Image of a well sharpened pencil in back and white.

8 TIPS TO HELP IMPROVE YOUR WRITING.

We probably cannot remember the first time we wrote something – either in the dirt with a stick or a pencil on paper. Either way, we all write in one form or another. But why do you write?

We write to communicate with each other. In today’s world, we also write to communicate with machines. Writing is important because aside from passing on information from one person/thing to another, it helps us commit to record or memory significant occurrences for reference by future generations.

Whether you are writing for work or passion, you want to express your ideas, thoughts and information in ways that can be understood by others. Being an effective writer is not difficult, but it can be. Here are some tips to help you be an effective writer:-

a. A writer WRITES. 

There is no way around this. If you are a writer, you must write. Write something every day of your life. Write fiction, write and experience, write anything, so long as you write. Constant writing allows you to develop the muscle for it. Just like in anything new, it will be difficult in the first few months but gradually, it will become easy.

The other advantage of regular writing is that you develop other skills such as research, thought organisation, it improves your knowledge and ability to speak on diverse topics, and it also gives you the ability to merge various topics making your content rich.

An image of a girl holding a pen while writing on a notebook.

An image of a girl holding a pen while writing on a notebook

b. Jot Down All Ideas.

Ideas form the basis of writing. Whether it is a ‘crazy’ idea or a brilliant idea. It all starts with that interesting concept that pops into your mind. In this busy world where we are continually bombarded with information left right and centre it is easy to forget that tiny spark. It is even easier to think that your idea is not good enough.

Always have something to write on. Whether a paper or Google Keep, capture that thought before it evaporates. Write it as it occurs: do not overthink it. The habit of writing down every idea that comes up gives many ideas to write about, and the more ideas you have to write about the more you will write.

c. Set Writing Goals and Schedules.

Set writing goals to give you direction and purpose for writing. Having something to work towards helps even with morale. Decide how often you will write and stick to this decision. It could be to post on a blog thrice a week or to a local publication twice a month. Create a writing calendar that indicates a schedule of what you need to do to make sure that you meet your goals.

In all this, motivate yourself. You may even decide to reward yourself monthly for publishing “X” blog posts. Doing all this ensures that you are consistently pushig out content as you develop muscle.

d. Write on Topics that Interest you.

You will lose momentum and psych if you decide to take on a topic that you do not enjoy – at least in the initial stages. It is important to start writing on things that interest you as you build up into writing on anything and everything.

However, while you write something that you are comfortable with, make your articles different from the norm. Develop your own unique style that distinguishes you from the crowd. Don’t be afraid to break the rules. Give people a taste that is uniquely acquired and chiefly developed, an experience that would see them not jump into conclusions and judgments based on their knowledge.

e. Write through Creative Blocks.

All writers go through creative blocks. This is when ideas and words don’t seem to flow as easily. When this happens, do not dispair – you are not the first and neither will you be the last to go through a block.

To overcome a writer’s block, get yourself out of your routine and do something new. Listen to a new kind of music, read different kinds or literary works, play new games and read articles like this one.

If this doesn’t work find another creative pursuit such as photography to take up your time as you process your thoughts in your subconscious.

A person writing by typing on a laptop's keyboard.

A person writing by typing on a laptop’s keyboard.

f. BE REAL.

A good writer invests in originality. They create their own stuff. There is also no harm in doing something similar to someone else, just ensure that you add on to it by giving your perspective. On any topic that you would be writing on, give it the best of your knowledge by using words that would keep a reader on your article. Give them a reason to continue reading; express your feelings, emotions, thoughts, and ideas fully in every word.

Also Read: Embrace Video, Communication Is Headed That Way.

g. Learn from Professional Articles.

Subscribe to blogs and read books. The likes of Vanity Fair, Times Magazine, Medium etc will help you get to familiarise yourself with world-class writing. If not, walk by a street vendor who stocks old magazines and grab something – as good writing never goes out of style. Use the materials to take into account their deliberate use and mastery of words in every sentence, the flow and descriptions throughout the piece(s). You are sure to learn one or two things from them to improve your writing.

h. Test your skills and Be Open To Criticism.

Whether a beginner or a seasoned writer, it is not easy to have your articles negatively reviewed or badly rated. Engage a mentor or someone you trust to give you honest feedback. Let them read your articles and give you feedback on what to improve on and what to avoid.

Have an open mind to change, ask what you could have done better and constantly learn. It is possible the platforms you submitted or published on were not the best ones for your articles, so publish in different others. Be receptive of new ideas, adopt new trends, change your styling, your themes, your voice and keep up with the ever-evolving societal needs.

 

Finally, go through your work at every point check for spelling mistakes, avoid pointed phrases, and correctly use expressions. There are many digital apps that can help you do this, so don’t be averse to them. They can also help you improve your spelling, grammar and writing skills ensuring that you will not repeat in follow up articles.

There are many more ideas and ways to improve as a writer, if we happen to have missed out on any share with us in the comments below which one works best for you.

