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Writing for Your Business Online: Communicating Credibility

Part of the Business Writing For Dummies Cheat Sheet (UK Edition)

If you use the Internet to promote yourself or a business, the way you use the media must convey that you’re authoritative, knowledgeable, trustworthy, reliable, responsive and open to input. Your audience will look for clues to your credibility. Here are some tips for establishing their trust:

  • Write your best, and meticulously edit and proofread.

  • Deliver everything you promise - or better, over-deliver.

  • Include only verified information and keep links updated.

  • Use technical language sparingly and only as audience-appropriate.

  • Maintain a positive upbeat tone.

  • Provide clear easily found contact information and briefly identify your credentials.

  • Invite input in specific ways, and respond to it.

And never:

  • Criticize anyone on a personal level.

  • Conduct personal arguments online.

  • Reveal anything about yourself you don’t want the world to know.

  • Use offensive language or tone.

  • Use Internet venues for blatant self-promotion unless it’s clearly appropriate to the specific medium. A website, for example, can and should include product information and a purchasing pathway. A Facebook business page can focus on a business. But promotional material is not what readers look for in blogs, tweets, and most social media.

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