The Client of My Client Is Also My Client

I ran into a problem creating text for a client’s website earlier this year.

We had a full-day workshop, during which she talked excitedly about the history of her business, how she helps her clients, and what she wanted out of the new website text.

During that full-day workshop, I took extensive notes.

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Tips for Using Acronyms in Your Business Writing

Are you confusing and losing potential clients with your alphabet soup?

Did you know that CIA is not just the acronym for the Central Intelligence Agency in the United States? It’s also the acronym for the Culinary Institute of America.

If you are marketing your product or service to an international audience, you need to understand that not everyone will immediately recognize the acronyms you use. People who are new to your field might also not recognize an acronym! You don’t want to risk alienating folks or making them feel like “outsiders” when they don’t know which company or organization you are talking about.

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Take Your Text from Jargon to Cliché to Your Brand Voice

I have a problem with jargon. Many businesses think that using a lot of industry-specific terminology in their marketing materials makes them sound more impressive.

“Pimp your SEO for killer ROIs!”

But it doesn’t make you sound impressive. It sounds fake. It sounds like one of any number of jargon-spewing social media accounts I see out there featuring some 20-something guy in a suit standing next to an expensive car and claiming to make six figures per month. Continue reading

How to Be Properly Possessive

I know I’ll never be able to rival Grammar Girl’s fabulous blog, but I do like to occasionally post my own tips for those who are writing their own content.

One of the biggest problems I see when I copy edit is the confusion as to when “its” should be used and when “their” is more appropriate.

“Its” as a possessive is used for singular nouns, while “their” is used for plural nouns. Is the word “company” singular or plural? It’s singular – so the correct pronoun to use is “it,” meaning the correct possessive word to use will be “its.” Continue reading

How I Get to Know My Client’s Unique Voice

Do you remember when the theatrical show STOMP hit the scene in the early ‘90s and – suddenly – every advertisement had the same percussive stomping audio track? No matter whether it was cars or sports shoes (maybe even bathroom cleaner?), for a while there, it seemed like one advertising agency was using the same ad format and sound for all of its clients.

For businesses that create content for other businesses, how do you avoid having all of your clients’ materials sound exactly the same?

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