically correct message rather than one that appears to be pecked out by a visually impaired chicken at a carnival side show.

 

I remember reading somewhere that “It takes 10 to 20 minutes of focused concentration to dial into the flow state required to create anything of worth or value for your business. Every time you allow yourself to be distracted by inane social media twaddle, remember this: It’s costing you. Stay focused on one thing at a time and you have an immediate advantage.” Good advice for those in business and good advice for personal communications also.

 

Forcing yourself to apply high standards to any writing that you do will pay dividends that may not be apparent in the beginning. The major advantage is that correct grammar and punctuation sets you apart from the people who are willing to settle for self-imposed mediocrity.

5 Reasons Your Small Business Should Use a Freelance Writer

July 10, 2013 Posted by jeff@heartlandwriter.net

 

By Jeff Van Leuvan

 

When I visit with the owners of small businesses about my writing services, many of them just can’t seem to comprehend the value that accurate marketing communication can provide in their situation. After all, they’re just trying to sell products and services at a profit. What difference can a writer make?

Good question. Here’s some answers.

  1. A fresh perspective. A freelance writer can provide a fresh viewpoint that the business owner just may not be able to see. The owner of a plumbing supply warehouse, for example, is focused on how to sell more plumbing supplies, but he may not be tuned in to the latest plastic pipe recycling technologies. A writer can help sort out these new developments to the advantage of the owner.

 

  1. Reduce costs.  Smaller companies can call on freelance writers as they need them, thus avoiding the costs of a full-time marketing person or an advertising agency. This “task-specific” approach allows focused attention on the projects you need the most. The sporadic nature of marketing communication needs in a small business tend to accentuate this advantage. Besides, most freelancers are happy to have smaller jobs to fill in between their larger projects.

 

  1. Increase your efficiency. Any small business owner will tell you that running a business is like taking a daily drive down a mountain road with no brakes. There’s just too many things to do along the way to be able to dedicate time to marketing communications. Worrying about writing projects adds to your stress level. Hand it off to a specialist and run your business.

 

  1. No employee costs. A simple agreement relieves the owner of the headaches from things like health care benefits, payroll taxes, sick leave issues and employee complaints. Freelance writing costs can be funneled into budget categories that can possibly be advantageous at tax time also.

 

  1. Make your life easier. Admit it. Not every business owner wants to write and not every business owner can write. And passing it off to your nephew with the English major in college can sometimes cause additional stress. Most business owners utilize accountants and lawyers, realizing that they lack those enviable skills. Writing is no different. Don’t feel bad about it, just get an expert to help you. Your business deserves accurate and focused representation of your product or service.