Saturday, 16 December 2017

Information and commentary for the small business banking industry

Proofreading ensures polished, professional content

Don’t stop at “good enough”

There are many reasons people don’t take the time or trouble to thoroughly proofread their content – they’re too busy, they think they’ve picked up all the errors during the writing phase, they see it as a waste of time – but the most common reason is they figure that what they’ve got is good enough.

Wrong.

My colleagues and I regularly proofread each other’s work, and just the fact that a fresh eye is looking over the content is enough to pick up mistakes. I can’t think of a time I’ve sent content back to a colleague without making some changes; likewise, I don’t think anything’s been returned to me without seeing some tracked changes.

Content that’s accurate, polished and professional reflects on you as a bank. Your customers don’t want to see errors in your content marketing, because that’ll get them thinking about where else you might have made mistakes. The very last thing a bank needs.

So it’s a good idea to get someone else to proof your work, because they’re more likely to pick up things that you won’t. And there are some pretty good arguments for getting a professional to do it.

Why professional proofreaders are a great idea

You probably can’t imagine paying someone to proofread your content, especially when you can do it yourself for free. But there are benefits to having a professional edit your copy:

  • Reduces worry and boosts creativity – if you know that someone else is going to be checking the content for errors, you can quit worrying about them and focus on the creative side instead.
  • Helps get the message across better – a professional may suggest a clearer, improved way to turn a phrase, which means your audience is going to get it faster.
  • Confidence – seeing your work looking all polished and shiny is a confidence booster, and it’ll motivate you to share it with a wider audience.
  • Increases your own knowledge – compare your original copy to the final version and see where the changes have been made. Learn from them – it’ll help to hone your skills.

Yes, it costs

That’s the downside – you’re paying for the service. But businesses like banks, who should always be striving to look as professional and trustworthy as possible should see the cost as justifiable.

Most proofreading providers offer different levels of service – for instance, you could just pay for checking on spelling, grammar, punctuation and syntax. If you find the service to be valuable at that level, then you could consider paying for a premium package that includes editing as well.

If for whatever reason you can’t make use of a professional, then there’s a basic process you can use to proofread your own copy:

  1. Print it
  2. Read it aloud
  3. Read it backwards

It’s not ideal, but it works.

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