Getting feedback on your writing – Part 3

Youth entrepreneurs can improve their chances for success with smart communications, but how do you incorporate that feedback into your writing?

Getting feedback on your writing – Part 3

When you are writing marketing pieces to help sell your product or service, Michigan State University Extension recommends soliciting feedback on your writing to strengthen your messages. After you have carefully constructed your questions and thought about whom to ask to review your flier, email, letter, or social media posts, you may end up with a lot of comments and opinions from each of your reviewers. Now it is time to figure out what to do with all that feedback.

It is very normal to feel defensive when others offer suggestions on our work, especially when a lot of time was spent creating the piece. Remember, this is an opportunity to grow and strengthen your skills. If your gut reaction is to rush to explain why you wrote something a particular way, try to slow down and see things from the reviewer’s perspective. You will gain the most from this exercise if you really listen to what is being said and try to understand the other person’s reaction to your communication.

Some of the feedback you receive may be easy to understand and incorporate into your writing, such as a clarifying word suggestion or punctuation fixes, and some of it may be vaguer. Ask your reviewers for clarification if something doesn’t make sense. If, however, the suggestion makes sense but it’s just more perplexing to figure out what to do, it may be helpful to have a brainstorming session with a peer or mentor to help move through the challenge. Take into account you don’t have to change everything your reviewers mention, but do consider their reactions may be similar to your potential customers’.

This may be a good time to do some market research with your target market. Come up with a couple different versions of your written communication based on a variety of responses from your reviews and poll a few potential customers to see which they respond to best.

No matter how much of their feedback you end up incorporating into your communication pieces, it is crucial to thank your reviewers for their time and efforts. They took time out of their schedule to give you thoughtful responses, and it is appropriate and professional to show your gratitude for this. (Consider writing a thank you note!)

Remember that when you deal positively with criticism, you strengthen your professional skills as well as your relationship with others. You can not only improve your written communication products, you can also enhance your critical thinking, resiliency and marketable skills in the process.

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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