Sales – Oh God Shoot Me Now!

There is only one reason small businesses fail — NO SALES.

Without sales there is no cashflow and without cashflow there is no business. Most small business owners and entrepreneurs are not professional sales people, they are better at doing what they are selling, not selling what they do.

Smile n Dial

My wonky career path has included professional sales, the smile and dial numbers game sales. I was kicking butt good at smilin and dialin, finding the decision maker, and getting in the door to meet. I had no problem making 40-60 dials a day, regardless if the product was Advertising, Online Review Platform, Financial Planning products, or Chinese Pump Jacks and Oil Pipe. I built qualified lists, found business, and even closed sales.

Today, I am standing on the cliff edge knowing that the only way my business will succeed is if I get on the phone and make appointments to talk to people about their personal branding to help differentiate them from their competitors. I know what my target market looks like, I know where to find their contact information, I know how to build a CRM database to manage these cold leads and guess what —

I’m frozen.

It’s not the sub zero temperatures that have gripped the Vancouver area that have me covered in ice… It’s fear. OMG – I’m scared to pick up the phone and ask someone to meet me.

How did I go from a kick butt cold calling appointment setter to frozen solid on a cliff’s edge? What’s different?

Well, the product I am now selling is – me – and I’m not confident enough.

Selling myself, sounds so dirty, like I should have a 1-900 number or be working some corner in DT East Van. I know I’m not the only woman to have an issue with self confidence and selling her services in a crowded marketplace. It’s one of those things we were taught not to do as young girls – “Don’t be too loud.” “Don’t toot your own horn.” “Don’t be so full of yourself.” Little boys were to cultivate confidence, we were to cultivate coyness and virtue.

My confidence has taken a hit from all the rejection, broken promises, disappointment, and crap life has heaped on me the last five years.

I know I’m good at what I do. I know I’m smart enough. I know I’m qualified. I know I have the credentials. I know that I work hard to ensure my clients succeed. I know I have a service Independent Professionals need at a price they can afford… I know all of this and more – However, I don’t want to hear “no” when it comes to selling myself. I’ve heard you aren’t good enough too often the last five years.


The Big Thaw.

Time to get over myself and stop coming up with excuses about why I can’t get on the phone and start calling my target market. It’s the only way small businesses can start, by knocking on doors and making calls.

The only way to cure myself of this affliction is to do it. To create a list of targeted Independent Professionals, pick up the phone, and dial. Once I’ve made the first appointment, I know I will be back, kicking butts and taking names.

All I need

My time is limited and what I sell is my time, so, I only need the following:

4 Monthly Marketing Management Clients
5 Personal Branding Consulting / Coaching Clients
12 Grape Peel Marketing Group Clients
The odd project management client would be nice too

So, I won’t have to smile n dial for long.


The time is now and now is the time.

UPDATE: I did not cold call… I advertised free brainstorming sessions on certain days and people came to me. My confidence is increasing and soon I’ll be back to kicking butt while smiling and dialling.

Photo on 2014-04-17 at 12.25 PM

Shannon Peel is a Professional Marketing Manager and Storyteller. Her company, Shannon Peel Marketing, helps Independent Professionals and Small Businesses define their personal brands and tell their story through different channels. Click to find out more:


Empty Nest Transition

I haven’t posted anything for awhile, mostly because I have been all over the place mentally and emotionally. I didn’t want to come across as a miserable sot of a person who no one wants to be around, because that is what I’ve been.

If you know me, have been following me on social media, or our paths have crossed, you probably know that life likes to hit me over and over and over again. It likes to keep things interesting for me and remind me when I’m not on the right path. Heaven forbid I get in a rut.

My kids abandoned me and I took it hard.

Losing my kids was my biggest fear, and what I mean by losing them, was that they wouldn’t live with me 24/7. This fear started the day my ex kicked me out of the house and grew when he told my son that I didn’t want him living with me. When I finally got my son back under my roof, I feared he would leave again and take his sister.

