How I add value to your business
All businesses produce documents in some form – for example, marketing brochures, flyers, advertising material, journals, datasheets, newsletters, annual reports or quotations for business. I can help ensure that your business presents itself well to the public, by editing and proofreading your documents. Spelling mistakes and grammatical errors reduce your credibility in the eyes of your potential customers. I can make a significant difference to your impact on your target market.
With the facilities to work remotely or at your premises, I can supplement the work of your in-house writers and editors, on specific projects or during busy periods. I can also work independently and organise my own work, if that is what you require.
As well as complete projects, I am happy to undertake small-scale jobs, such as newsletters, flyers, brochures and leaflets. Whether you need a few updates to your price list; a programme for a special event; or a full-colour newsletter to announce your company's achievements, I can do it.
There are several ways that I can approach writing a new document for you.
- In some cases the text will already exist in a basic form. I can take your document and add further details where they are required. This will involve some liaison with your permanent staff to ensure that all the information I have is complete and current.
- Sometimes you may need to update an old document. For example, if one of your products changes you may need a new datasheet for your clients. I can produce a new document based on the old one. Again, this will require some liaison with your permanent staff to ensure that all irrelevant details are removed, and all the new information is included.
- Occasionally you may need a completely new document. In this case I can discuss your requirements, then do any necessary research before writing the document to fit in with your house style.
You may think that all of the above can be done in-house, but there are often situations where a job is not started because your staff don’t have the time to complete it to their satisfaction. This is particularly true of updating documents where the old version is almost right, and any differences can be explained verbally. Although this may be the case, it does not reflect well on the company.
Editing and proofreading
Editing and proofreading are important stages in the production of a document. It is very hard to edit and proofread your own work. However hard you try to take a step back and be objective you will inevitably miss mistakes. I can act as a third party to edit and proofread your company documents. These may be internal documents for your own staff, or external information for clients or other parties.
There are also many occasions where a document has been written by many different contributors or over a long period of time, so it needs polishing. I can check that the text is consistent and grammatically correct; ensure that the document is properly formatted and that it conforms to your company and business standards; and any other checks that you require. This type of job often needs to be completed quickly. This means that, although the perfectionist approach is admirable, it is often out of the question for time or budget reasons. Although it may seem contrary to common sense, you need a real expert to do this – being able to do 'the best job in the time' is a skill that only comes with experience.
I can edit both on-screen and paper-based documents. If you wish I can track on-screen changes so you can view the original and my corrections. Having worked in a technical environment, I understand the importance of only making essential changes. If a piece of text is consistent with the house style and is unambiguous, then I will not change it just because it is not to my taste. I have also worked for American companies so I am familiar with the differences between American and UK English. This can be important if your company has a preference.
Whether you use a desktop publishing package, such as Adobe Framemaker, or a word processing package, such as Microsoft Word, I can advise on the layout of particular documents, as well as recommending fonts that work well together. I have an understanding of the basics of good design, so I can help you produce consistent and professional documents that suit all your requirements.
Using templates give your documents a consistent and professional look that is important to stand out in the market place. If all of your documents have a distinctive look, then your customers will learn to recognise your company before they read the document. If you use a well-designed template, then your customers will also know that your documentation will be easy to use and understand. This can be achieved by using templates for all of your documents, using consistent fonts, colours and layouts to give a uniform and professional appearance.
I have designed Word templates and Framemaker style sheets, but if you don’t use these packages I can still advise you on how to make the best use of your software and give you some basic design ideas that will make your documentation easy to read and understand.
I have many years of writing experience that I can use to help your staff to produce better documentation.
What I do depends on what you want, but possible scenarios include:
Whatever your requirements, please send me an email with details of your situation.