Content is king. Your brand content is a direct representation of your organization as a whole, and in the SEO world, original content = gold. So, your copy is more important than you realize.
The first step is to push out consistent content created by talented internal team members. The second step is to ensure the content voice is on brand. Finally, the 3rd step is to grow and nurture your reader base (yes - reader base and not just potential customers). Once your reader base gains trust in your company and views you as a Subject Matter Expert or SME), OR once a need arises that can be fulfilled by your products/services, the choice should be clear to them to buy from you. This, ladies and gentlemen, is modern day marketing 101. It’s the difference between push and pull marketing.
Push marketing - This is also known as outbound marketing, since it pushes marketing out to prospects and customers. With push marketing, you're finding the prospects and they're "raising their hand" when interested. (DMN3)
Pull marketing - This is also known as inbound marketing. It’s “inbound” because your marketing efforts cause prospects to find you when they have an interest. They come to you for answers. (DMN3)
When you create an amazing content machine, your inbound marketing will flourish and potential customers will be knocking on your door - sounds nice right? The caveat lies in the content value, and part of its value is in being grammatically correct. This is where your copy editor comes in.
Why does a company need a copy editor?
“A good copy editor will read over what you’ve written, note places where spelling, spacing, or grammar is incorrect, and will suggest changes to awkward phrases (Express Writers).”
- You’re too close to the material - Your copy editor is your unbiased 3rd party or your fresh pair of eyes.
- Copy editors ensure consistency - Brand and voice consistency is critical, and with the copy editor overseeing all copy, he or she is in the best position to help with this.
- Support your company’s commitment to excellence - Your brand can talk about excellence all day long, but if there is a glaring grammatical error on your website, what does this really say about you?
- Copy editors read differently - Most of us read every other word or every third word whether we are cognizant of it or not. Copy editors read EVERY word.
- It’s worth the investment - trust us.
Kelly Schulz has been with Work Better for 3 years. She can pretty much do it all. Her skillset is wide ranging and she continues to be a vital member of our team. She has evolved into the company’s official copy editor once it became evident her editing skills were top notch. She works closely with Work Better’s CEO and founder, Harsh Mehta, on a daily basis. “Kelly is like a Navy SEAL Jill of all trades. In the time she’s been with us she has worked on projects in Marketing, Sales, Finance, Technology and she manages to keep my crazy calendar & email in check - all with surgical accuracy.” -Harsh Mehta, Founder and CEO.
Kelly is also an integral part of the marketing team, editing all public-facing copy. “It’s important for us to have someone who not only corrects grammar and punctuation errors but is consistently ensuring our brand voice is intact and on point. There isn’t a piece of content that gets pushed out to the public without her input.” - Robert Coles, Marketing and PR
What got you into being so good with words?
It's most likely thanks to my love for reading and the fact that the Speak & Spell was one of my favorite toys growing up. In general, though, I love how the entire meaning of a sentence can be completely altered by a single word or comma, which is why I chose to study rhetoric in grad school.
What are the top 3 common mistakes you correct when editing copy?
Honestly, about 90% of the mistakes I find when editing are related to comma usage. I know I initially learned to just put a comma wherever you would take a breath, and it's really a lot more complex than that.
- Comma splices are pretty common, it's when you take two complete sentences and just connect them with a comma (as I just did).
- Using a comma to separate the subject from the rest of the sentence. For example: I could read all day, and could eat only sushi for the rest of my life. To correct this example, you'd have to either remove the comma or add an "I' after "and."
- Unless it goes against an established style guide, I always add in Oxford commas (aka serial commas). It just helps ensure clarity, which can help avoid embarrassment, confusion, and lawsuits.
Other common mistakes involve capitalization, spelling, subject-verb agreement, and consistency.
Who is your favorite author?
Chuck Palahniuk is easily my favorite author. He packs powerful subtext into some pretty fascinating stories. Some of his writing can be pretty intense, though. I've actually seen two people pass out while listening to him read at an event.
Have you thought of writing a book? If so, what kind of book would it be?
I've been published as a nonfiction ghostwriter before, but I am looking forward to one day completing my own book. The one I'm currently working on is metaphysical fiction.
What has been the most exciting part of working with Work Better?
I've been very fortunate to be able to work in just about every department to some degree, which means I've had the pleasure of working closely with just about every member of the Work Better team. I can vouch that the Work Better team is made up of some truly spectacular people.
Still want to read more about grammar? Check out the top 10 mistakes most people make that they have no idea they’re making.