Proof it! Proof it! Proof it!
By Heidi Tolliver-Walker on January 3rd, 2014
It’s a new year and time to get those fresh plans for self-promotion rolling. But before those mailers, e-newsletters, and blog posts go out, make sure you have someone proofread them!
Too often, the focus is so much on showcasing a company’s production, data, and other capabilities that printers forget the copy basics. If there are grammar issues, punctuation problems, and wrecked capitalization in your headlines, subheads, and body copy, it will undermine your goal of looking professional very quickly.
The print piece can look like it belongs in The Smithsonian, but if you can’t spell worth a lick, it makes you look unprofessional. Especially if you are marketing yourself not just as a production house but as a marketing services provider. It creates a bad impression.
I’ve heard it said that if you really want to know whether someone has money, don’t look at their outfit, their make-up, or their hair. Look at their shoes. The same goes for marketing copy — details matter.
Quality does show up in the small things. If your own self-promotion piece has errors in it (even if those errors aren’t related to your core business model), what does that say about your ability to manage the details of a client’s job? bill? business relationship?
As someone who has written and edited professionally for 20+ years, I can tell you that having someone “good at grammar” isn’t good enough. There are rules that only professionals know. Unless you have someone on your staff trained in copywriting, copy editing, and proofing, you may want to outsource at least the final read.
Like it or not, your professionalism depends on it.