Now, it’s time to buckle down and write.
Tackle the Process
Here are a few guidelines for tackling this process calmly and efficiently:
- Work quickly. Again, focus solely on writing. (We’ll edit later.)
- Be systematic. Start at the top and work through each section in sequence.
- Try to utilize every relevant fact you have in hand.
- Keep it simple. Translate the basic facts into full sentences, short paragraphs and bulleted or numbered lists where appropriate.
- Use plain, clear language.
- Write in a direct, active manner. For example:
Indirect (passive): It was the decision of the CEO to implement the new system.Why not start now? Work through the checklist above and turn your success story outline into a complete rough draft. When you've done that, take a small break and enjoy your progress.
Direct (active): The CEO decided to implement the new system.
Do it Again
Ok, break time is over. Are you ready to take your rough draft to the next level? Follow these steps:
- Read the entire rough draft from beginning to end.
- Correct any glaring grammar, spelling or punctuation mistakes, but don’t wordsmith.
- Flesh out areas where the details are sketchy.
- Add missing facts and fill as many holes as possible.
- Flag any critical data that might be missing or that looks inaccurate.
- Pin down as many particulars as you can.
Remember success stories don’t need to be dramatic or flashy to be effective. Savvy prospects and customers understand the power of boosting sales, cutting costs, improving operations or strengthening the company brand. For many readers, those facts will be sufficient.
If necessary, refer to your files, consult with colleagues or talk to your customer to elicit clarifications, confirm existing details or glean new information. Cycle through the steps above until you feel confident you have a fully developed, factually accurate success story.
Congratulations, you’ve written your first success story. No, we’re not quite done yet, but we’ve completed 90% of the journey.
Two important steps remain. First, we’ll look at ways to hone the content, before you declare your success story complete. Then, we’ll run through a quick list of watchouts and pitfalls to avoid.
Related: DIY Success Stories
6 Easy Steps (Overview)
Step 1. Market Your Business
Step 2. Get Started
Step 3. Focus on Facts
Step 5. Hone the Content
Step 6. Avoid 12 Common Pitfalls