Most people, when they think of editors, they think of spectacled rather nerdy-looking folks who work for publishing houses — polishing up the next best-selling novel. But really, editors have clients in all industries and if you are a business owner or regularly produce written materials for the public, you should be working with an editor.
There are many who will object to the idea of hiring an editor. They say things like, “But I’m a great writer! or “I got an A in high school English,” and even, “Why should I pay someone else to proofread my stuff?”
The answer is simple. Spelling and grammar mistakes can be embarrassing — and costly! Case in point, a few years back, Old Navy produced college team inspired t-shirts with the phrase “Lets Go!!” printed on them. The shirts had to be pulled from store shelves because no one noticed the missing apostrophe in “Let’s” until it was too late.
Editors do more than correct spelling and find missing apostrophes. They can help turn your advertising brochures, white papers or product information sheets into pure gold by making suggestions on how to improve the content. Writing a press release? A professional editor will know how to make it sound more newsworthy and improve your chances of having it published. To produce the best content for your brand, the services of a professional editor are invaluable. Here are a few of the reasons why you should always hire an editor:
A FRESH SET OF EYES
No matter how good you are at writing, something funny happens when you proofread your own work. You often see what you think you wrote instead of what you actually wrote. True story. Maybe there is a word missing but your brain “sees” it because it knows that word is supposed to be there or perhaps you’ve misused a certain word throughout your content. A professional editor will help you catch these errors before they literally (oops — figuratively) come back to bite you in the butt.
When you ask a friend to review something you’ve written, they may be concerned about hurting your feelings if they tell you the truth about your poor grammar. If you ask an employee for feedback, they may be more prone to praise what you’ve written rather than objectively critique it — after all, review time is coming up! A professional editor, on the other hand, won’t hesitate to let you know that an entire paragraph is redundant or that a sentence is awkwardly written. You won’t get your ego stroked, but you will get constructive feedback on how to improve your writing.
Just like a trained mechanic can change a tire faster than you can, a professional editor can review and revise written content faster than non-professionals. Save yourself the time and frustration of having to read and re-read everything yourself. An editor will save you time and help ensure that you meet your deadline.
SAVE MONEY – AND EMBARRASSMENT
One of the reasons why many people choose not to hire editors is that they want to save money. Instead of thinking of professional editing services as an unnecessary expense, it should really be thought of as insurance against embarrassment and costly mistakes. Take the Old Navy t-shirt incident as an example. It would have cost a lot less to hire a professional editor than it did to print all those shirts that couldn’t be sold.
Even if a spelling or grammatical error doesn’t technically cost you anything (say it’s in your company blog for example,) it can still cause embarrassment and potentially harm your brand if the mistake is severe enough.
GET THE BEST POSSIBLE CONTENT
For many business owners, much of what they do begins with the written word. A press release will help draw new customers to their grand opening. A clever advertising campaign will go viral and help build their brand. An interesting blog will help them build authority in the marketplace. And a well-researched and thoughtfully written proposal will help them win a big project. When put into perspective, writing is awfully important to business owners. A good editor will not only help to make sure this content is free of spelling and grammatical errors but they will also make sure it is clear, concise and written in a way that will impress your intended audience.
With everything that you have to juggle in your business, the last thing you want to worry about is something like a simple spelling mistake or missing apostrophe. Hiring a professional editor will not only help to prevent such mishaps but it will also help to take your content to a new level and give you a competitive edge.
Written By Kristen Duever