The style and tone of your content help add colour and texture to the big picture of your business. These are the most common style choices and how they can be used in content you produce to show your expertise.
Notice how the same information is conveyed in each style.
Just like the clothes you wear everyday, the words you use should be the right fit and feel good.
Imagine you're sitting in a coffee shop with a non-industry friend, having a chat about your work. The words you use and the way you share are on a different level than how you'd talk with colleagues. You tend to avoid, or at least explain, jargon or terminology that isn't obvious.
Chatting with your colleagues about work and industry trends can seem casual, but inevitably you slip in terms and acronyms that everyone knows without explaining them. You might speak in a slightly more formal manner because of the work setting as well. This style tends to feel most comfortable for businesses.
Professional services firms, such as accountants, lawyers, financial services, government and consultants tend to speak fluent corporate. This tone tends to be formal and generally includes more industry jargon, legalese and greater complexity in the way the writing is structured.
How many times have you done something you don't like or don't have skills to do just because you didn't think you could afford to hire someone?
If you're like most of the small business owners I talk to, you probably lost count long ago.
The problem comes when you spend so much time doing things that other people are trained for and skilled at that you don't have time to do the actual work you get paid to do for clients and customers.
Seeing the price tag on freelance work and consulting contracts can be a little startling at first. But you have to remember you're paying for top notch expertise to do occasional work. And, if you're smart about who you hire and what you have them do, you'll like the results.
The big question: Are you really saving anything if the work takes you five times longer than the experts? Or is it costing you more than you realize?
After all, when you're not struggling to finish tasks you aren't interested in or knowledgeable about, you'll be free to do the work you were meant to do.
We're living in highly productive times, but that doesn't mean everyone's working longer hours to get more done - nor should they! In fact, the old adage "work smarter, not harder" is motivating better delegation and outsourcing practices.
Working smarter means prioritizing tasks by keeping the things that only you can do and letting go of tasks that others can do as well or better.
I like to break it down by genius work and not-genius work.
Genius work includes all the tasks and activities people ask you to do because of your expertise or specialist knowledge. If it's part of your individual job mandate, you can't always choose to delegate those items - especially not strategic and managerial requirements.
On the not-genius side, you can find a lot to delegate. From administrivial paperwork that can go to an assistant, to a multitude of tasks freelancers can do - such as writing or design work. If the work doesn't fall under the category of items only you can do, you can reclaim time by giving it to someone else.
Don't get bogged down and overwhelmed by work you can hand off to someone else. Look for opportunities to spread the load and show how much you value the contributions of people on your team.
Delegating (or outsourcing) is one of the most cost-effective ways to reclaim your time. As a business owner, senior leader or decision maker in your organization, you need to have the right people to take on tasks that need to be completed. Relying on subject matter experts and niche specialists means you can focus on the important aspects of managing your own work and flow of tasks.
It's a common misconception that it's cheaper and easier to just do it yourself. However, if you aren't skilled in the area you need help - for example, writing - the time it takes to complete even simple tasks multiplies quickly. An effective litmus test for determining the need to delegate or outsource work can be taken with these questions:
Prioritizing work is a crucial leadership skill. Knowing when to delegate or outsource shows your team that you value your time and trust them to complete mission-critical work assignments.