3 Ways that Writing Can Improve Your Personal Brand
We hear it all the time in our business writing workshops: people form impressions about others—both good and bad—based on the quality of their writing.
Are you doing all you can at work to earn respect for your voice and your ideas? Take this short quiz to find out!
Question One: Do you make a strong impression at work when you communicate
- in person
- over the phone
- in writing?
Best answer: all three!
Do you have the same impact when you write as you do in person or on a conference call? Of course what you say at work matters, but you also earn a reputation by the way you write. We hear it all the time in our business writing workshops: people form impressions about others—both good and bad—based on the quality of their writing.
Question Two: Do you regard your business writing
- as a tool to drive action
- as a way to show the value of your knowledge or expertise
- as a way to earn credibility and respect?
Best answer: all three! (Are you spotting a trend here?)
Writing can be one of your most effective tools for compelling action, displaying competence, and building credibility. Clear writing helps you persuade your clients and colleagues to act on your ideas or trust in your advice. Equally important: when your ideas or solutions are clear, so is your value to the organization.
How can writing improve your personal brand? Enough questions—here are some answers!
1. Actionable writing drives results
Show your leadership skills by writing e-mails, memos, and reports that inspire action. You do this by being clear about what your readers should do or think after they’ve read your document. Adopt the mindset that most writing is a means to motivate.
For example, do you want your team members to reach a decision at your next meeting? Then send an e-mail that guides them to do so. In addition to announcing meeting logistics, underscore the why and the what: why the meeting is important for making this decision and what they should do in advance to be ready. Think and write in terms of “what we should accomplish in this meeting” versus “meeting agenda,” and you’ll be more likely to drive readiness and results on your call.
Learn more about how to drive action through your writing
2. Simple writing demonstrates expertise
Has anyone ever said to you: “Explain that to me in a complicated way”? Probably not. After all, where’s the value in that? Writing that’s easy to read and understand turns your knowledge into value for your colleagues and clients. If your language is unclear, your readers may think you’re smart, but they may not see how your expertise helps them—which is what they’re really looking for when they consult or hire you.
Simple, clear writing makes your strong analysis and sound reasoning clear to your reader. And it also conveys your confidence and competence as a leader.
3. Concise writing commands attention
Be honest—when you see a really long e-mail or memo, do you inwardly groan? Or maybe skip reading it until later, if ever? And you know which of your colleagues tend to pile on the words—those are the messages you avoid.
Be the person who gets your messages read: attract readers by earning a reputation as a concise writer. Not only does writing that’s to the point get your message across more clearly, it also helps you gain a reputation as someone who respects others’ time. The result: writing clearly and concisely will help you stand out as a voice clients and colleagues listen to.
Learn more about how concise writing can build a personal brand
Final Quiz Question: What message does clear writing send about you?
- You’re confident
- You’re competent
- You’re credible.
Best answer: You guessed it—all three! And that’s a powerful impression to make.
To learn more on how to be seen as a trusted advisor, explore our Writing for Leaders workshop