I wrapped my whole existence in being their mom. I tried to make friends, date, and find work outside the house… I failed miserably at all three and gripped onto my children even tighter.

I wasn’t a traditional mom, cooking meals, or doing all their laundry. I was a single mom who worked long hours, though I was working from home, and was trying to become a novelist. If I’d been a traditional mom they would be more dependent on me for their care and not in such a hurry to take care of themselves.

In our home, we were a team, working together to build a life. Their chores were different based on what they wanted to do, which wasn’t emptying the dishwasher – I’m not sure they even know how this one works. They did the grocery shopping, their own laundry, and cooked their own dinners. I cleaned up after them, was their bank and their taxi service.

My son is 18 and it was natural for him to want to move in with his girlfriend and friends. That was hard enough. I was getting used to him not being a daily fixture in my life when my 15 year old daughter got angry with me for a decision I made and felt safer living with her brother. Her brother, not her father, is the protective male figure in her life.

I did not take it well. I cried for days and needed some pharmaceutical help, so I didn’t go crazy… I still do and it’s been four months.

I spent days, weeks, months, alone at home – miserable.

One day I was a single mom, the next, I was nothing. I didn’t even have a job, as I’d just been laid off for the second time. I was lost. I had no reason to get up in the morning. I had no reason to do anything and my environment reflected this. A hazmat suit was needed if you were to visit my home.

The main thing that saved me from jumping into the hole of despair was acceptance into a self employment program that has enabled me to start a marketing management company. I’ve gripped this lifeline everyday to stay sane because it gives me a reason to wake up in the morning.

Some days, I even shower and go out into the world.

I’m getting stronger and finding my own way as I build my brand.

My start up business has become my newest child and it is slowly beginning to thrive. It takes all my attention, resources, and love. Just as my children used to. The only thing I know is, it’s my life line and I will build it into something wonderful, as wonderful as my two brilliant, independent, resourceful children.

My kids will succeed in life.

We were a close little family unit and I watched them grow, become young adults, and did my best to be there whenever they needed me – no matter the time of day. I gave them all my resources, efforts, and focus. I made sure they got what they wanted and had as good a life as I could afford to give them, which was poorer than the one I had at their age.

I did the best I could with what I had and it wasn’t much. I was a single parent with no support system and it took three years to get my ex to pay full child support – and a year for my kids to destroy that victory because when they decided to move out, their dad started paying the child support directly to them and it might be 70% of what he’s suppose to pay them – I’m being generous with the math.

Before you tell me he can’t pay the kids the child support directly, I already paid a lawyer to fight to get the child support and I choose not to fight again. Legal battles take more effort and emotional strength than I have. It would also mean upsetting my kids and I can’t do that. The divorce battle is over and I don’t want to open that door again. They moved out because they needed to get away from me and thankfully he pays their rent, if they don’t want the full amount, well that’s their choice.

My son has been accepted to a local University. My daughter is still a good student and will get through Grade 10 with good marks and strong friendships. The two of them are taking care of each other and have each other’s back. I’m very proud of my son for taking care of his little sister and being there for her. He takes care of the women in his life, his girlfriend, sister, and even his mom when he has time.

When your children moved out on their own, how were you effected and did you find a life line?
Baring my soul

Social Media is a Reflection 

This morning social media told me I’m unlovable, not good enough, and not wanted. And it’s only 9:00 AM, give it a few more hours.

Advice and motivation can feel hollow because there is something missing on social media, the deeper story, the complex, the vulnerability, the soul of true connection, and the art of honest listening.

If you are struggling to pay for food and the roof over your head, many posts will tell you that you are not good enough to love, to hire, or even to know. I am cash poor and have no clue how to pay my bills,  no one wants to be me, some fear my bad luck will rub off on them, and I can’t blame them. Hell, I don’t want to be me most days.



