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Ways to build trust through your writing

People who are not professional writers can still communicate with the class of a corporate wordsmith. Start by applying these 3 easy tips, then come back to Write Wiser for more ways to perfect your writing!

1. Cite previous conversations to show you're listening and reliable.

If someone gave you instructions over the phone, refer to what they wanted when you present the task. A great way to do this is by placing a brief at the top of any content piece detailing the ask, the audience, the objectives, and your methodology.

If you are writing something longer, you might want to state why you're doing so. For example, were you asked by colleagues to note down your process, or by many clients to share your secrets? These can be great openings for video recordings, articles, training sessions, and so on, to show people you listen to them.

Another situation in which you could show that you deliver on what you're asked is by sending follow-up questions. "You requested we focus on more senior professionals. I looked further into our readership and would like to clarify if we're going after a C-suite target or owners and founders only?"

2. Be specific about promises.

Of course keeping promises, being true to your word, and not committing until you're sure are all great messages to stand by. Take it a step further: When you make a promise, specify how you'll keep it.

For example: "In this blog, we'll show you how to master SEO." Can you promise that to every person? Or would: "with this blog, advanced SEO specialists can take their skills to the next level," be a more accurate promise?

The latter sets expectations and allows the reader to understand what your writing can truly promise.

3. Lose "I think" as a tool to soften a blow.

This goes for corporate communications, spoken presentations, written reports, and almost any kind of writing. When delivering a message that you have data to support, "I think" weakens it.

If you're using "I think you should" to tell your reader they ought to take a certain action, then, "here's what I'd do in your position," makes it clear that they are not you. Therefore, it feels more like advice and less like instructions.

Likewise, in a personal blog, "I think" is implied. You needn't express that the blog is from your point to view!

Now you know how to use some tricks of the writing trade in your day-to-day, which will you try first?



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