A central tenet of business writing (and pretty much all types of writing) is know your audience. Knowing the makeup of your audience will help you to target your writing style more effectively.
- Are you writing for technical people or new computer users?
- Are you writing for CEOs or middle managers?
- Are you writing for buyers or end users?
Your audience helps to determine your tone of voice, content, and writing style, as you should write in different ways to appeal to different audiences.
To be even more effective, consider writing to one person.
- Who is the one person that you want to convince?
- What is that person interested in?
- What do you want that one reader to do?
You can’t address every person’s wants and needs, or answer every person’s questions. But you can write for one person… inform one person…. educate one person… convince one person… entertain one person. You know that person, so writing for one person should be relatively easy.
Note that the one person will change for different markets and purposes. For example, when I market my writing services, I’ll write an email with a specific communication manager in mind. When I write articles for RHB Magazine, I write to one building owner. When I write marketing copy, I’ll think about the person who will be receiving that brochure.
Choose one person and write to him or her. Who’s that person for you? Let me know – email@example.com.