One Step at a Time – Step 11: Written Communication

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Anybody can write, but not everybody has the ability to be understood.

by Skip Cohen

We’ve hit ten different steps so far in building your business, but none of them will mean much at all if you don’t pay attention to how you communicate and what you write.

I just visited a photographer’s site and I have to be honest, I have no idea what she was trying to say! I’m not talking about a typo here and there, I’m talking about trying to understand what her point was in her “about” section of her website. Grammar, spelling mistakes and typos all contributed, but she just rambled.

Here’s your challenge: I know you’re a photographer and everyone has heard me say a few hundred times that “a picture is worth a thousand words”, but that doesn’t mean you can sneak by without writing a little! So, let’s come up with a checklist before you publish anything in a blog, website, brochure, even a letter to a client.

  • Do everything as a draft first! Never publish anything first round.
  • Read everything you write out loud.
  • Use spell check, but remember using the wrong word, but spelled write (just making a point) won’t get picked up in spell check.
  • Have an associate, a friend, a family member read what you just wrote. If they hate it, accept the criticism and just remember, their goal is pretty much the same as yours – to make you look good!
  • Keep your thoughts short and to the point. Anything longer than 3-4 paragraphs is going to get lost on a new client visiting your site for the first time.
  • In your “about” section on your site, it’s especially important to speak from the heart. Talk about why you’re a photographer, why you love working with new clients or what makes your work different from other photographers.
  • NEVER negative sell! Stress the positives of who you are and your skill set. Don’t talk about what other photographers don’t do.
  • Use a few adjectives now and then! This is where you can make your high school English teacher proud! Are you “a photographer who specializes in family portraits” or are you “an award-winning artist who photographs from the heart, specializing in unique family portraits capturing the spirit of each subject“?
  • Remember to pay attention to where the fold hits on your screen and remember, not everybody has the same screen setup as you do. Try to not have the most important point you want to make run below the fold.


When you’re all done and ready to publish whatever you’ve written, go back and read it one last time, out loud! Then, just before you’re ready to go

Illustration Credit: © Conundrum – Fotolia.com

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