Weasel words can weaken your writing

Do you use “weasel words”? I don’t mean a furry critter that goes through your garbage in the late hours of the night. Weasel words are terms and phrases that are deliberately fuzzy. Rather than providing clarity, weasel words obscure your message.

Weasel words get their name from the crafty weasel, which sucks eggs without breaking the shell. Similarly, weasel words suck the meaning out of your message. If you communicate with phrases like “highest quality,” “prompt service,” or “highly qualified,” you may be weaseling, even if inadvertently.

Before you write, ask yourself, “What exactly do I offer?” If you believe your product is of the highest quality, explain why. For example, tell your clients that you represent only A-rated insurance carriers and briefly explain the importance of that rating. This offers much clearer information to your potential customer.

If you offer prompt service, you might say “We return all phone calls within 24 hours and you will have my cell number.” This clear message informs people that “We are so committed to excellent service that we offer you this promise.” No matter what product they buy, everyone wants to be a priority customer.

No matter what product they are buying, everyone wants to be a priority customer.

“Highly qualified” doesn’t explain the depth of your expertise. “Meeting the insurance needs of the Phoenix contractor’s community for over a decade” gives potential clients a better understanding of the depth of your knowledge.

Another way to weasel is with vague introductory phrases, like writing, “With all due respect”? If you disagree with someone’s opinion, don’t bother telling them that you respect them. State your case and then offer to discuss their concerns with them personally. This leaves the door open for more communication.

Weasel words can destroy communication. No matter well you write it is easy to slip into fuzziness. Weasel words weaken your writing and don’t educate the reader to the benefits of doing business with you.Ferret

How to get published in a professional journal

Most magazines have editorial calendars with monthly publication themes. A great way to get your message across to your public is to advertise in a trade journal. Before you pay to advertise, however, how would you like to receive several pages of free advertising? If you write a professional article for one of your favorite journals, you can.

If you’ve never written an article for publication, this may seem difficult. Here’s a secret: It’s easier than you think. Most professionals have one or two areas where they consider themselves “experts.” Why not share your expertise with an audience that can benefit and perhaps refer business to you based on your expertise?

Because of my background in public sector risk management, I often write for Public Risk, the magazine of the Public Risk Managers Association. It dovetails perfectly with my experience and allows me to keep my name in the public sector spotlight since public sector risk managers subscribe to this magazine. Best of all, it’s free advertising. Articles build my credibility just as a published article can build yours.

You don’t have to be a great writer to write an article. If you have a good idea, a ghostwriter can work with you and develop an article geared to your favorite publication, as well as write the query letter for you. All you have to do is devote an hour or two of time and a good ghostwriter can make you a expert in your field.

Becoming successful means building your brand by keeping your name and your knowledge in the spotlight. A ghostwriter can help. I’d be happy to talk to you regarding your article idea.

P.S. No one needs to know that you didn’t write every word. What happens in Arizona stays in Arizona