Washington Post Reports Writing Skills Rising on the List of Job Requirements But Failing in Candidates
Selingo continues to reports hearing an interviewer from government contracting firm, looking to hire proposal writers for federal agencies, complain about “how difficult it is to find good writers these days.”
“According to national surveys, employers want to hire college graduates who can write coherently, think creatively and analyze quantitative data. But the Conference Board has found in its surveys of corporate hiring leaders that skillful writing is one of the biggest shortfalls in workplace readiness,” Selingo said.
“That’s why so many employers now explicitly ask for writing and communications skills in their job advertisements. Experience in writing and communications are the most requested job requirements across nearly every industry, even in fields such as information technology and engineering.”
Need a Good Writer–or Writing Training? Contact All The Buzz
The most successful businesses realize that how they communicate with their customers can either make–or break–their sales, so they don’t leave the marketing copywriting up to their staff. They bring in an expert to write their website, sales materials, brochures, direct mail, proposals, and other important marketing collateral.
All the Buzz has conducted corporate training classes in how to be a better business writer, and worked with executives to assist with their writing skills. If you need writing training, or desire a great (and award-winning) business copywriter, contact All the Buzz.
–excerpted from washingtonpost.com/news/gradepoint
I was listening to a TED Talk today that offered to teach people how to find their true calling in just five minutes. In it, the speaker, Adam Leipzig, asked the audience five questions:
- What is your name?
- What do you do?
- Who do you do it for?
- What do those people want and need?
- How do they change as a result?
When he asked the first question, of course everyone in the audience knew the answer, however, as he progressed down the short list, the responses became fewer and fewer. Although most people knew what they did, they knew not why they did it.
The last question, #5, is the most important, he said. Knowing how you make a difference in someone’s life or work is how you should answer the question, “What do you do.”
In other words, instead of saying, “I do bookkeeping,” you could answer, “I keep people’s monthly accounting up to date so they know exactly how their business is doing at any time.”
Look for the real reason people rely on you and your service, and engage and intrigue your audience with the benefit.
All the Buzz Can Uncover Your Real Value
If you have difficulty defining what it is you really do in terms of its benefit, that’s where we come in. Let a professional writer, like us, look at your website copy and your marketing materials. We’ll uncover the real benefits of doing business with you and help you share them with the world with more compelling sales messages that get results. Contact us today.
Even as a professional writer, I have to review everything I write to make sure I am writing in “active voice.” I review for it in my professional writing as well as my everyday correspondences via email or letters, and believe it or not, I usually find at least one place where I can make my writing stronger.
What is Active Voice?
When using active voice, the subject of the sentence performs the action expressed in the verb: The girl brushed the dog. An example of this same sentence in passive voice would be: The dog was brushed by the girl. One tip for identifying a passive sentence is to look for the word “by.”
Why is Active Voice Important?
Active voice sentences are preferable in writing because Continue reading →
I learned a technique as a magazine writer. As an exercise, we wrote a sentence or paragraph using ordinary words, as in this example:
- John went to the store to buy bananas.
Then we had to replace the ordinary words and phrases with more descriptive ones, as in this example:
- John lumbered into the small neighborhood grocery on his quest for the most perfectly ripe bananas to please his perfectionist mother.
The first sentence merely says what he does, the second sentence tells a whole story.
By simply expanding your vocabulary you can wake up your copy, make it inviting and exciting, and attract customers. After all, we don’t buy the product itself, we actually buy if for what it does for us or how it makes us feel.
Does Your Copy Just Say What You Do, or Does it Tell a Story?
How can you use an expanded vocabulary to better describe your business in a way that tells your story? Continue reading →
If you have ever been to a networking group, you were probably asked to stand and give your “elevator pitch” to the group. Members are trained in how to present who they are, what they do, and the benefits of their product or service in 30 seconds or less, or the time it would take to travel in an elevator from floor to floor (which is why it’s called an elevator pitch).
Even if you don’t network, you will constantly be asked, “So, what do you do?” It will happen at family gatherings, parties, social events…pretty much anyplace people gather.
Therefore, you need to be prepared with an elevator speech. It doesn’t have to be canned, but it does need to outline the basics that not only tell what you do, but inspire the listener to ask more. Here are some simply steps to developing your perfect pitch. Continue reading →
Many an entrepreneur has started a business from home. You might recognize some of the more famous names: Jeff Bezos (Amazon.com), Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak (Apple), Sergey Brin and Larry Page (Google), and Walt Disney (Disney). These men all started their companies from their garages.
In 2013, Small Business Trends reported that 69% of startup and 59% of established businesses were home-based. Even more interesting, the 2012 Global Entrepreneurship Monitor report stated that more than half of U.S. entrepreneurs continued to operate their businesses from home long after they had been established.
There is no stigma in stating that your business is run from home. In fact, there are many smart reasons to continue doing it Continue reading →
On Thursday, April 16, 2015 Linda Barrett led a teleseminar on “The Art of Closing the Sale,” for the members of the Association of Image Consultants International (AICI).
Tips and Techniques to Closing the Sale
- What to bring with you and how to present your offer
- Why listening is more important than talking
- How to tell when the prospect is ready to buy
- Why you should never discount
- How to upsell and create packages
- Major mistakes salespeople make and how to avoid them
- Overcoming fear of rejection
- How to get your prospect to practically talk themselves into the sale
One-on-One Sales Coaching
Linda Barrett offers one-on-one and group sales coaching designed to help business owners and salespeople overcome their fears of selling or rejection, set systems into place, increase their sale price, and close more business. Contact All the Buzz for more information or for a copy of our tips sheet titled, “The Art of Closing the Sale: 22 Big Mistakes Salespeople Make.”
Business owners may say that they aren’t using direct mail any more, but statistics show that customers want to receive it. Direct mail isn’t dead after all. Following email as the first choice in receiving business communications, direct mail showed a very strong presence.
Customer Communication Preferences
In a recent study released by MarketingSherpa, 2,057 adults were asked how they would prefer companies to communicate with them. Their top two responses were:
- Email – 72%
- Postal Mail – 48%
In The Freelancer’s Bible, Sara Horowitz compares the “I can’t” statement to the “I can” statement. Here are a few examples:
- Rather than saying “I can’t do a call until 3pm,” say, “I’m here from 3pm until 5pm. When would be a good time for you?”
- Rather than saying “I can’t start for 3 months,” say, “I’d love to work with you, if we can start in June.”
- Rather than saying “I can’t start until I receive the initial payment,” say, “I look forward to starting work after receipt of the initial payment.”