Friday, March 22, 2013

Exactly Why On The Web Buddies Are Necessary To The Self Employed

“What an overall waste materials of your time!”

The well-defined phrases this installed inside the oxygen in between us. My own offline buddy experienced only observed myself sign on a number of the most popular interpersonal sites.

Naturally, her feeling shouldn’t be already any amaze in my experience. She’d discussed earlier of which the lady didn’t see any worth in sites including Tweets along with Myspace. With state of which my buddy didn’t obtain social media marketing would be a complete understatement.

For your freelancer, on the web best friends are certainly not any waste materials of your time. Rather, there is an extremely important a part of any freelancer’s marketing. Even though freelancers could always take advantage of marketing in your community, social media marketing sites permit us for connecting having men and women along with corporations that individuals might not normally are able to connecting having.

On-line good friends are very crucial to freelancers.

Attaching The World, One Twitter During A Period

We reside in a reasonably tiny area. It can be associated with at this time they're currently being numerous like-minded professional internet writers suitable wherever we stay is kind of tiny.

Without a doubt, here are a few freelance writers regional, nevertheless my own options intended for face-to-face marketing having friends usually are fairly restricted.

With the power associated with Tweets (and sites including Twitter), even though, I am able to feel foundation virtually any day time having professional freelance friends in far-away places for example Canada, New York, North Carolina, Philippines, Singapore, or anything else.

Twenty or maybe 15 in the past, prior to a climb associated with social media marketing, We likely wouldn’t also have the means in order even satisfy many of these men and women — not to mention style friendships. Employing social media marketing, even though, we’re in a normal call with one another.

The Business Enterprise Help To Help Relationships

I’ve certainly not also been self conscious with regards to the belief that a lot of my own consumers come from testimonials and referrals. Even though many of these testimonials and referrals usually are coming from offline friends, some of them will also be coming from on the web best friends — folks who we’ve never in fact met face-to-face.

During the past calendar month alone I’ve experienced at least some qualified prospects coming from on the web best friends. A couple of these include led to paying consumers, along with I may yet see revenue on the various other a pair of qualified prospects.

The reality is that folks choose to buy from men and women many people realize as compared to having men and women many people don’t realize. Marriage marketing and advertising works — even intended for freelancers, and also on the web.

There's a particular company profit by using good friends. My own on the web friendship usually is significantly, much more than simply an easy method of asking for careers, even though. Such as my own offline good friends, my own on the web best friends usually are important friends that I am able to reversal tips away from along with writing about ideas along with activities having.

The Way Not To Ever Develop A Great On-Line Friendship

Lots of men and women currently include losing the genuine intent guiding marketing, and that is to get at realize men and women. Folks complete what you should on the web good friends whom they would not complete to your buddy face-to-face.

One example is, you would probably not add you to ultimately a fresh man or women intended for the first time face-to-face along with within the next breath of air desire which they seek the services of anyone or maybe acquire anything coming from anyone. You’d need to get to understand all of them somewhat superior 1st. Yet, this is an error that many freelancers yet others who are on the web make.

Below are a few various others on the web marketing faults of which freelancers at times make:

Spamming Your Online Good Friends
Or even manufactured a great on the web “friend,” only to become spammed by way of social media marketing along with e-mail having frequent demands to obtain anything? Even though some marketing and advertising can be normal along with to expect (we all include producing a living), if you buy demands outweigh the personal relationship the online connection was in trouble.

Getting Numbers-Focused Instead Of People-Focused
The web stats-obsession emphasis started out upon information sites (tracking the quantity of buyers, Diggs, or maybe comments) and has shifted in order to social media marketing (tracking the quantity of Myspace good friends or maybe Tweets followers). Even though higher volumes aren’t specifically undesirable, many people aren’t specifically as effective as a lot of people may well assume. That’s given that they don’t always stand for real associations.

Maintaining Report
We once heard about any freelancer that kept a list of all his or her on the web associates along with what many people performed intended for your pet. If they performed anything intended for your pet, yet try and reciprocate. As long as they didn’t complete something intended for your pet, well… not merely can be this specific a great deal of additional operate, the item kind of defeats the intention of an authentic connection and that is with regards to men and women and not cures can do for each and every various other. Conversing intended for me, only are capable of aid someone I think will endeavor to perform the item. Plainly can’t, then I don’t.

