Sadly, some speakers think that, because they're speakers, they don't need to know how to write. They're wrong. Whether you're writing material for your website, writing copy for your brochure, or even writing an email to someone, knowing how to write persuasive copy is an invaluable skill.

I'm not talking about the kind of writing that you probably learned in school. I'm talking about persuasive writing, aka sales copy.

Of course, you're not going to protest "I'm not in sales!" You know better. You're selling yourself and your programs with everything you write.

Nevertheless, some speakers refuse to recognize the importance of writing effective sales copy. They think that because they can write materials that are relatively free of grammar errors and misspelled words, that's enough. It isn't.

(Actually, proper grammar and spelling can be damaging to effective sales writing. "For whom are you writing?" is grammatically correct, but in most situations, it sounds stilted and turns the reader off. "Who are you writing for?" is usually much better… despite the "forbidden" dangling participle and the who/whom problem.)

Effective sales copywriting does one thing. It sells. And that's exactly what you need to make your business - and your career - succeed.

Of course, you may have better things to do with your time than to learn how to be a great sales copywriter. In that case, it's simple - you need to hire a great sales copywriter. But again, not everyone who's a great writer is a great sales copywriter. Be sure you hire someone who knows how to sell with words.

Here's the bottom line - Writing persuasively is invaluable to the success of your business. Either learn how to write your own sales copy, or hire someone to do it for you.

Action Steps:

To learn how to write your own killer sales copy:

1. Learn to recognize the difference between information that's not particularly important to your readers ("I received my doctorate in advanced basket weaving from Yale….") and statements that are important or advantageous to your readers ("You'll make more money by….").

2. Increase your vocabulary, with an emphasis on powerful adjectives ("essential" is better than "important", "towering" beats "tall") and action words. (Notice that the first four of these action steps start with action verbs - learn, increase, watch, practice.) Develop a list of your favorites.

3. Watch for effective marketing copy in your mail and your e-mail. Keep a file of the best examples you can find and study them. Why are they effective?

4. Practice writing persuasively. Have your Mastermind group critique your efforts.

5. Definitely consider taking a sales copywriting course. It can be one of the best investments you can make.

To find and hire a great sales copywriter:

1. Ask your business associates and Masterminders for recommendations.

2. Be on the lookout for sales copywriters. Just because someone is a gifted writer doesn't mean that they can write effective sales copy.

3. And just because someone says they're a great sales copywriter doesn't mean that they are. Ask to see some of their work, and analyze it for its effectiveness.

4. If you spot some great sales copy, try to find out who wrote the copy. (This may not be possible. Some speakers who have discovered a great copywriter may be reluctant to share this invaluable resource with others. But it doesn't hurt to ask.)