Whether you're producing a website, brochure, or vehicle livery, your publicity materials are likely to be your first contact with your potential customers.
The quality of those materials should be a reflection of the quality of the product or service you're selling, so if your website is littered with typos and inconsistencies you may be casting a seed of doubt in your customers' minds before you've even started.
A professional proofreader can help to mitigate these errors, showing your business at its best. Think of it like going into a job interview with ketchup down your top and toothpaste in your hair. What does this say about you? Other than you don't know where your mouth is, it says that you are careless, possibly lazy, and just not bothered what people think of you.
Below, some of my clients share why proofreading is important to them.
1) Create content that is accurate and mistake-free
Mistakes and inaccuracies show a lack of care, make the piece difficult to read and undermine the credibility you have worked hard to achieve. A minor typo or inappropriately used word may give an entirely different meaning to a sentence, or even the entire piece, which can be very misleading to the reader.
"We decided to use a professional proofreader, as it is important to us that the content we create for clients and ourselves is accurate and mistake-free. Content is such a huge part of effective marketing, and spelling mistakes or grammatical errors can have a really big impact on the effectiveness of a campaign."
Gemma Daniels, Client Services Director
2) Consistency is key
Consistency is important in all aspects of business; from maintaining consistent service and quality levels to consistency in your message. A good proofreader won't just check your content for spelling and grammar mistakes, but for consistency as well. This could be as simple as pointing out mixed use of UK/US spellings, contradicting dates or variations in spelling of a person's name, right down to the really important stuff like conflicting opinions and statements that could be potentially damaging to your business.
"Sadly, the human brain is as lazy as it is remarkable. Mostly, it seeks convenient shortcuts, turning a blind eye to glaring spelling/grammatical errors and inconsistencies to avoid overworking itself. Need proof? Okay, open any five emails you sent last month. They can be any five emails of your choice, but preferably ones containing three or more paragraphs. Read them. Do you now see glaring errors and inconsistencies which you missed during your initial pre-send check? Of course you do. Now, I bet you a bag of donuts that you'll find similar oversights in your recent newsletters, e-campaigns, press releases, landing page rewrites, etc. Your brain isn't your friend. Get a proofreader. (Then send me my donuts.)"
CK Goldiing, Content & PR Specialist
3) Time is not always on your side
Proofreading is often one of those things that gets put to the bottom of the pile. You know you need to do it, but you have other jobs that need seeing to first. This can often lead to missed deadlines, or work going out unchecked and full of (sometimes costly - see 5) errors.
"We needed a commemorative book proofread before sending it to the printers, time was very short (less than 48 hours) so we contacted KTproofreading for help. Kat pulled out all the stops and turned the job around over the weekend and we were able to meet our deadline. The book has been a resounding success and thanks go to Kat for her efforts in helping us do this."
David Amory, Global Head of Marketing
4) You only get one chance to make a good first impression
Your website and publicity materials are your shop window to the world. You would always display your best, most attractive stock, wouldn't you? The same should go for the words you use and the way you present them.
"As a new business startup we were really keen to make a good impression. Hiring a professional proofreader gave us the peace of mind that our website was not just free of typos and layout issues, but that our message was clear to the reader, allowing us to demonstrate our expertise."
Luke Hill, Director
5) Mistakes can be costly
I'm not just talking about the cost of reproducing materials here. Mistakes could actually lose you business if your clients spot them before you do, or force you to provide a product or service at an unreasonable price because of something as simples as a missed zero.
"Mistakes don't just cost money, but time and materials as well. It's so important to proofread your work before sending it to a printer because of the additional costs you could incur if mistakes were spotted once printed. If you spotted a critical error once the whole job was printed, it would be an exact reprint and you'd be wasting all the original copies so it could cost tens of thousands of pounds to fix, depending on how large the job is. Aside from the cost of a reprint, serious mistakes can be embarrassing and could cost you your reputation."
Laura Joyce, Head of Internal Sales
It doesn't get much more costly than Australia's misprinted $50 bill, at a cost of $2.3bn.