Photo on 2014-04-17 at 12.25 PMShannon Peel is a Professional Marketing Manager and Storyteller. She has authored three novels in three different genres. Her company, Shannon Peel Marketing, helps Independent Professionals and Small Businesses define their personal brands and tell their story through different channels. Click to find out

A Hiring Company Got it Right

You read a lot about employers making the job search process painful, to the point I’ve given up applying for job postings. Most employers have made this process inhumane and demoralizing for applicant, however, not all companies are cruel.

Today, I want to tell you a story about a company that got it RIGHT!

After I was laid off from my last position for reasons I learned from, I applied for a Digital Marketing position at Pacific Customs Brokers, via Indeed.

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The First Interview

Michel, their inhouse HR recruiter, contacted me excited by my application, which made feel good and boosted my confidence. When someone is excited to talk to you, it inspires you to get excited about talking to them.

Michel and I had an interesting conversation over the phone and this lead to scheduling an interview with their president, Greg, within a couple of days. During the first face to face interview, Greg was tough to impress and I was sweating bullets, however, he gave me valuable feedback to help me prepare for the second interview with the company.

I left knowing I’d come up short, but with the opportunity of a second chance to get it right. I have never had this happen before and I doubt I ever will again. Most hiring managers and decision makers make a snap judgement within minutes of meeting you and give you no feedback, let alone a second chance.

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The Second Interview

Second interview was with four people and myself. Greg was tough & clear about what they were looking for. Something about this man makes a person very nervous, still he was clear and I felt he was rooting for me to get it right.

I left this interview feeling well done and a bit charred from the grilling and not completely confident in my performance. I went and had a few drinks and gave myself a pep talk. I knew I’d answered a few of the technical questions wrong and hadn’t explained what I meant clear enough. In the end, I let all expectations go and moved on to other opportunities, some of which I am still in the middle of their hiring process.

From beginning to end, it took over six weeks. During this time, Michel would contact me to let me know what was happening and what the next step was. I never felt in the dark or disrespected as just a number, commodity, or faceless applicant.

They finally made their decision, and I was not offered the position, however, this is where Michel did the company proud. He called me, explained that they found someone with Custom Brokerage experience and wished me luck in my job search.

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The Result

I came away from the process with a clear understanding that my competition had something I didn’t and it wasn’t personal. The decision was based on experience, not whether I was ‘likable,’ it didn’t feel like a popularity or personality decision. I had a useful fact, which I was able to understand, to help me rationalize not getting the offer.

I felt respected and valued even though I didn’t get the position. If this is how they treat candidates, imagine how well employees must be treated.

This positive experience is rare, at least for me. Most times when a person interviews for a position, they are given no reason why they were not given an offer and after months of silent rejections, this can mess with a person’s confidence and motivation. Add to it the placating comments people make that invalidate what you are feeling, an extended period of time, and some abject failures, it can drive a person to the edge. Some days I swear I stepped off the edge a few miles back.

If managers were open, empathetic, and compassionate enough to communicate honestly with applicants about what they actually are looking for, what they truly want, and why a candidate came up short in regards to their competition, the job process would not be so painful.

At the same time, applicants have to take responsibility for not selling themselves, not communicating clearly, and be realistic about their ability to meet the employers needs.

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Will the hiring process ever be transparent, authentic, and humane?  Leave your thoughts in the comments.


Social Media is a Reflection

This morning social media told me I’m unlovable, not good enough, and not wanted. And it’s only 9:00 AM, give it a few more hours.

Advice and motivation can feel hollow because there is something missing on social media, the deeper story, the complex, the vulnerability, the soul of true connection, and the art of honest listening.

If you are struggling to pay for food and the roof over your head, many posts will tell you that you are not good enough to love, to hire, or even to know. I am cash poor and have no clue how to pay my bills,  no one wants to be me, some fear my bad luck will rub off on them, and I can’t blame them. Hell, I don’t want to be me most days.

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I could believe the posts that make general statements about who is desirable enough to love, who is rich enough to be happy, and who is successful enough to know. For some this road is a competitive challenge to dig deep and make it to the next level in this game called life. For others, this road leads to depression and despair as they believe their worth is measured by other’s values.

I am not a competitive person and I refuse to value myself based on a reflection of other people’s values.

