If you’re anything like most, you probably spend a lot of time writing: Blog posts, Slack messages, press releases, or—the biggest offender—emails. In fact, the average person (who isn’t leveraging Inbox Shadowing) spends an upwards of 11 hours a week on email alone.
And if we spend so much time writing, would you agree it’s probably a good idea to ensure you’re sending the best message possible? In this short post, I’ll share a simple way to do exactly that: It’s a tip we’ve shared with many of our clients (and their EAs) to produce higher-quality content with minimal added effort.
I hope you find it as valuable as many of them have.
Why Spelling & Grammar Checks Just Don’t Cut It
How you write says a lot about you—especially if you’re writing to someone you don’t have a pre-existing relationship with (something that’s becoming increasingly common as more and more first impressions become digital).
Whether you’re writing an email to an audience of one or a blog post to an audience of 10,000, it’s generally a good idea to be sure of two things:
- First, that your content is free from spelling and grammar mistakes, and
- Secondly, that your content reads well and feels like it’s coming from you.
Thanks to tools like Grammarly and built-in spelling/grammar checks, the first problem often takes care of itself; but the second mistake can be easily-overlooked.
Have you ever gotten an email that just felt “wrong?” From a grammar and spelling perspective, everything may have been correct—but it just didn’t feel right. Maybe the wording was awkward, or it wasn’t written in a way that didn’t seem to fit the sender?
That’s the type of experience we want to eliminate.
When you press “send” or “publish” on a piece of content, you’re essentially giving it your seal of approval and claiming it as a part of your brand—so the message your content sends better be aligned with the brand, image, or reputation you want to establish.
A Simple, Free, Low-Effort Way to Write Better Content
Now that we have a foundation of theory, let’s get pragmatic. What can you do to ensure your content is not only free of grammar and spelling mistakes, but also contributes to the brand and reputation you want to build?
Simple: Use a Text-to-Speech Tool.
If you’ve never used one before, a Text-to-Speech tool allows you to copy-and-paste your content into a digital reader, and have it read aloud to you in an unbiased, monotone voice.
Think of this as the “upgraded” version of the classic writing advice to, “read your work aloud,” or “read it backwards.” The problem with those two pieces of advice is that you’re biased to your own work and it can be easy to overlook errors when the writer is also the reader.
Having your content read aloud enables you to catch parts of your message that may be technically right (meaning it won’t be caught with a spell or grammar checker), but that still read awkwardly or in a tone that doesn’t match your own.
There are a number of great text-to-speech tools out there, but here’s a few I recommend:
For the majority of users, the free plans offered by each of the recommendations above will get the job done—but if you want added functionality and customization, they also offer paid upgrades.
One more tip: To save time, I recommend using your app’s “speed” setting to increase the narrator’s reading rate. On Natural Reader, for instance, I set the reading speed to 8, which allows me to get through a lengthy email or blog post in a matter of minutes.
Work with an Assistant? Take Delegation to the Next Level!
A text-to-speech tool can be invaluable if you work with an assistant—especially if they regularly write content on your behalf.
One of the most common complaints I hear from executives who delegate writing to their EAs is that the content doesn’t “feel like it’s coming from them.” It’s a legitimate concern, and one that can—in many cases—be eliminated entirely by having your assistant incorporate a text-to-speech tool into their workflow.
Before they send any piece of content to you, have them first run it through the tool and ask themselves, “Does this read like something they would say?” By having a “third party,”—in this case, the software—involved in the process, it makes it much easier to catch small-but-important inconsistencies like that.
One Final Tool to Take Your Emails to the Next Level
I hope this has been a valuable read for you, and that you’ll be checking out one of the tools I recommended above. If so, I have one more tip for you.
For many, the bulk of their day-to-day writing is spent on emails. In fact, a recent student found that the average person sends around 40 emails a day. But here’s the question: How effective are those emails?
The study I mentioned goes on to say that although the average person sends 40 emails a day, they receive 141. That means only 1/4th of the emails your recipients receive each day get a response. How do you ensure your emails are a part of that 1/4th?
To answer that question, we recently launched a brand-new online course: The Email Response and Opportunity Generation Course. In it, you’ll learn …
- The 3 factors that determine the likelihood of getting an email reply, and how to influence them to achieve higher response rates.
- The importance of aligning your “ask” to your recipient, and how to identify your “Ultimate Ask” to achieve breakthrough response rates.
- How to almost guarantee email replies with an actionable, templatized follow-up game plan.
On top of that, you’ll have access to over 20 real-world email examples to help you write the perfect email and generate the opportunities you need to succeed—all for only $7.
If that sounds like something that’d be valuable to you, I urge you to either click here to learn more, or click the image below to enroll now.