Build Your Personal Brand: The Power of Concise Writing
What does your business writing say about you? Does it show you’re a clear thinker? A problem solver? A trustworthy leader? Every time you write, no matter what your position, you’re in marketing. You are marketing you.
Whether you’re writing online or in print, the way you write affects your personal brand. The way you express yourself is key to whether you impress your colleagues, bosses, and clients. So build your brand with writing that shows your value and helps you advance.
Words matter. And so does your wordiness!
Which writer seems more focused on making a clear point to the reader?
One of the most intractable problems facing supervisory personnel is the impartial and candid evaluation of personnel who habitually fall short of performance standards set forth by management.
Fairly and candidly rating employees who are not meeting performance standards is a critical competency.
Wordiness is one of the biggest mistakes we see in business writing. An Account Director at a global software company told me long-winded emails that “go on and on and never get to the reason for the message” frustrate her and reflect poorly on the writers. But she admires writers who respect her time and get to the point.
Build your brand with brevity
Simple, concise writing will get your message across efficiently and earn the respect of your readers. Follow these tips for keeping your writing straightforward:
Get to your main point first. Ensure readers know what you want them to do by giving the most important information first. Think like a journalist and make your main point easy to grasp early on.
Tell readers what they need to know. It may not be everything you have to say. Consider your reader and beware of TMI! Ask: have I given readers the details they need? Do they need all the details I’ve given?
Show readers your bottom line and action items. Make it easy for your readers to respond to you. Use graphics and numbers when relevant to replace text. Guide readers to action requests with headlines. Give quick answers to multiple questions in line with the original text.
Leave out the fluff. Steer away from long or flowery words. They may sound good to you, but readers are more impressed when they understand you easily. If you need technical or industry language to make your points, make sure to keep the other words simple. “Subsequent to our discussion” really means “After we talked,” so just write it that way!
Say a lot about yourself by writing less
Concise writing is a powerful tool for getting cooperation, earning respect in the workplace, and boosting your personal brand. When you write concisely, your readers will understand your bottom line and what they need to do more readily. And they’ll appreciate you as a clear thinker and communicator. Results and respect—consider it a win-win!