You Are What You Write

Is there any way to clearly express the need for proofreading? How can we stress the impotence of getting a second set of eyes to loop offer you’re copy and check for miss aches?

The idea of posting copy to a website or sending out even the simplest email without proofreading is enough to make any copywriter queasy. Would you go to a meeting with a high profile client without ironing your shirt? Of course not. And like the first impression you make on that client with clean, ironed clothes, written copy that’s free of grammatical wrinkles makes a lasting impression on potential clients.

Yet, as more business is conducted via text, newsletters arrive in your email inbox, and breaking news travels at the speed of Tweet, composing a thoughtful paragraph of copy can be a foreign experience to some. And, unfortunately, it shows in some website copy.

Now, we’re not going to pontificate on the death of the written word, because that really isn’t the case, but the art of proofreading seems to be taking a backseat as of late. A misspelled word, grammatical error, or phrase used incorrectly can send a big message to your readers, including potential customers:

  • You’re content to let details slip through the cracks
  • You don’t take time to double-check your work
  • You’re not worried about the impression people have about you
  • Your professionalism is lacking
  • You’re simply lazy

It’s so important to remember that whether it’s an email, postcard mailer or your company’s website, those initial written communiqué are always the first impression you make with a potential customer, and they have a big impact. Your writing reflects you, your brand and your service, and if the copy is laden with grammatical errors, typos or poorly written sentences, the reader will have trouble taking you seriously. Even the smallest mistake will jump out at the recipient and can tarnish the professionalism of any document.

Not to mention the impact a mistake can have on your brand or your job! Check out these 10 proofreading oopsies.

Always take the time to proofread your copy and have one or two of your colleagues look over your copy before you post or send it. Edit everything you write and keep a dictionary close at hand to check any word you’re unsure of. Above all, DO NOT rely on spell check, which doesn’t catch every error.

Keeping your content free of mistakes not only reinforces your professionalism, but allows the reader to focus on what you write.