Tag Archives: writing

Visual Business Inspiration

Did you know that Ford made typewriters? Now you do… business inspiration for those who enjoy seeing brands evolve and change. – EMC

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Savvy Saturday August 26th, 2017

Why do we need great writers? Because they are integral in building our brand and our following. Because they help articulate our values and our beliefs. Because they help paint the vision that our followers, our tribe or our organization are working towards. They help us lead by example through articulation of our actions. Writing is a reflection of our thinking and of ourselves – whether as people, as organizations or as society.

From “The Written Word”  by Esther Clark.

 

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If you follow one blog…

“Care a little more.

Show up.

Embrace possibility.

Tell the truth.

Dive deeper.

Seek the truth behind the story.

Ask the difficult question.

Lend a hand.

Dance with fear.

Play the long game.

Say ‘no’ to hate.

Look for opportunities, especially when it seems like there aren’t any left.

Risk a bigger dream.

Take care of the little guy.

Offer a personal insight.

Build something magical.

Keep your promises.

Do work that matters.

Expect more.

Sign your work.

Be generous for no reason.

Give the benefit of the doubt.

Develop empathy.

Make your mom proud.

Take responsibility.

Give credit.

Play by a better set of rules.

Choose your customers.

Choose your reputation.

Choose your future.

Thank the ref.

Reward patience.

Leap.

Breathe.

Because we can.

It really is up to us. Which is great, because we’re capable of changing everything if we choose.

All we can do is all we can do, but maybe, all we can do is enough.”

I opened my email up this morning and found this inspiring message from Seth Godin. Subscribe to his blog, it is one of the best blogs that I follow!

-EMC

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The Ben Franklin Method

Did you know that Benjamin Franklin, founding father of the USA, was once a poor writer?

Now recognized as an important politician, inventor, scientist and writer, Franklin was not always this way. In fact, he considered himself a poor writer but took an active interest in improving his writing capabilities. The poems and articles authored by Franklin are the fruits of his labor; he worked on his storytelling skills by deconstructing and reconstructing what he considered “great writing.”

He did this by taking a magazine of the time – The Spectator (equivalent to the modern day The New Yorker), finding an article he liked and as he read the article he would highlight arguments and write down key points and data. When he was finished, he would write the article himself using the notes he had taken. Later, he would compare his article to the original and see where his writing was weak, where it was better and what writing conventions he needed to work on.

After much practice, he soon got “better” than the best articles and went on to write poetry, prose, rhetoric etc.

The moral? The Ben Franklin method works – if you want to get better, consider looking at the best and deconstructing then reconstructing the work of art, project, plan,…whatever it may be. The term “neurotic spreadsheeting” has been used to describe this method but the story of Ben Franklin is always sure to inspire us to take action in actively improving our storytelling or other skills.

-EMC

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How to Communicate like Hemingway

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Last year I wrote a piece in Forbes on how to communicate like Hemingway. Here is my English summary of that article.

Ernest Hemingway (USA 1899 – 1961) wrote in simple sentences that carried great impact and significance. His paragraphs were succinct; writing precisely what was required without additional adjectives or flowery language. I think we can learn a great deal from Hemingway. We can learn to be better communicators in our profesional and personal lives.

Being a better writer, to me, means thinking about who is reading or will read our words. Who is your audience? Good writing means presenting something relevant – and perhaps even challenging – to your public: readers, users, clients, investors, followers, family, friends or community.

If we want to write like Hemingway, we need to choose our words. Here are a few things that I have picked up in Hemingway’s writing and how it can apply to us:

1) Hemingway tends to speak in the positive. Avoid double negatives or what we don’t do. Instead, talk about goals, about resources and talent, be frank with our public about how we can add value, how we can work together. Ask for the sale. Be transparent.

2) Hemingway wrote standing up. Supposedly, this was because he had a leg injury from WW1. But Hemingway once said “I like to write standing up because it brings vitality”. Thomas Jefferson, Winston Churchill, and Donald Rumsfeld are other famous people who wrote standing up. The takeaway? Embrace idiosyncrasies in our writing or our style of writing because it makes us authentic.

3) Hemingway was “gritty”. He would often erase and rewrite sentences several times. He had a vision and was determined to see it through. I find it’s that same grit that makes entrepreneurs and leaders stand out. In Latin America, it’s often grit that gets us through the difficult moments or unexpected external factors that make our business or lives challenging.

Hemingway had an amazing talent for writing. If we put into practice some of what defines his writing – precise words, positive phrases, succinct well worked paragraphs that speak to our public and demonstrate our personality – we might be able to improve how our projects are perceived and received in Latin America and the world at large.

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Branded Content and the Importance of Writers

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I grew up in a family where reading and writing – and communicating – was cherished and promoted. We had a family room lined with bookshelves and we did not own a television when I was growing up. Language, literature and learning were instilled in us from an early age.

So I am biased towards good writing. Despite the trend towards digital and real time content, there is still a growing need for great writers. Great writers can articulate your brand’s beliefs in a product, service and in the brand itself. That’s the connection between branded content – defined as any form of content that carries a brand’s logo, message and / or values – and writing. Good writing = good branded content. Great writing = great branded content.

“We swim in language as fish swim in the sea, not noticing the power that our words have to manifest, to create and to destroy.” This is a quote by Mary Jo Asmus in a recent blog on the “word” in Smart Blog on Leadership.

Why do we need great writers? Because they are integral in building our brand and our following.

On a final note, here is a good article by Dave Kerpen (CEO Likeable Local – Likeable Media) that he published on LinkedIn this past week where he talks about how to become a better writer – and be taken more seriously.

Enjoy the weekend! EMC

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