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Promotional Messages And How They Work Against Your Brand

While communicating, it is important that an organisation is careful not to do the following:

a. Overcommunicate, or what is called information overload.

b. Redundancy or repetition.

Unfortunately, many organisations are not keen enough not to cross these lines. On the contrary, they think that the more information they push out to their customers, the more they connect with them. They keep repeating the same thing over and over again with the hope that it sticks in the minds of their customers and keeps them on top of the customers’ minds. An example of such communication is promotional messages sent by companies to our phones.

Just because a customer interacted with your product or service does not mean that they should be added to a mailing/texting list. It unfair to them because they neither signed up to it nor were they consulted before being added to it. What these organisations do not understand is that in mind of the customers, these messages are persistently irritating. When something is irritating, one automatically tries their best to avoid it. That is why we believe that promotional messages work against brands, and for the following reasons:

  1. Noise – In the world we live in, noise has become a huge distraction in our lives. There are numerous attempts to reduce screen time, kill notifications, have a set time to check your phone etc. All these are aimed at increasing ones attention span in an increasingly distractive space. Therefore when a notification from a promotional message appears, it adds to the noise that your customers are vehemently trying to block.
  2. Resentment – In business, there nothing as catastrophic as when customers begin to resent your product/service. One of the reasons why customers would end up resenting what you offer is when you consistently send them messages that have no value to their busy lives. This resentment begins to happen subconsciously and it becomes so ingrained in the mind that the customer that they deliberately choose not to associate with your brand anymore. Consumers are won when you appeal to their self-interests. Promotional messages don’t appeal to their self-interest. They actually work against the self-interest of time preservation.
  3. Loss of customers – After resentment in comes withdrawal. Your customers begin to pull away from your annoyance, and immediately flag down anything that reminds them of it. They end up looking for alternatives in an attempt to get a similar service with fewer irritations.
  4. Profit loss – Anyone in business knows that customers are a very important asset to any business. If you lose them, you lose revenue. When you lose revenue, you shut down. When customers no longer find your company ethical, then they don’t see the need for promoting your business.

It’s important that products and services adapt to the spirit of being rare while still being alive in the minds of their consumers.  It’s a tricky balance but it is achievable. Instead of bombarding customers with messages, organisations could try creating experiences that last. Find ways to entrench memorable experiences or stories in your client’s hearts and minds.

Office Brainstorm

Strategy Is Not a Buzzword

“Strategy without tactics is the slowest route to victory and that tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat,” Sun Tzu.

In the highly competitive world that we live in, strategies and tactics are essential for anyone to survive and remain relevant. As recent as last week, we gathered around a table with one thing bugging our minds; where do we want to be in the next ten years? I kid you not, we took an entire day to crack the answer to that question.

We started off by asking ourselves where we currently are as a company. We discovered that we are excellent at content creation, especially audiovisual content. It is a thing we do without a hassle. For instance, while other companies run around asking for quotes, we don’t have to hire any equipment since we have everything in-house. We also don’t need external camera persons and editors since we have them and we don’t call designers and copywriters since we have our own. This, we evaluated, is a very strong position to be in and it gives us an edge over many of the rest.

Thellesi Co. team strategizing for a client at our offices

Thellesi Co. team strategizing for a client at our offices

Based on where we are, we asked ourselves where we want to be. We had to agree as a team on where we are going and why. And this was the hard part. This destination first has to a place that as a company we all want to go, and second, it has to be a place where the world is also going. We want to be visibility experts – storytellers; people who help any type of brand to not just communicate but also connect with its audience in a memorable fashion. Using technology, we want to help our clients remain relevant in the lives of their customers. We strongly believe that videography is the future of visibility. That is why youtube is the most visited website in the world, and Instagram has IGTV, and WhatsApp has status. Facebook has facebook live and Twitter has twitter live. Even the streets of our cities are full of large screens playing videos on them.

At this point, we were certain about where we are and where we intend to go. The next thing was to decide on the direction we would take, and the means of getting there i.e, how would we get to our destination? It is here where we arrived at a tactic. A method that we have been using (but we had not defined it) and that we shall continue to use as our vehicle. It is our secret source to great content and we call it the Penta-P Process.

PLAN

After listening to you explain your need, we quickly get into ‘find a solution’ mode. Our first step is creating a plan using a method we call Tripple S, i.e:

  1. SEE –  Here is where we define and understand the problem at hand. It is here that sometimes we realize that what you thought was the problem is actually not it. Then, by immersing ourselves into this problem, we get an all-round understanding that puts us in a better position to tackle it and even spot more opportunities that you can take advantage of.
  2. STRATEGIZE – After seeing, we devise a master plan that is not just to help us devise a way of confronting and solving the problem but also to help us define a means of execution for the solutions we will create for you.
  3. SOLVE – We then apply strategic design & lateral thinking to tackle the problems identified in the SEE stage following the plan made in the strategize stage. This means we brainstorm and analyze the data we have in order to come up with tailor-made ideas that are a perfect fit for your needs.

