Words. We like them. Words are good things. Words can make people buy our products through changing of their minds, which for revenue is also good. But this is depending on the just right perfect word to use for effectiveness. We must word better for results that are good.
As you may have just noticed, the ability to communicate clearly is an indispensable skill in marketing. Your thoughts must survive the journey from your brain to someone else’s intact, or they won’t have the intended effect.
Fortunately, good communication isn’t a genetic trait. It’s a learned skill. You can develop it with guided practice, and there are plenty of resources out there to help. Here are five tools we recommend investigating to increase your wording abilities.
#1 – The Hemingway Editor
Ernest Hemingway was an American author best known for the joke: “Why did the chicken cross the road? To die alone. In the rain.” His no-nonsense, stripped-down prose is a good role model for concise communication. In the digital age, you don’t have to read A Farewell to Arms (spoiler alert: the arms never come back) to ape the master’s style. Just drop your prose into the text field, and the app will highlight areas of possible improvement.
Just keep in mind that these suggestions are only guidelines. They can help make your text clearer, but the editor doesn’t correct for personal style and flow. Too many short sentences can make your prose choppy. But overall, this app is a good starting point. For thinking. About readability.
#2 – Grammarly for Chrome
Who doesn’t love those red and blue squiggly lines in your word processor? You know, the ones that highlight misspellings and grammatical errors, and are wrong about half of the time? Seriously, the next time it tells me to correct “your great grandma” to “you’re great grandma,” I’m out.
Grammarly is the next generation of those often-clunky grammar and spellcheckers. It plugs into Google Chrome to work with Google Docs, Gmail, or pretty much any other text field. Grammarly’s suggestions are both more accurate and more comprehensive than you’re used to. It can suggest synonyms, highlight often-confused words, and it knows what the Future Conditional Tense is. Which is something I’m not sure of, and I have a master’s degree in English.
#3 – Crystal
The first two tools can help with the nuts-and-bolts of your writing. The last three are all about developing empathy for more effective communication.
Have you ever noticed yourself copying someone’s mannerisms during a conversation? That’s a good sign; it means you’re subconsciously practicing empathy. Mirroring the other person’s speech patterns and body language helps create a rapport.
That kind of mirroring can be tricky online, in the absence of visual cues. It can be hard to know who would appreciate a lighter tone, and who is all business. That’s where Crystal comes in. Crystal creates personality profiles of people based on their online presence. Then it provides cues for how to effectively empathize with them, from tone to energy level to whether humor would be well-received. Computers helping people be more human? Man, living in the future is cool.
#4 – Personapp
More effective communication is really all about knowing your audience and tailoring your message to suit them. While Crystal aims to improve your knowledge of specific people, Personapp is handy for visualizing segments of your audience.
The app provides a framework for creating quick, simple personas. Think of them as sketches, compared to the HD photograph that a full marketing persona provides. These mini-personas are a handy way to start thinking about your audience as a single human being you’re speaking to directly.
#5 – Tropical
Personapp provides a composite sketch of your target audience to help you start creating your messaging. When you’re ready to speak directly to your audience, Tropical can help you personalize your communication to hyper-specific subsets of people who have interacted with your brand.
Tropical helps your automated messages sound less—well—automated. It’s another step forward in understanding exactly who you’re talking to, so you can communicate on a more human level (and not sound like a trench coat full of cats).
Do you lack the skill of the wording? Don’t despair! Developing clear, empathetic communication skills is an ongoing learning process. These tools can help you improve your writing on a technical and personal level.
What other tools do you use to write more better? Let me know in the comments.
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