I’m currently taking part in a project with Edinburgh Napier University, basically, my business is being assessed by a group of  students, it has been very interesting and they’ve made some compelling observations about all things Velocity Digital. Not all of their thoughts have been positive and while it’s never easy to hear negative views, the things they’ve told me have given me serious food for thought. I started to think that perhaps we should all be asking an external person to take a view on our work? That could apply to the content you produce, whether that be blog posts, videos, whitepapers, apps, infographics etc and indeed etc. What are the advantages of doing this?

They can spot mistakes

This is one of the most basic reasons why you should be asking people to proof your work. Take a blog post as an example, I know that I can make typos etc, and often it can be very hard to spot them within your own work, usually due to the fact that you are so wrapped up in what you’re writing and get a little carried away. Giving your writing to somebody else is an effective measure in making sure accurate copy is produced – they aren’t going to be precious about the writing and can feedback independently of any attachement to the piece. It can be frustrating listening to someone picking your work apart, but put any annoyance to the side and your work will improve no-end.

They can spot bad habits

I recently recorded a video review of the Viral Video Manifesto, before I published the video, I let a friend watch it. This was hard, as putting yourself out there in a video like this can be quite daunting, and getting somebody you know to watch it and feedback to you can be an uncomfortable experience. I’m glad I did though, as they made a couple of key observations (I was talking too fast and rocking side to side on my feet) and I re-shot the video with their thoughts in mind. I’m not destined for a TV career, however by changing it up I least made it easier to watch and ensured my message was getting across.When it comes to video, it’s ideal if you can have somebody there with you to offer their thoughts as they go, as long as you feel comfortable in front of them.

They can ensure you’re achieving your aims

When you write a blog post, shoot a video, construct a marketing email or create an infographic, you tend to have a specific aim for that piece of work. You may be looking to show your expertise, convey an opinion or provide useful information to your audience. Just because you understand what you’ve produced, doesn’t mean the wider world will. Try to get a number of people to cast their eye over what you’ve made, ask them to sum up in a sentence what they got from the piece of content, if that doesn’t match your aims, then perhaps you need to rethink? Their feedback may also unearth something extra that you would benefit from including in the re-hash. Ideally, you would have somebody that is savvy about your business or industry sense-check your work too.

Surely this is all easier said than done?

It can be hard to find the time to get somebody to review your work (and to find a willing person!) and the pressures of deadlines can often squeeze you even harder, but do try and attempt to get a critical-eye cast over a good proportion of your work, it will ultimately lead to an improvement in the quality of what you produce. Do I do it? I try my best to, especially with bigger pieces of content.

Are you in the habit of having somebody look over your work?

Velocity Digital can be your critical eye! Contact us to find out more.

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Mike McGrail

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