Overlooked The Little Gentleman
Even though you might be enticed in order to befriend just “big name” freelancers along with running a blog trainers, these folks are often deluged having buddy demands. Generally, many people don’t include time for you to absolutely communicate. Nonetheless, any freelancer who is only how to get started should have additional time in order to communicate. That understands? Today’s “little guy” only could be tomorrow’s “big label.”

Walking Away From Your Online Account
Reliability is definitely a critical a part of on the web article writing associations. This means you have several friendships above some time. Lots of freelancers build a great on the web account then give up the item whenever they don’t obtain immediate results.

Not Currently Being Legitimate
For anyone who is artificial on the web you will at some point become found. Not a soul enjoys any phony, and so don’t pretend that for being someone you are certainly not.

The reason practices it inappropriate, when it's possible to still do it? There are lots of suitable approaches for just a freelancer to build a great on the web companionship.

Building On-line Relationships

The keys in order to creating a productive on the web companionship usually are persistence along with time. This means interacting again using the exact same man or women with time. Most of the career qualified prospects I always obtained before calendar month were being coming from friends of whom I’ve identified on the web for several years today.

Here are a couple very good ways to satisfy on the web best friends:

• Read information sites ALONG WITH opinion
• Read community forums ALONG WITH opinion
• Tweet along with react to tweets
• Participate in various other social media marketing situations
• Participate in on the web situations for example Webinars


Thursday, March 21, 2013


Now that we have looked at things you should not do in your writing, let’s take a look at my top 10 rules of good business writing. If you follow these rules you will be helping yourself to become a better business writer.

1. Remember Your ABC

Good written communication results when you say exactly what you want to say using an appropriate tone. Your message must meet these essential specifications:

Accurate          Check facts carefully
                        Include all relevant details
                        Proofread thoroughly

Brief                 Keep sentences short
                        Use simple expression
                        Use non-technical language

Clear                Use plan, simple English
                        Write in an easy, natural style
                        Avoid formality or familiarity

2. Be courteous and considerate

Courtesy does not mean using old-fashioned expressions like ‘your kind consideration’ or ‘your esteemed order’. It means showing consideration for your correspondent and being empathetic – that means showing respect for your reader’s feeling. Writing in a courteous style enables a request to be refused without killing all hope of future business. It allows a refusal to be made without ruining a friendship. Courtesy also means:

  • Reply promptly to all communications – answer on the same say if possible.
  • If you cannot answer immediately, write a brief note and explain why. This will create goodwill.
  • Understand and respect the recipient’s point of view.
  • Resist the temptation to reply as if your correspondent is wrong.
  • If you feel some comments are unfair, be tactful and try not to cause offense,
  • Resist the temptation to reply to an offensive letter in a similar tone. Instead answer courteously and do not lower your dignity.

3. Use appropriate tone

If your message is to achieve its purpose the tone must be appropriate. The tone of your message reflects the spirit in which you put your message across. Even when writing a complaint or replying to one, your message can be conveyed in a way so as not to be rude or cause offense. Ignoring the need to use an appropriate tone could result in a message that sounds aggressive, tactless, curt, rude, sarcastic or offensive. This will not meet your desired objectives.

Instead of
We cannot do anything about your problem.

This problem would not have happened if you had connected the wires properly.

Your television’s guarantee is up, so you will have to pay for it to be fixed.

I am writing to complain because I was very unhappy with the way I was treated in your store today.
Unfortunately we are unable to help you on this occasion.

The problem may be resolved by connecting the wires as shown in the handbook.
Your television’s guarantee has ended,
so unfortunately you must bear the cost of any repairs.
I was most unhappy with the standard of service I received in your stores today.