Social Media is a reflection of the shallows of society. It is filled with incomplete stories, misunderstandings, and insecurities. It is the pavement of good intentions and placating advice. It is messy. It is kind. It is cruel. It is supportive. It is ugly. It is beautiful. Social Media is a reflection of life, not life itself.

Life is more complex. People are deeper than the Mariana Trench. They say things they wouldn’t if they just thought a bit before opening their mouths. They react based on their own issues, hurts, past lessons. They have stories that are so intricately woven they create an image you would weep to see. If we took the time to truly listen to people when they are being their most honest selves, we would find the connection we crave.

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Social Media is not connection, it is connections.

We know ads and marketing messages are tailored to take advantage of people’s insecurities and promise to make you prettier, richer, happier. Social Media is a  reflection of these messages as we try to portray ourselves in the best light possible using the same techniques as professional advertisers. Seth Godin said it best when he called Marketers liars, we are in a way, we tell the best stories and spin the worst into appearing better. We manipulate stats to fit our stories and we strategically make our topics fit what we believe society wants.

Social media is a study of society and the individual’s driving needs. Take a moment to study your social media profiles, what do they say about your values and goals?

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On Social Media Marketing

Justine is a character in the novel, 40 Something and this is an excerpt from the novel.

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About Social Media Marketing

Gary left for work and dropped the kids off at school, leaving me home alone.

I work from home. I’m one of the so called lucky ones.

My daily task list pops up on my computer. Today is my day to analyse the data from last week. I like analysing the data of campaigns to see what’s working and what’s not,so I can efficiently allocate resources. It’s a lot of work testing, analysing, trying to figure out what people will engage with.

It’s a game.

I reserve Mondays and Tuesdays for content creation and scheduling it to automatically post. Wednesdays are for analysing, so that on Thursday, I can plan next week’s content. Fridays are for research. There is so much information online it can take all day to read it, analyze it, and decide what is relevant and what is complete BS.

Most of it is BS.

The noise online is deafening at times. Everyone is screaming look at me at the same time, it’s easy to miss relevant information and hard to get a message in front of eyes.

People share the dumbest things and ignore the most intelligent information. The amount of fear based posts and articles going viral, shows just how stupid the populous is. Most of the facts in these articles are made up, rumours, gossip, and lies. Still gullible people believe it and pass it around as if it’s gospel, just because someone wrote it on the Internet.

My least favourite social media posts are the ones about celebrities and their stupid lives. They are just people and they can’t even get a cup of coffee without someone making up some meaning about it.

A-list celebrity was seen alone buying a cup of coffee, does this mean splitsville for this Hollywood powerhouse couple?

God, who cares?

I guess the majority of those wasting time on social media because sites capitalizing on high traffic don’t offer up good content. They offer up sensationalized content, celebrity gossip, and complete mind numbing click bait garbage. People click on it, the sites get huge amounts of traffic to entice advertisers to pay the big bucks.

It makes my job harder.

I had one client suggest we attach a celebrity to his product by photo shopping the product onto a celebrity pic, which he stole off the web.

“Think of the hits we’ll get and the sales.” He said.

“We can’t do that.” I said.

“Why not? Just take this pic, paste the product in and viola, instant celebrity endorsement.”

“The photo is copyrighted, you can’t use any photo you find online. It has to be a photo you either took or bought.”

“Buy one.”

“It’s not that easy or cheap. Sure I could buy a stock photo for ten bucks, but a celebrity photo, that’ll cost thousands.”

“No one is going to care.”

“The celebrity will because they will want a fee for using their image and the photographer will sue you for use of his property. That’s two law suits.”

“The publicity will be great.”

My head began to hurt.

“It’s illegal, unethical, and bad taste. I’m not going to do it. And if you do, it’s time we rethink our arrangement.” I told him.

“What? You thought I was serious? I was just kidding, Justine. I know we can’t do it, but can you imagine the traffic if we did?”

