Pat Iyer

By Pat Iyer

Writing: It is Not Just for Writers

Writing: It is Not Just for Writers 150 150 Patricia Iyer

“I’m not a writer. Why should I have to learn about grammar, spelling, and punctuation? No one expects me to be good at that.”

I’m not talking about great writing skills but about basic competence. Too many people don’t have this.

What if Getting a Job Depended on Your Writing Skills?

Bizzy Coy, in the article, “Why You Can’t Get a Job Without Solid Writing Skills,”  on MediaBistro, writes that 75% of businesses want employees skilled in writing. However, nearly 50% of applicants don’t have those skills.

He lists six areas where good writing skills are essential: video, audio, social media, B2C copywriting, sponsored content, and B2B copywriting.

If you don’t have these skills, you’ve reduced your chances of getting a job. If you do, your employment future looks a lot brighter.

Solopreneurs and Owners of Small Businesses Need These Skills, Too

 You might say, “I have an administrative assistant who takes care of all that.” All of it? Every email you write? Every text or IM?

You say, “No one expects them to be perfect.”

You will find, however, that people do expect them to be readable. All too often, they aren’t.

I am currently collecting the world’s worst emails. If you have a contribution, I’d love to see it. Many of the worst ones, though, are private communications that only the person with whom you’re trying to establish a cooperative agreement or to whom you’re trying to sell a product sees.

For example, you’re trying to win a new client, and a lot of communication takes place via email. Does it matter if you make grammatical and spelling errors?

William Arruda, in the Personal Branding Blog, writes:

“Poor grammar is one of the reasons why customers avoid certain companies. When users visit your website and read poorly constructed sentences, the initial impression is the site and the company behind it are not trustworthy. This is why it is always important that you check and proofread your work before posting or sending messages.

A simple spelling mistake can lose you a customer and that would be your competitor’s gain. Using proper grammar denotes a professional approach to business. By constructing a well-written letter or response to a query, you are giving your customers and suppliers the impression that as business professionals, you are treating all your transactions seriously and you value them highly.”

What he says applies as much to a CEO as it does to a solo-preneur. You wouldn’t show up for a business meeting in an unironed, dusty, shabby suit. What you write should have the same degree of grooming as your personal appearance.

It’s worth taking the time or, if necessary, spending the money to learn the basic rules of grammar, spelling, and punctuation. It’s money in the bank.

Just one new customer could make the effort worth it.

Reach Pat Iyer, one of C Suite’s original 100 advisors, through her website at