We’ve all been there. It’s that gut-wrenching moment when you realise you’ve printed a brochure with a typo in a headline, sent an email to a CEO with a mistake in a critical figure – even published a blog post with the last line missing from the page.
When it happens, it’s not just embarrassing for you. It can also hurt your organisation’s reputation – and there could be a financial cost, too.
So how do you reduce the risk of costly copywriting errors? The answer is to use a proofreader – someone who can cast a second eye over the copy you send out, and catch errors before they reach the outside world.
The good news: I offer a freelance proofreading service targeted at large organisations – to help you get full value from your investment in content.Hire a proofreader for your project
Some people think proofreading is expensive. They’re wrong. In fact, for the value it gives an organisation, it’s relatively cheap.
But the biggest obstacle to using a freelance proofreader is rarely cost. In fact, the real problem is time.
Think about it this way. You’ve commissioned a consultant to write a research report for your organisation. Before it’s signed off, that copy may or may not go via a subject expert, a marketer (or two), a manager (or two), a designer (or two), and perhaps a few other senior people besides.
So am I seriously saying that, in this agile, flexible, technology-led world, a freelance proofreader needs to see it as well – adding even more time to sign-off?
To answer that question, let me ask a question of my own. How many people, in that long list of people who see your copy, are editorial professionals?
If the answer is “no one”, that’s worrying.
If you care about reducing the risk of errors in copy, you should ask an editorial professional to come in and proofread it after the last on-page amendments have been made. (If the copy was originally written by a copywriter, you ideally need a second editorial professional to provide a fresh perspective at the very end.)
That “final pair of eyes” is your freelance proofreader.
And that’s the real value of proofreading: having someone who hasn’t been involved in a project to provide that fresh view –
and alert you to any content issues you’ve missed.
My roots as an editor and proofreader go deep. I was editing copy for a peer-reviewed medical journal as long ago as the 1990s – and I’ve never lost the knack of spotting errors and rewriting copy for correct grammar and style.
More recently, I’ve copy-edited and proof-read copy for content agencies and a large professional services firm.
To commission me to proofread your report, brochure or website, please get in touch.Commission me as your proofreader