Planning, Startups, Stories


Tim Berry on business planning, starting and growing your business, and having a life in the meantime.

Do You Know The Single Most Powerful Word in Business Writing? 2

Whether it’s email, Twitter, Facebook, or — going back to the ancient days — even business letters and proposals, the single most powerful word in business writing is “you.”you

Whatever else happens, if you start with “you” then you are on the right track.

You asked me …

You missed this …

You suggested …

You should know …

You’ll be surprised …

You … you … you … you…

I see this a lot in the new world of social media, but, for the record, it’s been true since we were writing letters and proposals with IBM Selectric typewriters. Know your target reader. Start with the reader, what they want, what interests them, and you’ll do better. That’s just as true today.

(Image: istockphoto.com)

  • You’re right 🙂

  • ‘You’ve’ got it just right. Without the ‘you,’ there would be no need for ‘us.’ I feel like it’s a reflexive term, too; in some ways, you need us as much as we need you. You references the client, who is the centerpiece and primary focus of any inbound or outbound marketing strategy, but you can also mean me, the seller, who brings something to the game that you, the client, need to succeed.

    Once ‘you’ becomes ‘we,’ there’s really no stopping us, is there?

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