You alter your tone of voice to convey messages in different ways. Much of what you say is also interpreted through non-verbal clues – eye contact, gestures, inflections of the voice, etc. This type of reading between the lines’ is not possible with the written word. Therefore it is vital to choose your words carefully. You can be firm or friendly, persuasive or conciliatory – it depends on the impression you wish to convey. It is important to try to get the tone right because using the wrong tone could cause real offense to your reader.
Here are some expressions to avoid in your business writing:

  • Your failure to reply …..
  • You did not see …..
  • We must insist …..
  • You should not expect to ……
  • Your refusal to co-operate ……
  • You have ignored …..
  • This is not our fault …..
  • I can assure you …..
  • You failed to ……
  • I have received your complaint …..

4. Write naturally and sincerely

Try to show a genuine interest in your reader and his/her problems. Your message should sound sincere while written in your own style. Write naturally, as if you are having a conversation.

Instead of
I have pleasuring in informing you

We do not anticipate any increase in prices

I should be grateful if you would be good enough to advise us.

Please fvour us with a prompt reply

Please revert to us soonest
I am pleased to tell you

We do not expect prices to rise

Please let me know

I hope to receive a prompt reply

I hope to hear from you soon

5. Remember the KISS principle

Business people today have many documents to read. A message that is direct and straight to the point – while retaining courtesy – will be appreciated. As you work on developing your writing ability, you should constantly practise your KISSing skills.
KISS stands for:
                        K = Keep
                        I = It
                        S = Short and
                        S = Simple

KISS means instead of long or complex words, use short ones:

Instead of
Endeavour, attempt
Advise, inform
Hurry, speed up

KISS also means instead of long phrases, use one word where appropriate:

I should be glad if you would
In spite of the fact that
With regard to
At the present moment in time
Conduct an investigation
In view of the fact that
In the event that
In the very near future
At a later date
We would like to ask you to

Research has been conducted into the degree of understanding of sentences of different lengths. Take a look at these figures:

Number of words in the sentences

Percentage of people who will understand on the first reading
7-10 words
15-20 words
27 words or more

You can meet the KISS objectives by using sentences that contain 27-20 words.

Avoid these phrases altogether:

I have noticed that
It has come to my attention that
I am pleased to inform you that
I am writing to let you know that
I must inform you that
Please be informed that
Please be advised that
Thanking you in anticipation
Thank you and regards
Kindest regards

6. Use modern terminology

Old-fashioned phrases add nothing to your meaning. Such unnecessary, long-winded phrases are likely to give a poor impression of the writer and may even lead to confusion. A good business message will use no more words than are necessary to convey a clear and accurate message.

Instead of
We are in receipt of your letter of 12 June

We have received your letter of 12 June

Enclosed herewith you will find….
Please find enclosed……

Please be good enough to advise me…..

Please be reminded…..

……the above-mentioned goods
Thank you for your letter of 12 June

Thank you for your letter of 12 June

I enclose……

Please let me know…..

Please remember……

…..these goods

7. Include essential details

If the recipient of your message must ask a question, or if something is unclear, then something has been omitted from your messing. Do not leave anything to chance. Include all essential information.

Instead of
My flight arrives at 3.30 on Wednesday.

I thoroughly enjoyed your article in last month’s newsletter.

Our Sales Manager will contact you soon.

My flight BA 121 from Dubai should arrive at Singapore Changi Airport at 1530 on Wednesday 12 June.

I thoroughly enjoyed your article on feng shui in last month’s company newspaper.

Mr John Matthews, our Sales Manager, will contact you soon.

8. Be Consistent

Consistency is not only important in the way your message is presented, it is important within the message itself.

Instead of
The people attending will be John Wilson, G Tumer, Mandy Harrison and Bob from Sales

I confirm my reservation of a single room on 16/3 and a double room on 17 Oct.
The people attending the next committee meeting will be John Wilson, Gloria Tumer, Mandy Harrison and Bob Tumer.

I confirm my reservation of a single room on 16 July and a double room on 17 October.

9. Use active and passive voice

 ‘Voice’ is a grammatical term that refers to whether the subject of the sentence is acting or receiving the action. Using active voice can considerably improve your writing style. Active voice makes your writing more interesting, more lively and more… well, active!

Check out these two examples of a similar message:

Active voice: Tim played the violin.

Here, the subject is the actor, Tim. You can almost see Tim paying the violin, totally absorbed in his music. The sentence is alive and interesting.

