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Graphic Design For Effectiveness, Not Aesthetics: 10 Expert Lessons

It might possibly surprise you to find direct mail design is possibly even more crucial than the text of your ad, when it comes to getting responses.  Why?  Because unless someone actually responds to your advertisements, you don’t make a cent.  Any direct response ad or other promotional piece cannot be responded to until the people in your target market in fact read it.  Even worse, your graphic presentation might give the unintended wrong impression about your business, so take heed.  Don’t be an empty marketing suit. Read More…

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6 Steps to Spit-Shining Your Professional Resume

Professional Resume Writing need not be left to the thousands of consultants out there who will do it for you.  With a little effort and zero expense, you can improve your professional resume to give yourself a fighting chance in this hyper-competitive job market. Read More…

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Email Writing Refresher for Business Success

No discussion of business communication today would be complete without dealing with the most popular method of trading arguments today—email.  Email has replaced casual conversation as the most common means of exchanging business information, telling jokes, and spreading gossip.  Texting is giving it a run to be sure.  Whether the email you author travels the cyber-path if the Internet, or remains confined to your company intranet (internal network), there are six key things you should know about cyber-letter-writing so you can become truly productive on the job. Read More…

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Business Reports that Demand Attention

Bad business reports don’t attract the reader’s eye, they neither inform nor entertain, and worst of all, they don’t get action.  Don’t let the author of the next bad report in your company be you.

Have you ever been forced to read through a business report that was so boring you had to prick yourself with a pin every two minutes to avoid fading into blissful states of unconsciousness.  Maybe you didn’t stick yourself in time and your head hit the desktop, allowing a bit of drool to seep onto the report.  Guilt immediately sets in because you know that the author worked hard on the thing and that the subject matter is important.  Too bad for that guy, because the other key readers of his report won’t be as sympathetic as you—they’ll just line their birdcages with it.  You silently chuckle and form an evil grin at the thought—bird cage liner—funny stuff.  The grin gets wiped off of your face in an instant when a second thought enters your brain—you have a report due next week to give to the same bunch.  What will you do—WHAT WILL YOU DO?! Read More…

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Write to the Top in Business: 7 Steps to Better Business Writing

In the fast-moving environment we live in today, those who leapfrog to the top have great communication skills, and that means better business writing than the competition. You’ve heard the cliché, “the pen is mightier than the sword.” Well, in business, you’d better be able to wield a pen or else you might just fall on your sword. In the Information Age in which we live, it’s a foregone conclusion that your ability to communicate is one of the most critical skills you can master. In business, you’ve got to communicate with clients, employees, suppliers, attorneys, consultants, maybe even legislators. In many cases you can express yourself orally and do just fine; however, you are dead in the water in business if you can’t get your point across in writing. Read More…

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Write to Persuade in Business: Better Business Writing in 5 Easy Steps

One of the best ways to lead, to persuade others to follow, is to master better business writing skills. Business needs to learn the art of persuasion in writing.  Imagine getting to work on a Monday morning after a long weekend.  You had to do your spring cleanup on the yard, pick your sister up at the airport, and to top it all off the baseball game you wanted to watch was blacked out in your area since it was sold out.  You’re looking at a full work week and you want to get off to a good start.  Your in-box is stuffed to the gills, so you begin to wade through it to find what the keepers are.  Someone has written you a letter that begins like this:

“Dear Sir or Madam:  I appreciate the fact that you must have a full business calendar.  If I could have but a few moments…”  This one goes in the circular file as you move on to the next piece of potential trash.

Here’s a question for you.  How would you like the author of that last letter to have been you?  It could be.  Your goal is to make your business writing come alive or, at a minimum, avoid boring him to sleep.  If you have a message, you want it to get read. Read More…

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