Five Ways to Write Well: The Art of Selling Yourself Through Words

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As the Leader Writer for LBM, it’s my responsibility to write and oversee all written content within the company. It’s important I maintain a professional approach to the content, but as a writer, I maintain skill and creativity to ensure all written work is of the highest quality.

LBM work with other companies to achieve excellent business growth through the use of business social media. My words are the key point to the business, as the words are the first thing different clients and customers see. Many people write content for several reasons, and one reason could be to sell yourself and your company to the rest of the world.

I’ve come up with five different ways to write well to show the art of selling yourself through words. These are techniques I employ in my every day writing, which I’ve learnt over the years, and can be used in any method of writing to achieve a much better quality.

 

P.A.S.T. (Purpose, Audience, Structure, Tone)

P.A.S.T. is something taught in schools because it’s one of the most basic skills in writing. These four major positions present key ways of writing, which all fit together, once written, to produce a high-quality piece of work. Purpose, audience, structure and tone (or the acronym, P.A.S.T., to remember) will help you write to a more professional standard.

If you remember the purpose of the piece of writing, you’ll stop digressing so much. It’ll help you to stay on track and get to the point. My purpose with this article is to inform the reader of how to write well and how to sell yourself through words, I don’t really need to talk about much else, so I won’t. The audience, you should remember, is your target reader. Remember who’ll be reading your writing so you’ll know how to approach it. The structure says a lot about how the writing was put together and affects readability. A mix of long and short sentences and broken up paragraphs is easier on the eye. Copywriters know about tone, as they change their voice a lot depending on the audience. I’ve written for companies who want a friendly, conversational tone for the customers, whereas other companies want to be more formal.

 

Keep it Simple – Imagine a Conversation

Many writers overdo it with their writing. There’s a time and place for imaginative, poetic language. But when selling yourself through writing, you should maintain a simplistic approach with short sentences and get to the point.

A good way to write in this way is to think of it as a conversation. The way you talk to other people can reflect the way you write. While you’re writing, imagine a conversation and try to keep that tone of voice, with the knowledge that someone will be listening. Keeping it light and conversational allows your writing to be more readable, clear and concise. This is a good way if you’re selling yourself through writing, as your personality will eventually shine through.

 

Tell a Story – Know What You Want to Say

In any piece of content you write, whether it’s a product overview or a personal statement to sell yourself, it’s good practice to always know what you want to say before you say it. Having good product knowledge will give you the ability to inform precisely, allowing you to write what’s necessary and informatively.

Selling yourself through words is important, as it’ll be one of the first things an employer will see regarding you as a person. Understand yourself as though you have good product knowledge of your skills and abilities. Get all the information out, structure it well, and know what it is you want to say. As a fiction writer, I read widely, so I’ve gained good skills in the process of writing. Content writing (as opposed to fiction) can still be structured similarly. Tell a story. Imagine someone reading the piece of writing and remember it needs to be readable, it needs to be good enough that the reader would want to read it. Tell a story in the way that you begin with an introduction to the subject matter, in the middle there should be the main informative content, and end it with a conclusion about the subject.

 

Creativity is Key – Unlock the Door of Dullness

If you want to sell yourself, try being creative. Creativity is all about thinking differently and coming up with new ideas. It’s a good idea to remember that when you’re writing, it doesn’t have to be boring, samey content, which can merge with myriad other words and turn into drivel. Although it’s important to keep a professional outlook, it’s still important to maintain something original and different from the crowd.

It’s good practice to use a variety of adjectives to keep the content strong and on form. Being creative while you’re selling yourself through your writing is a good way to get your personality on the page. Don’t go too far so that it sounds informal and unprofessional, but a variety of words and in a tone that suits your own voice would work well to sell both you and your skills.

 

Edit, Edit, Edit (Kill Your Darlings)

William Faulkner famously said about editing, you must “Kill your darlings” in order for the piece of writing to be of good quality. When you write something, it’s likely you’ll cling onto everything you write because it’s your piece of work that you’ve worked on. Why would you even think about deleting it? Well, during the writing process, you should be writing in drafts, so the first draft should just be the content on the page. The second draft should cut out unnecessary words and information to make it much more clear and concise.

Proofreading your own work lets you see the writing for what it is from the eyes of the reader. If it doesn’t sound right to you, it won’t sound right to the reader. Find those unnecessary words and cut them. Essentially “killing your darlings”, getting rid of what you think is good. Understand what is good writing and what is bad writing. Don’t cling onto certain sentences too much, only once it’s completed, proofed and edited can you cling onto it.

 

These rules aren’t set in stone, they’re merely principles of writing I’ve picked up and learnt over the years, which I utilise to make sure my writing is good quality writing that professionals will end up reading. It’s important your writing represents you so you don’t fall into the trap of being just like everybody else to be able to sell yourself, your talent, and achieve the best possible success.

 

Michael Holloway

Lead Writer

Written for Dr. Mark D. Yates, the LinkedIn Experts Expert

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About the author

Michael Holloway is the Lead Writer at LBM and is an author and content writer from Liverpool. He studied English Literature and Creative Writing at the University of Central Lancashire in 2008 and gained his Masters in Writing from Liverpool John Moores University in 2012. In February 2017, his novel was longlisted for the Penguin Random House WriteNow event in Manchester.

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