Passive voice: The violin was played by Tim.

Here, the subject is the violin. The action is gone. The emphasis has been moved from the subject performing the action to the subject receiving the action. It is not so easy to visualize what is happening. The sentence is dull and boring.

Here are some tips that help you to tell when a sentence is passive:

  • Which for the sentences that starts with the action rather than the actor. Sentences that start with the action are often passive.
  • Watch for various forms of the verb ‘to be’ such as – is, are, was, were, will be, have been, should be, etc. These verbs may not always indicate that the sentence is passive, but they often give you a clue.

Passive voice was preferred by our great-grandfathers because they did not want to show any responsibility in their writing. It also created a distance between the writer and the reader. Yes, passive voice was perfect for our great-grandfathers.

Our writing today, however, should show responsibility, and it should be more personal and natural, more focused. Remember my golden rule ‘If you wouldn’t say it, don’t write it!’

Instead of
The design of our new systems was simplified by the use of hydraulics.

The new system was developed by our staff.

The investigation has been concluded by our client, and the paperwork has been signed.

The cheque was presented to the charity by the Prince of Wales.
The use of hydraulics simplified the design of our new systems.

Our staff developed the new system.

Our client has concluded the investigation and signed the paperwork.

The Prince of Wales presented the cheque to the charity.

Is passive voice ever appropriate? Yes, there are some occasions when passive voice would be more appropriate.

  • It may be better to make a particularly important noun the subject of the sentence, thus giving it extra emphasis.
Example: It would be better to say:

Our restaurant has been recommended by all the leading hotels in Dubai.

This emphasizes ‘our restaurant’ rather than;
All the leading hotels in Dubai recommend our service.

  • When you want to place the focus on the action, not the actor.
Example: The noise was heard all over the island.
Here, the emphasis is on the noise, not the people who made the noise.

  • When you want to hide something or when tact is important.
Example: An unfortunate mistake was made.

10. Compose CLEAR communications

Finally, when writing any message ask yourself whether it meets the CLEAR objectives. Your message should be:

Clear        Leave no doubt in your reader’s mind. Help yourself by being specific, avoiding vague expressions, using familiar words and using simple English. Remember also to use straightforward language that your reader can understand, written in a friendly, natural, conversational style.

Logical       Structure your messages logically, remembering to use the 4 point plan. Start with an introduction, develop your points logically in the central section, and come to a natural conclusion in which you state the action you need from the reader. Finish with an appropriate one-liner.

Empathetic     Put yourself in your reader’s place and ask yourself how the reader will feel when he/she reads your message. If anything is unclear, or if anything is worded badly, then change it before you send it.

Accurate          Make sure all the relevant details are included – times, dates, names, facts and figures.

Right            Proofread carefully (not just spell check) to make sure everything is 100% right before you send the message.


Monday, March 18, 2013

The Weakest Link In Your Business Writing


My sister is big fan of the popular game show “The Weakest Link”, which has earned international success. It’s great show, in which contestants have to identify the weakest link from their follow players and get rid of them as quickly as possible.

What a great principle, and we can all easily use to improve our business writing skills and enhance corporate image. Business today is being conducted in a very formal way- in meetings and conferences we are using a natural, more relaxed language rather than stilted, formal language that was used several decades ago. So how come many people are still using business writing that is more suited to our great-grandfathers than to 21st –century businessmen and women? Here is what I believe to be 7 of the weakest links that I would like to eliminate from 21st –century business writing.

1. So many young people with so many old-fashioned expressions

When will people realize that business language has changed? Expressions like ‘Please to informed’, ‘Kindly advised’, ‘I would like to bring to your attention’ and ‘I am writing to advise you’ should have been relegated to the recycle bin way before the turn of the new millennium. Unfortunately today’s writing is still full of countries-old-expressions like these, not to mention even worse ones such as ‘Enclosed herewith please find our catelogue for your reference and perusal’, ‘With reference to your above-mentioned order’, ‘Further to the telecom today between your goodself and the udersigned’. This type of writing is BORING! People are using these standard clichés simply because everyone else uses them, and because they have been used for centuries. Please! Put some thought and personality and some feeling into your writing.

