The perils of not using a proofreader were quite literally thrown into the harsh glare of the notoriously unforgiving Hollywood spotlights earlier this year. While Emma Watson, star of all things Harry Potter, posed for photographs at the kill-for-an-invite-post-Oscars party, it was Watson’s grammatically incorrect ‘Times Up’ tattoo that made the biggest headlines.
Does any of this Tinsel Town to-do really matter? Well, yes, it does. It matters because it’s a whopping example of how the power of tiny mistakes create a poor impression. And cost you money.
For example, UK online hosiery company Tights Please found that poor spelling had a hugely detrimental effect on online sales. Their tights category page referred to ‘tihgts’. Once rectified, conversions rose by 80 per cent. In this case, better spelling really did get them out of a tight spot.
British online entrepreneur Charles Duncombe makes the case for the importance of proofreading when he says, ‘When you sell or communicate on the internet, 99 per cent of the time it is done by the written word.’ As he rightly points out, ‘Spelling is important to the credibility of a website. When there are already underlying concerns about fraud and safety, then getting the basics right is essential.’
Emma Watson can no doubt afford the odd mistake; it’s unlikely she’ll miss out on a leading role as a result of one silly error. But can the same be said about your business? Can you afford to turn customers off by making a bad impression in your business communications? Are you prepared to forego winning that big contract because your submission was poorly edited and proofed?
If you want your business to look as sharp as possible, employ a professional proofreader to polish your words to let the clarity of your message shine through. If it can happen to Emma Watson…