How to Up Your Professional Writing Game
Written by: Amanda Bailey on July 05, 2018
Writing well may seem like a natural talent; a skill that the world’s great novelists and journalists have and the rest of us do not. Not everyone is destined to be the next Charles Dickens or J.K. Rowling, but we all have the potential to become effective writers. Writing is a skill that, with practice, can be developed and refined.
Why should you care about being a better writer? Consider each written communication with a client or a potential client as an opportunity to express your passion, expertise, and commitment to them. That includes each time you email or text them, post on social media, put together a quote, or create content for your website.
Communicating your ideas clearly and thoughtfully strengthens your value as a travel professional that people can get to know, like, and trust!
More is usually not better when it comes to writing. Attention spans are short, and everyone is busy. Put the important information you want to convey front and center, so your reader won’t have to search to find it.
Once you think you’ve put your thoughts into words, go back and read it again. What is essential and meaningful, and what can be removed because it is unnecessary or distracts from your main point? Even when composing tweets and short posts for social media, going over the content for a second or third time usually leaves you with a clearer message.
Tip: Think twice before using non-committal and vague words like “most,” “lots” and “tends to” and even “very.” They weaken your writing. Whenever possible, be specific.
Consider the following two sentences:
- The couple was served their dinner.
- The waiter served the couple their dinner.
Sentence #1, written in the passive voice, leaves the reader wondering, “Who served the couple their dinner? Was it a zombie?” Sentence #2, which is written in the active voice, provides that extra bit of information, and lets the reader know who is responsible for driving the action.
Tip: If you can add “by zombies” after the action (verb) of a sentence and it still makes sense, you’ve most likely used the passive voice.
Travelers turn to travel agents to cut through the confusion they find when searching online. Don’t turn them off by using words only a travel professional can understand – and that includes abbreviations and acronyms (like CLIA, FAP or ROH).
Even when talking up hotel amenities or room categories, use language that provides clients with tangible details. Sure, the Preferred Club Master Suite sounds impressive, but what does that translate to in terms of their vacation experience? More space? Better views? A private balcony? Appeal to their senses – without using language that leaves them scrambling for a dictionary.
Put Your Reader First
Here’s the Golden Rule: Don’t waste your reader’s time. Whether it’s an email, blog post, or travel tips for your client, you are never writing because you love the sound of your keyboard. Even if you are notetaking during a training session or webinar, those notes will eventually be translated into valuable knowledge that you pass along to your clients and potential clients in some form or another.
Use words to your advantage by writing for what your audience needs, rather than what you have to say, and they’ll pay attention to your message.
Are you looking to start your own travel business? KHM Travel Group provides you with the education, support, and technology to become a successful travel agent. For more information, fill out the form on the right or call us at 1-888-611-1220.