Hopefully, we are all familiar with the concept of social cues. You know the hints that guide conversations and social interactions both personally and professionally.
Some people have a hard time with social cues, and, as a society, it’s important that we are patient with each other. However, when it comes to business, I don’t want to you to go out like that (slang for look bad or get labeled negatively).
So, my goal in this post is to remind most of you and teach the rest of you how to avoid sounding like a jerk when you are writing for business (books, blogs, social media, etc.). By the way, when I say business, I don’t mean big business and I don’t mean instruction manuals either.
I’m talking about helping out your fellow entrepreneur, freelancer, small business owner, etc. You may be thinking, “Actually Brittany, you sound a bit like a jerk right now.” Sorry. (Remember that little bit I said about being patient with each other?)
#1 – Humility is a tricky thing. If you admit to being humble, you aren’t.
There is a fine line between communicating your accomplishments and boasting about them. I believe the difference comes with the tone and context. If you must talk about what you’ve done, that’s fine, but do it in such a way that it doesn’t alienate or diminish others. Also be sure that the situation calls for it. For instance, if you are writing a book, every example shouldn’t be about that time that you did something and it made millions. Or, even about that time that you tried something and it failed, but then, out of nowhere, it made millions. There is a time and place for that, but not every time and every place.
#2 – It is a fact that Albert Einstein, Ernest Hemingway and Andrew Jackson were horrible spellers, but that’s why spell checkers exist.
I’m going to attempt to be vague and specific simultaneously in this example. (If it fails, at least I told you what I was going for). Years ago, my BFF and I decided we were going to take a class on self-publishing. We walked into a professional environment, scoped out the instructor wearing her conservative business suit and took the book she was handing out that had her very professional picture on the back.
Here is where it gets bad. We start reading from the book and there were so many spelling and grammatical errors that we left. That’s right. We left. Having a few errors here and there is understandable. I’m sure I could pull 10 out of this post right now, but when your errors become a distraction, you will not be taken seriously in the business world. Edit. Please.
#3 – Say what you need to say and move on. Save your ramblings for people with longer attentions spans.
In college, one of my English professors would take off major points if the assigned essay exceeded the suggested page amount. I assumed it was because he wanted to have a life outside of grading our papers, but later, I realized that it is a challenge to write concisely and say exactly what you mean. Going off on tangents can lose your audience.
So where can you apply these little golden nuggets of goodness immediately?
How about when you use the month of May to write a book?
Yep, you heard me. You will write a book in 31 days.
Introducing InfoBoMo (Infopreneur Book Month)
Four other awesome infopreneurs and I are going to take you through a month of writing, editing, publishing, designing and promoting a book in 31 days.
There are two tracks.
You can go join the Free InfoBoMo Challenge and get an awesome 20-page Welcome Kit filled with writing tips, design tips, checklists and a lot more as well as join in some Twitter chats. Again, that’s 100% free.
You can join the inexpensive InfoBoMo Guided Community that includes guided lessons for every weekday in May, a suggested schedule and breakdown of tasks, personalized support from your hosts within a private online community, the immediate support of others writing a book and checklists galore.
To register and find out more, visit InfoBoMo.com.
Don’t worry (because I’m sure you were), these won’t be the only tips I have for you during InfoBoMo, but when you write your book in May, I really didn’t want you to sound like a jerk.