Getting feedback on your writing – Part 2

Youth entrepreneurs can improve their chances for success with smart communications, but how do you know if your writing is clear and understandable?

Getting feedback on your writing – Part 2

When you are writing marketing pieces to help sell your product or service, Michigan State University Extension recommends getting feedback on your writing before sending it out to potential customers. The review process will allow you to present the best content to your target market. After you have determined whom to ask to review your flier, email or social media posts, you need to think about what kind of feedback you are looking for.

The feedback you receive will be better if you ask specific questions. Think about where you feel you need the most help or what kind of comments will be the most beneficial to make a better product. Working backwards from where you want to end up will help you choose the right questions to ask your reviewers.

Here are some ideas for questions to ask on your written communication.

What

  • Is the product or service adequately described? Would you need more information before you decided to purchase?
  • Spelling, neatness, grammar and punctuation always matter! Consider having one reviewer focus specifically on those aspects.

Who

  • Does the backstory add to or detract from the product? Sometimes explaining who you are, your 4-H experiences and background will help a potential customer understand what you’re doing or convince them to buy, but sometimes it causes clutter and confusion.
  • Does the communication method make sense for the intended audience? Would this information be better in a different medium or could it be used in multiple ways?

Where or when

  • Do the details make sense? Do you understand the process for buying my animal (for market auctions)? Is it clear how to contact me or where I sell my service or product? Am I missing any important details such as location or price?

How

  • Graphics: Do the graphics included make sense? Do they illustrate my project, or do they need more explanation? Are they big enough to be seen clearly? Are there too many or too few graphics?
  • Colors: If there are colors used, do they enhance the aesthetics of the communication piece, or are they distracting or make it hard to read?

Why

  • Does the passion come through? Have I provided enough detail on why I love doing this project or business? Have I conveyed how my product is better or different than others?

You don’t need to ask every reviewer all of these questions; consider asking them to focus on one or two areas and asking other reviewers about different areas. It is also important to remember you don’t have to wait until you have a finished draft to ask someone for help. If you have a piece you are working on and you find yourself struggling with a certain part, calling up one of your reviewers to brainstorm or give you new perspective on the problem may help get you through the challenge – and may give you brand new ideas for your marketing pieces!

After you have figured out who to ask and what to ask, the final step is understanding feedback and deciding what to incorporate into your writing.

Michigan 4-H has many resources for budding entrepreneurs and the adult volunteers who help them, including articles, curriculum and bulletins and trainings.

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