He wasn’t kidding. I finally cut ties with him over another hair-brained scheme to use cat photos. His product has nothing to do with cats. I hate it when companies start using cat gifs and photos to attract attention, it’s inauthentic and screams desperation.

Clients like him, end up finding someone who will bend the rules, find the loopholes, and, for the short term, it works. Thing is, these same clients are calling me crying about how their website and profiles are blacklisted by search engines and the social media companies. They beg me to take them back, but by then, the damage is done and it will cost way too much to fix.

The only thing they can do is start over.

It’s like authenticity and integrity got lost on its way down the information highway. Everyone wants quick overnight success and my clients expect me to get it for them. They don’t look beyond last week to see the years of work that it took for big names to get overnight success. Not to mention, the foresight and luck.


Phone Rings.

“Hello, Justine here, how may I help you?”

“Mom, I forgot my Math book and I need it for next period. Can you bring it?” It’s my son, Harper.

“I can, I’m totally able to get up, find the book, get in the car and drive it to you. The question is, will I?” I ask.

“Mooooom. You know what I mean. I need the book for class or I’m gonna get a detention.”

“Maybe you’ll remember it next time.”

“You know, other moms bring their kid’s their books.”

“Do they now?”


Why do I go through this farce? I know I’ll end up taking him his math book. It’s what good moms do. We save our children from the evils of detention. We save them from their mistakes, just like Gary saves me from mine.

“What time?” I ask.

“In an hour. I’ll clean my room when I get home.”


“No really. I will. Cause I won’t be in detention.”

“Alright. Meet me out front in an hour.”

“Thanks mom.”

“So, where is it?”

“Where’s what?”

“The book.”

“I don’t know. I think it’s in my room somewhere.”

“Be out front.”

I download the analytic data onto my computer, I’ll head over to the closest coffee shop and work from there today for a change of scenery.

Harper’s room is a disaster area.

I don’t even know where to start looking for the damn book. I put the dirty clothes, which are acting as carpeting, into the empty basket. I put the books on the shelf and carry all the dirty dishes into the kitchen. Where I discover the dishwasher needs to be emptied before I can put the dishes in it.

Always something.

Fifteen minutes have gone by and I still have to find the book and drive to the school. I rush back up to his room and look under the bed, on the desk, in the desk, and in the closet. I find lots of things I’d rather not, like the science experiment behind the desk that once might have resembled an apple or maybe a pear?

I make a quick trip to the bathroom to get some paper towel and cleaner, it takes me all of five minutes to clean up the mess. The carpet will have to be cleaned properly, another thing to put on my to do list.

I have to find that book.

The room is tiny. They build kid’s bedrooms so small these days that there isn’t any room in here to loose anything. OK, if I was a math book, better yet, if I was Harper‘s math book, where would I be? I strip his bed and then remake it. There are plenty of items that don’t belong in a bed, like video games and crumbs, but no math book.

Where the hell is it?

I’ve got fifteen minutes left to get the book and get it to the school. Maybe Gary knows where it is. I dial his number.

“Hey hun what’s up?” Gary’s chipper voice.

“Do you have any idea where Harper’s math book might be?”

“Math book? We were doing his math homework last night in the family room. Did you check there?”

“No. He told me it was in his room.”

“It should be on the right side of the computer screen on the corner desk. There might be a notepad on top of it and if he forgot his math book, his socials books might be there too.”

“Thanks, I really appr–.”

He hangs up before I finish my sentence.

I run down to the family room in the basement and there, on the right hand side of the computer screen, is a pile of textbooks. Math, socials, and science. I have ten minutes to get to the school.



40 Something follows the lives of 5 women trying to figure out life in the 21st Century. Do you have any insights or stories you’d like to share?

For more about the series go to 


Photo on 2014-04-17 at 12.25 PM

In her new Chicklit novel, Shannon Peel is exploring what it means to be a 40 something woman in the 21st Century. Each of the 5 women are personalities that we as woman are made up of in various degrees. We are too complex to be just one. 

