Wednesday, December 28, 2011

It’s Not About Me… It’s About You

Technical writing can be a chore.  However, it educates our clients about our capabilities and is often required to win work.  Whether you’re writing a lengthy proposal package, two page letter of interest, or a short hand written thank you note, keep your audience in mind.

It’s fast and easy to start writing about what we know best.  Ourselves.

“[Company name] provides our clients with the following services…”

We would love to work on this project.”

Our mission at [company name] is to help our clients.”

There’s nothing errant about these statements, but sometimes we can make them more personal and direct by focusing on the client, their issues, and how their business will improve with our help.

Consider the increased impact of:

You mentioned the importance of xyz to your project.  Your concerns will be addressed through….”

Your project is an exciting one. We would love to help you meet your project goals.”

“Thank you for your consideration.”

A former supervisor of mine taught me an interesting exercise.  Each time I wrote a proposal, we circled statements that started with mention of our firm, by name, or with a pronoun such as “we”. It was amazing how quickly these instances accrued when we didn’t pay attention.

Talking about yourself first and frequently is not wrong, but recognizing when you do it gives you the opportunity to make your document more relevant and personal for your reader.

Help your client see that it’s not about you.  Instead, it’s very much about them.

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