As a professional business writer, I sometimes am asked if I have experience writing content for a specific industry.
While I could give a yes/no answer to each person, depending on the industry they are asking about, the reality is that being an experienced writer is more relevant that my industry knowledge.
I am not an engineer or dentist, a seamstress or accountant, yet these are some of the industries I have successfully written for
Don’t believe me? Well think about these points:
- expertise in multiple fields (e.g. writing and science or superannuation) is harder to find – and should be unnecessary as the client is the subject expert and the writer is just making it read well
- someone outside of the industry can provide more clarity about how customers will perceive information (For example, people in superannuation and insurance talk about ‘benefits’ in a way that the general population doesn’t, so as a writer I change ‘benefits’ to ‘payments’ for clarity)
- a writer’s job is to communicate a message clearly and effectively
- good writers know how to research, and to read information to find the relevant points to put into a message
- a lot of business content is actually generic and doesn’t need a lot of industry knowledge – website home pages, ads, media releases, profiles and brochures are about the business and marketing so a lot of technical information isn’t used
- experienced writers are used to meeting guidelines and choosing words carefully so can manage even in tightly regulated industries – just tell the writer any rules and then use your usual due diligence checks. Good writers can use words well but avoid misleading people so may meet the regulations quite easily anyway
In comparison, we need some trees removed at home. We want a professional tree lopper who will do the job safely and appropriately – I don’t care if they’ve chopped down the same type of tree before. Likewise, I don’t insist on a hairdresser who only does long, wavy hair or a graphic designer who has experience with other writers’ websites.
If you need writing help, you will find it much harder to find a suitable professional if you limit it to those with industry experience. Concentrate on finding a good writer and providing them with the relevant facts for a project (or at least reliable sources of information).
Do you disagree?
* Images collated from Microsoft Clipart