Your Business Writing Skills - What Kind of Author Are You?

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Have you ever noticed that people are not alike? Looks like a silly question, because everyone knows that people are not alike. We all have different personalities and personality types.

Still, when it comes to sales and marketing and to positioning ourselves as the expert in our field, we have a general tendency to consider every other person to have similar interests to us, and to have similar needs and wants to us. This often times causes us to compose our sales and marketing messages in a style that is clear and comfortable for us, but may not be as clear and comfortable for the one who reads our copy.
 
In order to dominate the marketplace in your niche, and to get maximum acceptance of your marketing message, you will need to have knowledge not only about your own type, but also about the possible types of your target market. The most personalised approach will convey the greatest emotion, which will in turn create the strong rapport necessary for a long-term relationship with the target market. The entrepreneur with the greatest amount of rapport with his/her target market will establish him/herself as the expert in the market. Prospects will buy products from this entrepreneur over and over again.
 
Within the AusIDentities Personality Type Profiles, we recognise 4 distinct author types, and therefore also 4 distinct reader types within the market place. I will run them past you succinctly, so you will have basic understanding of your own author type and the types of readers around in your market place. 
 
The Author Leader (NT; Eagle):
 
The Author Leader is a person who writes to teach. This author generally seeks knowledge, wants to be competent and achieve mastery over any topic. As a result, as an author, this AusIDentities personality type has the tendency to convey loads of information and knowledge with the aim of creating mastery and understanding in the reader. The end result is usually a brilliant work with valuable concepts and ideas for people to implement in their daily lives, and for them to create a bigger picture about their circumstances. Author Leaders are naturals when it comes to inspiring human potential from a "frame-work" perspective: what can we do to live more successfully, or more harmoniously? This is where this author type differs from the Author Humaniser: this type is focused on individual human potential.
 
The downside of having this personality type: the work of this author type can be too theoretical and conceptual, with minimal practical tips and "real-world" examples. Copy from this author type can be lengthy and tough to digest, as the same level of understanding of the matter within the reader is nearly always presupposed.
 
If you are this author-type, you may want to put more focus on making your theories practical, and on cutting back on the conveying of knowledge. Many people are interested in solutions to their problems only, not in the why and how of their problems.
 
Have fun with writing, and remember to put the "human factor" in your work.
 
The Author Negotiator (SP; Kangaroo):
 
The Author Negotiator can be described as the results-forger. The focus of this author type is on results, and fast! There is also a tendency to be very independent, and have a dislike of anything to do with rules and regulations. This author personality type is very much focused on the present day. The past is history, the future is a mystery, may be their adage. Highly focused on sensory input, the Author Negotiator has a keen eye for details and esthetics, and also has a excellent ability to get to the heart of the matter quickly. In writing, this author has a preference for proposing solutions to current problems. In the copy readers will find many lively depicted examples and case studies, in which there were challenges and issues that were overcome by decisive measures. Usually this author-type has an enthusiastic way of wording the content, and is highly capable of keeping the reader engaged. 
 
The downside of this type of authoring: there is often little room for reflection on the past and the future, and little room for concepts and broader perspectives. The emphasis is on the "present"; this could leave readers guessing for the bigger picture, describing the copy as "superficial".
 
If you are this author type within the AusIDentities Personality type range, remember that two of the four types need the bigger picture for your copy to make sense. Convey how your solutions and actions fit into a framework of understanding, and how you have developed this framework over time. Also make sure that you focus on the long-term benefit of the solutions you offer, as all the three other types are focused on that.
 
The Author Humaniser (NF; Dolphin):
 
The Author Humaniser lives and breathes people. You'll find this author-type in fields like personal development, coaching, counseling, psychology, sociology, training, human resources, etc. The ultimate aim for the humanizer type is finding meaning and significance behind everything that happens in life. Nearly always chasing an idealistic world view, these authors focus on meaningful relationships between people, aimed at creating a better future. These authors are usually visionary, with an uncanny ability to read people's (=readers') minds and emotions. The writing style of this author contains lots of metaphors and stories about people. Very often (very) big pictures will be sketched, aimed at inspiring the reader, before practical answers are given to practical problems (if at all). The Author Humaniser is most at home in the field of personal development.
 
As a negative, this author type can be too idealistic and future focused, losing track of current circumstances. The Consolidator and Negotiator types may find this author "fluffy" and vague, with no actionable solutions for problems at hand.
 
If you are this AusIDentities author type, be aware not to use too many metaphors, as not all types may grasp the meaning of them. Put many "real-life" examples in your work, and focus on defining actionable steps with tangible results that can ultimately create your future vision.
 
The Author Consolidator (SJ; Wombat)
 
The Author Consolidator is what could be called the "ink in the book": absolutely essential for a book to be a book with content!

This author type has an innate need to belong to a group, to be a member of something bigger than s/he is individually. They thrive on responsibilities, on being of service, and have high moral and ethical standards. Author Consolidators are looking for security, and are aiming to protect tradition. These AusIDentities types are very practical, with strong discipline and persistence in getting things done, even at their own expense. Other people can nearly always trust this author type to live up to promises made; reliability is of the utmost importance. The writing style of this author type is practical and down to earth. A teaching, lecturing style will be the easiest for the Author Consolidator. Many practical examples, focused on keeping traditions and ceremonies alive can be found in the copy. Often reviewing past successes, and building on them, will be the main point of difference between this type and the other types.
 
On the flip side, this author type can be focused on the past too much, with little or no room for "lateral thinking". Maintaining traditions is one thing, unwillingness to change is another. Also, lots of references will be made to people's individual responsibilities and duties within the group; not all types may share this sense of responsibility; the Author Negotiator will fight the hardest against it!
 
If you are this Author Type, you may want to focus on future potential a bit more, without knowing exactly HOW this potential is going to be manifested. Also, be aware not to overload readers with things they "should" or "shouldn't" do; allow for freedom of choice, and remember that not everyone agrees that belonging to a group is important.
 
Of course, these descriptions are highly generic, and leave much space for nuances. Still, they are accurate, and writers can often recognize themselves in one (and sometimes two) of the types. The AusIDentities Type Questionnaire we use will accurately show which Author Type is most "you".
 
When writing copy, make an effort to write to all four AusIDentities types as much as possible, so you get the broadest coverage and acceptance of your material. Keep in mind that we have a tendency to write to our own author type the most, as that one is the most obvious and easy. Integrating all four types in your work will give your copy the credibility it deserves.

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Marc De Bruin has 1 articles online

Marc is a certified life/business coach, master NLP Practitioner and AusIDentities Personalities Facilitator on the Sunshine Coast in Queensland, Australia.

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Your Business Writing Skills - What Kind of Author Are You?

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This article was published on 2010/03/27