For more about this novel and her YA Novel, THIRTEEN, go to 



Round Out Your Target Market

As a novelist, I create characters out of thin air and put them into different situations to tell a story. The more I know about the character, the more believable I can make their reactions, the more believable their reactions, the better the story. By using the same process as a novelist does to create a character, you can define your optimal target market.

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How do you create a target market?

First leave the fear of missing out at the door.

Don’t chase every lead. Most you don’t want. It’s your business you get to do the work you want with the clients you want. Yes, money is part of the equation but you only have so much time to work, don’t fill it up with the wrong thing.

Understand your business, product, and service

To determine your target market, you will need to completely understand your product, service, and business.

  • What does your business do?
  • What problems does your product or service solve?
  • Why should a person buy your product or service?

You must know your unique selling feature. I am always surprised when a business owner does not know why someone should buy from them and even more shocked, when they don’t know whom they are targeting with their marketing message.

Next, know thyself grasshopper.

Use the characterization method outlined below, to understand how you fit into the market and why you would buy from yourself. What do you, as a person, bring to the experience? This will help you to understand how you interact with your target market and why someone would want to buy from you personally.

Ask any business owner whom the best customers are and they will say, the referred ones. Similar people get along best with each other and it is easier to trust someone when they are like you rather than extremely different. By knowing yourself, you will be able to determine what characteristics in a customer are more likely to result in a positive experiences and referrals.

Now you can start asking questions about whom you want to do business with.

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Using the Characterization Method

Some characters are based on arch types, which are two dimensional and limited by expectations of the reader. They are made for a certain roles in specific story genres and for the most part are not based on real people and rarely grow or change.

In some stories the characters feel real, you can relate to them, you understand them and can see yourself being friends with them. They are flawed, learn and grow as the story progresses. These are the well-rounded characters that are created through a process of asking questions, creating back stories, and drawing from people in the real world. This is the kind of process you want to engage in to define a target client.

Start by identifying your favourite clients. If you don’t have any yet, think about the kinds of people you get along best with.

Traditional Demographics are Not Enough

Let’s start with the easy stuff, the obvious part of target marketing – demographic stats.

These include, Age, gender, race, profession, married, single, kids, homeowner, address, and income. Write down the general demographics your ideal client fits into, then take it one step further by asking why do you want to target that age, gender, etc and how will your product or service help them?

Now, round them out a bit more by looking at what they do. What hobbies does your client have? Where to they shop? Is it Walmart or Bloomingdales? Where do they like to eat, go for drinks, exercise, and vacation? Ask all the questions that will tell you what kind of buying habits they have, their recreational choices, and how they value their status or image.

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Dig Deeper

What values does your ideal client have? Values encompass things like, honesty, courage, leadership, and vision. The Internet has lots of lists to help you define a person’s values.

What does your client want most of all? Wants that are common are, security, fame, adventure, happiness and love. Once again you can do a Google search to come up with a list to help you.

What about your client’s morality or belief system? Things people passionately stand for are charities, causes, political views, religion, and world order. This is a starting target for your core ideal client, so though you may think this isn’t important, it is, because it will help you identify where your clients are.

What is the main problem your client has? This is where your ability to solve that problem comes in. Look deeper into the problem though, why does he have it? How does he communicate that he has it? Does he even know that he has it? When does your client’s problem become so critical they need your solution, yesterday? Understand how this problem fits in your target client’s life and what it looks like when he needs your solution.


A novelist is determining the detailed characteristics of one character, not a group of identical ones, unless his book is about clones that is. The point is, don’t get so detailed that you will only target five-foot-nine, blue eyed, blonde haired, bombshells with great bodies. You want to keep your characterization general enough to describe a decent sized group of people. If you find your target market is too tight, loosen up your criteria, if it’s too large, tighten up your criteria. This is your target market and the size of your budget will help determine how large of a target you can afford to start getting your story in front of.

Now that you have your target market, how are you going to get your message out to them?

I have some choices for you:

Follow me on social media – I’ll be adding more posts to answer marketing questions.

