I had no idea that being detail-oriented was such an important personality trait until I got to Intero, but it turns out I had been applying it way before I knew I even had it. Having an internship in the fashion industry, I helped out with e-commerce photoshoots, and one of my main responsibilities while being on set was to make sure the product looked perfect. Sounds easy enough right? All you have to do is throw clothes on a model and have her do the work.
Wow. Was I ever wrong. I found that by the third week of my internship, I was studying images on a screen that displayed the images being shot, looking for a tiny stray hair that was out of place, or a wrinkle in the clothing, or any unevenness in a photo. If one thing was off, the entire outfit would have to be reshot, and there just wasn’t a lot of time for that to happen when we had over 40 items a day to shoot. The most surprising part of it all was that looking back on it; I didn’t realize I was even picking up on these small details until I got to Intero, where being detail-oriented became such a huge part of my everyday responsibilities.
I have to say, I am really irked by spelling or grammatical errors in email marketing messages or articles going out to a large audience. Always have been, maybe because those things stand out to me like a sore thumb, and it takes away from the professional credibility of the sender. You don’t have someone proofread your article before you send it out to a list of over a thousand people? Or, as a marketer, you aren’t scanning that message for errors like that?
I get it; not everyone is detail-oriented. However, having someone on your team that is detail-oriented IS important, or taking some necessary steps to slow down and ensure that what you are sending out is professional, and is representing your best self. In the meantime, I am here to share some tips on how you can cut down on some of these errors.
- PROOFREAD. Read over emails, posts, and documents multiple times before you share them or make them public. My rule of thumb is to read over everything at least twice. Then, take a break and come back to it and read it over again. If you aren’t good at proofreading, it helps to have another set of eyes read over what you have. Often, they may pick up on some stuff that you’re missing.
- Preview messages or items when you can. If you are sending out an email to a large number of people, you will likely be using an email marketing campaign platform, which allows you to preview the message before it’s sent.
- If suggestions are given on image size, always use it. If you are including an image in anything you are sending out, make sure it is high quality and fits into the space provided. Sometimes, platforms like LinkedIn can cut off an image if it is not formatted to fit where you are trying to post it. However, a lot of platforms will give suggestions on image sizes. You can use Canva to resize your images. They already have templates created for certain platforms and you can also create custom ones if you can’t find the specific one you are looking for.
- Double and triple check that everything looks cohesive, including images, font size, and paragraph indentations. You may not notice it, or something may go wrong with your formatting, but always make sure everything in your marketing message is formatted the same before you send it out. This means double-checking your fonts to make sure that it is all the same, along with the size. It is okay to have headers be larger than your body paragraphs, just make sure all headers follow the same size throughout the document. Paragraph indentations or spacing between each paragraph is something to look for as well. Make sure that if you are indenting, you are counting the number of spaces you are adding or the number of times you are clicking the tab button. This is another great thing to have another colleague look over if you do not trust yourself to pick up on inconsistencies.
- Subscribe to a spelling and grammar service like Grammarly. If you don’t have someone else’s eyes at your disposal, or you want something that will check your writing as you go, investing a few dollars a month in a service such as Grammarly Premium or just trying out the free version could be a great option. Grammarly catches mistakes you could miss as you are writing. It is very convenient and easy to use, and could be a quick fix to those spelling and grammatical errors!
- Slow yourself down. Sometimes, we are just so tired of working on something that we just hit send right away. Or, it may be the case that you are behind on a project. If this is the case, chances are you may be hitting “send” too quickly. If you don’t want to proofread right away, take a second and come back to a document later on. That way, it is fresh and you aren’t sending out things with haste. If you are behind, still take an extra moment for yourself, and come back to the document in a few minutes or so. It is much better to take the time for yourself, come back, and proofread, rather than send something in a hurry and have it embarrass you or the people you work for.
Believe me, people will pick up on inconsistencies like these. I do, and I can tell you my first questions when I see errors are “Did they not have someone look this over before they sent it? Do they really think this is a good reflection on themselves? Do they even care?” Don’t be that person. If you aren’t detailoriented, there are ways you can ensure you aren’t missing things. Follow my tips, and find someone in your office who can provide a little more support in this area!