Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Respecting Your Readers' Time

Keep It Clean Please

Every second Thursday, someone cleans my home while I go for a walk. You should see me pushing a stroller with one hand and gripping a leash attached to my energetic Labradoodle with the other.

I always return refreshed (really!) to a home that’s sparkling clean. It’s been a perfect arrangement until this week.

The cleaning service called to say the client before me had cancelled at the last minute, so they had to come 90 minutes early to avoid paying their employees to “sit around” between appointments. I won’t bore you with why this was totally inconvenient for me and my family.

Imagine telling a training client she must drop everything to meet with you earlier than agreed upon so you can avoid wasting your own time? Absurd. (Of course, it’s nice to inform clients you can fit them in at a new time, but as a courtesy, not a requirement.)

What does getting my home cleaned have to do with fitness writing and marketing?

Whether you offer a service-based business (like personal training or cleaning homes), or you write anything at all that you expect people to read, one of your main concerns should be to respect clients’ time.

If you write articles, e-books, giveaway reports, programs, web pages, blogs or marketing pieces, make it part of your time to ensure people’s reading experiences are easy and enjoyable. This makes it worth their time.

You don’t have to be a world-class wordsmith. Just put a bit of effort into fixing careless mistakes and sloppy wording. It’s called keeping your writing clean.

That doesn’t mean a typo or two won’t ever get past you. These are minor mistakes that everyone makes.

But fitness pros who couldn’t care less about devoting a few extra minutes to improving their writing don’t respect their clients’ time. And that’s a major mistake.


Loewen Behold said...

Oh dear. You are so very right, and I love how you have framed this, but I must say as a big picture thinking dsylexic, this is the ulitmate challenge, particularly given spell checker doesn't all catch my creative spellings. Oh, and combine that with the fact I was too busy playing the flute in high school to take typing, and well you end up with a bit of a wild mess.

So..... many sincere thanks to you for providing the necessary impetus for me to rise to the challenge.

Be Fit With Biray said...

Do you really have a Labradoodle? You've got to post a picture! I've heard of them, but have never seen one. I'm sure there's a way of tying dogs to creative fitness writing...

Amanda Vogel said...


I do have a Labradoodle. Rufus is three years old and 55 pounds, but he still bounces around like a puppy.

I will see about posting a photo of him at some point (those are his legs in the stroller/leash/dog photo here).

There must be a creative way to segue from writing about Labradoodles to writing about language ...