Getting your thoughts into words converts your business ideas into tangible, shareable assets. Once ideas take the form of written words, you can share them with marketers, investors, influencers, business partners, and collaborators. In the form of written words, they can form key content for business proposals, blog posts, social media posts, white papers, company guidelines, web page copy, guidelines, instructions, and other marketing and business collateral.
However, getting thoughts into words takes time and concentrated effort. Writers generally need relatively large blocks of uninterrupted time to develop coherent, flowing text. Productive business leaders have plenty of ideas, but may lack the large calendar spaces required to get them into writing.
Working with a professional writer can help you get your thoughts into words and turn them into profit-generating assets. Experienced professional writers, like all professionals, charge professional rates. Even so, a well-developed written asset provides a return on investment (ROI) limited only by your business staff’s creativity and effort to use it.
Most well-planned, well-written copy can to provide long-lasting benefits that your marketing and sales staff can use repeatedly and repurpose as needed to keep up with your business dynamics.
How a Professional Writer can Turn Your Thoughts Into Words
Professional writers who work with busy business leaders have experience getting busy peoples’ thoughts into words. Here are a few ways that a writer can help you get your brilliant business ideas into words:
1. Interviewing to Turn Your Thoughts into Words
I like interviewing business leaders because it allows me to get their purest, most unfiltered thoughts and ideas out of their heads. When most of us write, we instantly begin filtering our ideas, creating bottlenecks that keep many of our thoughts from getting to written form.
1.1. Turning Talking Into Writing
Most people speak faster than they write. Less information gets tossed aside by their unconscious filters because it flows quickly and smoothly.
In addition, most people speak more naturally than they write, and the voice of their transcribed interviews reflect that. Personality and character show through in spoken conversation. Stuffy, formal written phrases, like this …
“However, it remains the case that many organisations are still not monitoring, measuring or even managing the service quality of their contact centre agents, despite the fact that a single interaction between them and the customer can make or break a relationship.” Steve Rosier, MyCustomer
… in conversation, it would sound like this …
“Even so, lots of organizations don’t pay much attention to their agents’ service quality, even though they know it’s a deal-breaker.”
How many times did you have to read the first sentence to understand it? Which would you rather read? Which would your co-workers rather read? Which would your customers or clients rather read?
1.2. The Efficiency of Interviewing
Interviewing can get your thoughts into words quickly and efficiently. A writer can have the interview transcribed and clean it up to create professional-sounding, yet natural, easy-to-read copy. You can work with the writer, collaboratively editing the text, to weed out anything that you do not want in writing and add details as you go along.
This technique works especially well when you work with your writer as an accountability partner. The writer moves your content copy production forward while you concentrate on your business. Properly managed, the time you spend interviewing and reviewing drafts can amount to a fraction of the time required to write the information yourself.
Your interview can last a few minutes, or you might have a very long, extensive interview. Regardless of the interview length, expect some follow up questions once the writer has transcribed and begun to evaluate the recorded interview.
2. Give Your Writer an Audio or Video File
Giving your writer an audio or video file works much like interviewing. Your writer can transcribe your words, and it makes it easier for him or her to use your voice in the written document.
If you decide to go this route, you will not have the writer’s questions prompting you to fill in some of the blanks, so expect a few more questions once the writer reviews the content. Your writer may want to know more about your audience, clarify parts of the recording, or request additional information or references.
3. Summarize in Writing for a Writer to Elaborate Upon
Some busy professionals write and express themselves very well on paper. However, they just do not have the time to invest in adding examples, checking references, filling in minor details, getting coauthor feedback, verifying data or statistics, reviewing grammar and spelling, or just adding a creative touch to the text.
How much written information you need give your writer depends upon …
- the complexity of the subject matter
- the breadth of the topic
- the writer’s familiarity and experience with the topic
- how much time you can dedicate to the task
- how long you have worked with the writer and understand his or her capabilities
- how comfortable you feel turning the writing tasks over to someone else
Depending upon these factors, you have several options for getting your thoughts to a writer. Some require very little writing on your part, while others may involve a strong initial effort on your part.
3.1. Give Your Writer Some Notes or a Brief Email
I have put together a few pieces based on nothing more than a few handwritten notes on napkins handed to me during a lunch meeting. I’ll usually look the notes over, ask some questions on the way out to the car, and get writing from there.
I worked with an academic vice president who would shoot me a quick email telling me his idea, and I would generally do the research and get a rough draft for him to review and add editing suggestions. We worked very productively together.
Again, expect your writer to have questions once he or she gets moving on the notes. The more complete your notes, the fewer doubts that your writer will have. However, don’t put off getting the information to your writer just because you cannot, at this moment, get all of the concepts into your note.
Anticipate that your writer will do some research on his or her part. In addition, he or she can ask questions after getting a grasp on the available concepts.
3.2. Put Together an Outline
If you’re good with putting together quick outlines, they make excellent frameworks upon which a writer can develop a rough draft for review. They provide a structure that reflects your own train of thought and conceptual organization. The hierarchical structure of an outline takes some of the guesswork out of the writer’s challenge and makes it much easier to understand how the sub themes all relate to each other.
As with the other techniques, expect your writer to have a few questions.
3.3. Write a Rough Draft Yourself and Have a Writer or Editor Clean It Up
Some people find it difficult to give a writer their ideas for the writer to expand upon. Others like writing and can get a draft out quickly and efficiently, but do not want to invest the time to add in references, clean up the manuscript, add in transitions or sub-headings, and do general spelling and grammar checks.
In either case, if you want to write a draft for a writer to work on, that’s a perfectly valid way to get your thoughts in writing quickly and efficiently. You can have the writer add as much or as little as you like. Some companies hire writers to simply improve and standardize the style of documents written by key staff. Others simply work with an editor or a proof-reader.
These are just a few ideas about how to work with a professional writer to get your thoughts into words. I’d like to hear about your experiences working with writers and how they helped or, to the contrary, impeded you, turning your thoughts into words. Please comment below!