PRODUCE

WIth a plan in place, we proceed to create informed & insightful solutions that, will solve the problem you have as well as create a great impact on your customers or the people you serve. These solutions may include PR/Targeted Communications, Media, Advertisements, Digital (Web and Social Media), Event management, Business Strategies, Content Production (videos, documentaries, still images etc).

Thellesi Co. brainstorm session at our offices

Thellesi Co. brainstorm session at our offices.

PACKAGE

One might cook the tastiest dish but if they present it awfully, interest in it reduces drastically. At some point, we have all bought into products or services that were well presented but the details were trash. How anything is packaged influences greatly the interest that people will pick in it. Being a people-centric company, we understand this very well. That is why we put together your communication and present it in a simple, relatable, real and relevant manner – because we want you to rouse as much interest as you can.

PUBLISH

Once we are comfortable that your content has well been packaged, we present to the consumers/customers. This could be through tv and radio ads, videos, blogs, vlogs, OpEds, memes etc.

PROMOTE 

Serving your food to just the people who regularly visit your restaurant does not do much for growth. We take things a bit further. We know the value of as many eyeballs as possible on your communication. That is why we recommend not only pushing content online but offline as well; to facilitate increased engagement and conversations. It is from these conversations that conversion happens.

In summary, a strategy is simply answering the following questions and devising creative ways (tactics) of achieving your end result.

  1. Where are you?
  2. Where do you want to go?
  3. How will you go there?

We understand that as with any long journey, there are hurdles that we shall encounter along the way. I dare say we are ready for them. Thellesi has not just the talent but also the technique and tools needed to get a good job done. We have done it in the past – there is no reason why we cannot do it now and again in the future.

Feature Image: Strategy session for a key client at the Thellesi Co. boardroom.

Rebranding: A Fresh Coat of Paint vs. The Complete Overhaul

REBRANDING: A FRESH COAT OF PAINT vs. THE COMPLETE OVERHAUL

“Change, however slight, is necessary for survival. It is called adaptation.

In our day to day lives, we rebrand in small, subtle ways and other times in big, significant ways. The female of our species is known to dab on a little makeup in of varying degrees: ranging from a light, almost non existent touch up also called the no-makeup look (Case in point The Duchess of Sussex, Megan Markle, on her wedding day in 2018); to the complete make overlook, also known as the face beat for the gods, where the subject is almost unrecognisable from their original version.

On the male side of things, a subtle change is achieved by visiting a barber for a top up. While in the month of November a.k.a November, we note two extremes from the complete shaving of all facial hair; to growing out all follicles of one’s facial hair to enter into the elite and envious club known as the beard gang.

There are methods of changing one’s look by changing the style of clothes, shoes or accessories. Interior home design is an art of altering our living and working spaces either by just applying a fresh coat of paint or by demolishing walls and throwing in an entirely new kitchen plus the sink. The end game in all of these exercises is visual change.

Thellesi Co Office Floor Overhaul

Thellesi Co Office Floor Overhaul

Therefore, the question begs, if we can make subtle and extreme visual changes to our faces, styles, offices, and homes; can we apply the same to our organizations? The answer is a big YES!

There are two ways an organization can change up how it is visually portrayed to its staff, clients, customers, communities, suppliers, donors, and partners in a process of which is called Rebranding.

  1. Subtle but sweet – In these harsh economic and extremely busy times, it might seem to be a lot of work to rethink your organization’s brand look and feel. However, there is a short cut version of the invasive surgery that rebranding might be known for. It is called a brand refresh which allows you to keep key elements intact but review items such as font selection and logo presentation. This simple switch won’t take much to do and is not time-consuming. The benefits.of a Brand refresh is that it helps you update the organization’s brand toolkit with different and more current formats of your logo for use on new age platforms such as social media & website. It also allows for the creation of best resolution options for sharper images in both small and large format print.
  2. Structural and Significant – The more long-term rethink of your brand, known as 360 rebranding, requires what seems like long and tedious but very necessary process. As the leader of your organization, you must take the journey in understanding various facets of your organization. The process calls for deep introspection of where the organization and its people are in the now, and decide where both should be in the future. It means you seek your organization’s personality, character, reputation, and tone of voice. It requires that you conduct in-depth research into your internal and external audiences. While this deep dive process can be done internally, it does in great part require outsider hand holding because there are some things that are likely to be clearly seen from the outside looking in. Also, because the process of rebranding does not take place in a vacuum, business, as usual, is still ongoing, therefore engaging external assistance in varying degrees is key.
Thellesi Co. Old & New Logos

Thellesi Co. Logo Rebrand (Old & New Logos).

Whichever method you chose to rethink your organization’s brand presence and positioning, know for sure that it’s an exercise that won’t be in futility.

Rebranding shows that organizations are ever-evolving organisms as people who make them up also are.

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