Can you relate to this? In our age of wanting everything immediately, it can be easy to cut back on time and resource checking over the words you're communicating to your customers - you know, those people you want to trust you, respect you and buy from you. Then you press 'send', 'post' or 'print' and don't realise there are errors that will scream at you afterwards (or even worse will be highlighted by your customers).
I know we 'go on about it', but the proofreading process is so important, and just as important as writing the words themselves.
What impression do you get if you visit a company’s website and see spelling mistakes, or if there's a typo on a poster, or if a company has long or complicated sentences in their policy documents? It's very likely you'll think, ‘If they can’t even get their grammar right, what else are they going to get wrong?’
It doesn’t matter what business you’re in, or whether your company is a sole trader or a large corporation. If you want to portray a professional image and persuade customers that you’re the right company for the job, you need to get things right – starting with the basics. Good spelling and grammar are absolutely fundamental and there’s no excuse for getting them wrong.
But we’re not all geniuses at English, we’re not all grammar geeks and we can’t all get it right every time. You wouldn’t ask a builder to fix your computer any more than you’d ask an accountant to service your car. That’s why, when your goal is to appear professional to your readers, you need to use a professional wordsmith who knows how to save you from embarrassing typographical mistakes.
There’s a strange misconception with writing, that everyone can do it. We’ve all been writing since we were five, haven’t we? Of course we have, but some of us have honed those skills and can spot a spelling mistake or a comma in the wrong place at 100 paces. Importantly, a professional can spot it in your company brochure, your tender document or on your website.
If you don’t want customers to be put off before they’ve even started doing business with you, get your copy checked. Your colleagues may usually be fairly reliable when it comes to grammar, and might have ‘five minutes to spare to glance over it’, but can they use a possessive apostrophe correctly and do they know that it should be ‘the company is’ not ‘the company are’? Do they have the time to really study your words in detail and consider how it is perceived by your target audience? They may do, but why take the risk when your company’s reputation is at stake?
That’s why it’s so important to get your writing proofread by an expert outside the company. Every word, comma, semi-colon and speech mark should be checked by a professional from an outsider's perspective.
If you get your writing right first time, you'll soon see what a difference it can make to your business.
In this short video, Kelly Owen, Director of Ultimate Proof Ltd, explains a few essential aspects of proofreading PDFs, and why it's not always as straightforward as it seems!
An experienced PDF proofreader will ensure that any amends they mark on the file are clearly identifiable, so that the person reading the file can easily see what needs to be changed and make the amends to the source file.
We most often use the Callout Tool and Highlighter to mark-up PDFs, although there are numerous options available.
As the use of these tools adds more time to the job, we cost PDF proofreading slightly differently to other work. It is useful to see a sample of the PDF to be proofread in order for us to accurately quote you. A 20-page PDF may contain 500 words or 5,000. The 500-word PDF may require numerous edits and amends, the 5,000-word PDF may be fairly clean. There is so much to consider, so every job is costed accordingly.