Yes, Proofreading Matters

ID-10065185In this Internet age, with memes and Facebook posts that ignore all sense of linguistic integrity, is there any need to check the spelling, grammar, and punctuation of your Internet marketing? Won’t your readers forgive you for using the wrong “to” in your blog?

No, they won’t. Your readers come to you for authority and expertise, not for a moment of comic relief or social connectedness. And nothing destroys credibility like a confusing grammatical error, especially if it relates back to your business.

For example, I recently received an offer for social media services from a professional virtual assistance company. In the title of its email it promised to provide services “you never new you needed.” I did not read the rest of the email.

Why? Because if I am going to hire a virtual assistant, one of the attributes I will be looking for is attention to detail. The same is true for lawyers. Even though many of us are not literary and social media gurus, the public expects us to be well educated and attuned to “every jot and tittle of the law.” Prospective clients think that if we can’t be bothered to fix the spelling in our marketing materials, we will certainly make bigger mistakes in handling their cases.

You wouldn’t send in a résumé without proofreading it, would you? Sending out marketing materials to prospective clients is just the same. You are asking the public to hire you to do a job and to pay you money. Shouldn’t you put your best foot forward?

That is not to say you should hold to all the legalistic formality you were taught in law school, but using an informal tone, even on the Internet, does not excuse obvious grammatical errors. Even if only a small percentage of your audience notices the error, it will hurt your reputation and likely lead those readers to hire somebody else.

If you need someone to provide editorial assistance on your next blog, contact ghost writer and blogging coach Lisa Schmidt for a consultation.

2 thoughts on “Yes, Proofreading Matters

  1. Pingback: Top 10 Grammar Slip-ups to Watch For |

  2. Pingback: Do You Edit Your Blog? | Legal Linguist

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