So, I was invited to an inspirational online class by a high-energy life coach with what sounds like a great way with presentation. Looks like she speaks to hundreds at a time and really fires them up to reach their potential.
But I never got far enough to see what her presentation was like because I was stopped cold by the written copy promoting the event. Run-on sentences (I think she meant to put a period and space in, and capitalize the next word, but…), lack of detail about where and when for the event, just a feeling of her talking real quickly to everyone on short notice to join up with her, with no thought to making the promotion professional; reminded me of a really long tweet. It was very obvious that no one had looked at her material again to make sure it looked professional and had all the pertinent information for that level of access.
As a result of reading through this, I was disinclined to go further to participate or even check out prices (if any), because the initial promotion copy looked so sloppy. Several other people had already asked questions about the logistics of the event because the information was unclear.
I know I’m a proofreader, and you might say that I’m too picky, that other folks wouldn’t notice or care as long as the final presentation gives them what they are looking for. But I disagree. I think the coach here is losing new client opportunities because she isn’t taking the time to get her promotional copy right before putting it out.
Now, if this were a start-up coaching operation where the individual didn’t have the capital to invest in professional editing or proofreading, I might feel a bit of sympathy (although there would still be the problem of building credibility when your form of expression has blatant errors in it), but in this case the coach claimed that she was very successful already, so I’m pretty sure she had the resources to have her copy looked at.
I think folks often get focused on their strengths and fail to compensate for the things they aren’t so good at. Coaches in particular tend to have great people skills, awesome influence in counseling and oral presentation situations. Some of them are also good writers and pay attention to all the details of their business. But if you’re one of those “inspirationists,” as I call them, who want to focus on the content of the message, on the in-person relationships at workshops and retreats, then it’s a really important investment to build a support team who will conduct quality control on your other forms of expression, like event or course invitations, blog posts, website design, etc. If you don’t invest in the quality of your visibility (from promotional copy to your head shot photo), then a lot of people who need your services won’t get past the front door; they’ll be wondering as they stop for all the errors whether those errors are just cosmetic or a reflection of the underlying quality of the service being offered.
You don’t want them to stop and wonder; there are too many other places to go and services to check out. Please take an honest look at your online visibility creations (blogs, websites, promotional pages, etc.), and make that investment to free yourself from worrying about periods and spaces. Allow us to help you. Doesn’t have to be me, of course, but do invest in the pros who can make your true value visible. You deserve it.