Google – “Getting in front of a target market”

Let’s chat about your business and see if I can help you get your message out.

If you are in the Vancouver, BC Canada area, let’s have a coffee to brainstorm.

Photo on 2014-04-17 at 12.25 PM

Shannon Peel is a Digital Marketing Specialist, writer, and novelist living in the Vancouver area of British Columbia.  Follow her on social media where she writes about marketing, writing, novels, single life, divorce, parenting, and adventures with her Mini Cooper named Tori.

Editing Social Media Copy

You Need a New Pair of Eyes

Your brain does funny things when trying to edit recently written copy, it sees what isn’t there. It knows what you intended to say when you wrote it and reads that intent, instead of what is actually in front of your eyes.

Then after a few days, when you reread what you wrote, the errors start jumping up and down while screaming at you. Don’t feel bad, even the best writers in history needed editors. As Hemingway said, the first draft is shit.

There are countless ways to say the same thing. That is the beauty of the English language, two people can write about the exact same topic using very different styles, vocabulary, and tones. This article has been rewritten over ten times and I still can find errors in it, can you? If you do please let me know in the comments section.

Here are some tips to help you write error free social media content.



Be the Turtle, not the Rabbit

The main tool you need to ensure your posts are error free is patience. Don’t be in such a hurry to post, take the time to get it right because it is better to produce quality content, rather than, a large quantity of it all at once.

Even if you feel you’ve gotten to the race late, it’s how you run the race that matters more than when you started it.


Find a proof reader

Find a proof reader who knows what they are doing. Not just anyone will do. You want someone who will be brutal and tell it to you straight, not someone who will read it and say, “it sounds good.” Most people don’t understand where to put a comma, whether social media should be capitalized, or if you chose the right form of the words your, you’re and their ilk. You need someone who knows how to write.

A different pair of eyes will interpret your tone, intent, and humour differently.

In the world of the written word, it is the interpretation of the reader that matters, not the intent of the writer. Just ask anyone how fast intent get misinterpreted by the reader when trying to have a text argument with their spouse / life partner / lover. Makes for good comedy, not good relationships.

Sometimes what sounds funny in your head is lost in translation, especially if your humour tends to the sarcastic side. The last thing you want is for a person to be offended by something you sarcastically wrote. This is especially true when writing about hot emotional topics like, politics, religion, and cultural values. How many times have you seen a tweet or Facebook post comment bring out the worst in people? Don’t be that guy.

Don’t get upset if they don’t like something you wrote or they misinterpreted your intent, that is the whole point of the proof reader. Always be grateful for their input, even if you don’t agree, after all, they did take the time to read what you wrote and help you.

Use a Content Calendar

This can be as simple as writing all your copy using Microsoft word each day and save the document to post a week later. You can edit the content with fresh eyes, before you manually post them.

Another option is to utilize a scheduling program like Hootsuite. The program enables teams to work together by proofing each other’s work. Individuals can use Hootsuite to automate their social media campaigns and then go proof them anytime before the program automatically posts it.


Get technological help

Invest in the program Grammarly for proofing your work for grammar and spelling before you post it. Your writing will improve as the program teaches you grammar as it suggests corrections to your work.

Don’t have the cash for Grammarly, an online program called After the Deadline does a similar job but at zero cost, remember you get what you pay for.

The free online program ProWritingAid analyzes your writing and produces reports on areas such as overused words, writing style, sentence length, grammar and repeated words and phrases. This is especially helpful to keep your writing interesting.

No matter how you do it, making sure your copy is error free will ensure you appear professional, educated, and skilled. This is especially important for Social Media Specialists and content marketers.

Have questions or need help? Let’s chat. 


Want more tips on writing social media copy and online content? It’s a click away.  

Photo on 2014-04-17 at 12.25 PM

Shannon Peel is a Digital Marketing Specialist, writer, and novelist living in the Vancouver area of British Columbia.  Follow her on social media where she writes about marketing, writing, novels, single life, divorce, parenting, and adventures with her Mini Cooper named Tori.