Instead of
We refer to your letter of 21st October

As spoken in our telecom today

Please revert to me soonest possible.

Should you require any further clarification
please do not hesitate to contact the

Thank you for your letter of 21

Thank you for calling me this morning.

I hope to hear from you soon.

Please give me a call on 2874722
if you have any questions.

2. So many long-winded expressions

Long words and long expressions, long sentences and long paragraphs will impress no one-they will only confuse. Later in this section I will talk about the KISS principle – Keep. It Short and Simple! Instead of ‘I should be very grateful’, why not simply say ‘Please’ (definitely not Kindly!). Use short words like buy, try, start and end instead of purchase, endeavor, commence and terminate. Remember to KISS in your business writing – use short words, simple expressions, short sentences and short paragraphs that are clear and concise.

3. Let’s get more active

Our great-grandfathers used passive voice in writing because they didn’t want to show who was responsible for anything. They preferred to use long sentences that beat about the bush but never revealed what was really happening and who was really responsible. Today’s business writers should use active voice, which is more alive, more focused, more personalized and much more interesting and clear.

Instead of
Arrangements have been made for a repeat
order to be dispatched to you immediately.

The cause of your complaint has been investigated.

The seminar will be conducted by Adrian Chan.

Sales of the X101 have exceeded all expectations.

I have arranged for a repeat order to be sent to you today.

I have looked into this matter.

Adrian Chan will conduct the seminar.

X101 sales have gone sky high.

4. Colons Colons Colons

Why is that many people have to put a line of colons in any list? It looks so cluttered and messy. Let’s get rid of all the clutter in our business writing, and make it look neat, clean and well organized.

Date       : 29 November 2003

Time      : 9.00am to 5.00pm

Venue    : Sheraton Hotel, Dhaka

Date        29 November 2003

Time       9.00am to 5.00pm

Venue     Sheraton Hotel, Dhaka

 5. Attention!

Our great-grandfathers invented the attention line (and they were not lazy – they wrote it in full, ‘For the attention of …’) because they were merely directing the letter to the desk of a real person, not writing personally to that person. In those days, even with the attention line, letters still began ‘Dear Sirs’ and the wording was formal and passive, as if talking to the company as a whole, not to a real individual person. Over the years the attention lines has been very much misused and lazy writers have abbreviated it to ‘Attention’ or even ‘Attn’. Attention lines today are being incorporated (wrongly) in personal letters with personal salutations such as ‘Dear John’, ‘Dear Mr Tan’. Let’s put the attention line in the recycle bin and relegate it firmly to the last century where it belongs. We rarely need it today. If you know the person to whom you are writing, and if you want to use a personal salutation, incorporate the addressee’s name and title into the address section.

Attn   : Leslle Lim Boon Hup

STP Distributors Pte Ltd (Books)
30 Old Toh Tuck Road #03-01
Thailand 57890

Mr Leslle Lim Boon Hup
STP Distributors Pte Ltd (Books)
30 Old Toh Tuck Road #03-01
Thailand 57890

6. Do you really need a line to sign your name on?

I thought it was only children who needed a line on which to write. Would managers really go into a fit if there was no line on which to sign their name? Would they really sit there and wonder where to put their signature? I really doubt it. Surely the space between ‘Yours sincerely’ and the writer’s name/title is indication enough that this is where the signature goes? Again this is something that we simply don’t need. Get rid of the line and let’s get rid of even more clutter in our writing.

Yours sincerely

Tan Lee Hong
Managing Director

7. Thank you!

Why do so many people need to say ‘Thank you’ at the end of a message? Thank you for what? For reading my letter? Stop wasting time and printer ink. If you have been courteous throughout your communication (and let’s face it, no matter what the circumstances, your writing should always be courteous) there should be no need to keep saying ‘Thank you’ over and over again just because someone read your letter or e-mail.

In today’s fast-paced business world, there should be no room for yesterday’s old-fashioned, long-winded jargon. Ditch the boring clichés that have been around for decades. Put some life into your business writing by using a natural, relaxed, friendly style. Put some zip into your presentation by using a style that is more proactive, stimulating and interesting – writing that reflects your personality. This is 2013, not 1913!