Buck Downs, executive writing coach and CHAMPS member, led the November entrepreneur group in a discussion of the importance of creative writing strategies in business.
Buck encourages creative writing as a habit for business owners. He recommends developing a habit of writing daily, or at least regularly, about your business. You’ll find it easier to craft marketing materials, pitches and other written content when you have the habit of that kind of writing. It’s a way of priming the pump.
Below are a few of the key takeaways that I took from Buck’s discussion.
The Why, How, and What of Writing
- Think of your written business documents as your envoy. They are a way for you to be in two places at once.
- Documents that you’ll need to write are both inward and outward facing. Written documents are just as vital to communicating information to your business team as they are to delivering your message to potential clients and customers.
- It is important to get the ideas out of your head and into the world. An idea that seemed brilliant and vibrant when you first thought of it may have less impact when you try to remember it later if you haven’t written down both the idea and the inspiration for it. Write your ideas down when you have them and try to capture the motivation for the idea and connect it to the problem you want to solve.
- Always be writing.
- Be ready when something stops you in your tracks. Carry around a small notebook that you can go through later. This is a great way to capture inspirational moments. Find a way to compile or store your writing so you can look back on it.
- Integrate writing into your daily life. Maybe this is scheduling time on your calendar, or setting aside 10 minutes first thing in the morning before the day pulls you away. It is harder to write for your business when you are cold and out of practice, it is easier when you are in a habit.
- But how to get started, and what to write about? And how does this relate to my business? You have to get into the habit of talking to yourself about yourself in order to promote yourself. The idea is that you develop a picture of what you want your world to look like, even if reality doesn’t match that picture right now. Then review and revise that vision.
A way to get started is by setting aside 10 minutes or 200 words about:
- Where you’ve been
- What your goals are
- Your best client, or worst client
- How you lost a client
- How you got a client back
- Qualities of an ideal employee
- A victory or accomplishment
- Or develop a list of questions that can serve as prompts to help you start writing.
As you write, you will begin to tell your story and you can develop a document to draw from.
Ultimately your writing will be emails, annual reports, communications to clients, stakeholders and employees.
Writing regularly will make drafting those documents easier and they’ll be less dry and have less jargon. They will do a better job of telling your story.
Writing will give you an opportunity to think about how to grow your business and will help you identify what is missing. What are the gaps – do you need professional development, new software or tools, a different employee mix?
For external documents/marketing material, writing regularly will help you create a body of work where you can extract value from your experiences and create marketing materials that will make people recommend or connect with you.
For internal documents/employee communications, writing regularly will help you extract the elements of the culture that you want to establish in your business. Ultimately those employee documents will set expectations for employees and provide them with guidance that will free you to do more strategic thinking.
For more information on writing for your business, you can reach Buck at firstname.lastname@example.org.