Coaching helps improve performance. It hones talent, turns expectations into reality, and helps promising professionals realize their true potential. If you’re curious about how a business writing coach can help improve your writing, here’s what you need to know.
What Does a Writing Coach Do?
You can hire a writing coach for a specific project, or to help you long term. Whether your engagement is short or long term, it’s best to have a specific project to work on, like a paper, book, article, or speech. A writing coach will work with you from start to finish and give you helpful advice through face-to-face meetings, phone calls, or virtual sessions.
With their guidance, you can plan your work, set internal deadlines, and meet deadlines and quality standards. More importantly, working with a business writing coach can help you set clearer writing goals, overcome hurdles like writer’s block, and produce better work with less frustration and more confidence.
How Can a Writing Coach Help?
Coaching is not just a chat between friends. Unlike friends, trained coaches will see beyond the symptoms to help you diagnose your weaknesses and develop frameworks to overcome them.
A business writing coach offers holistic support and provides career-appropriate actionable feedback. A writing coach will help you become a better writer by providing hands-on support as you organize and polish your work. Over time, a writing coach can help you reach your full potential.
How Do You Choose the Right Mentor?
Here are tips to remember when choosing your writing coach.
1. Determine Why You Need a Mentor
To find the right mentor, you must know what you’re looking for. So ask yourself why you want a writing coach and make a list. Some reasons could include:
- getting one-on-one guidance, training, and support.
- overcoming imposter’s syndrome, writer’s block, and other challenges.
- reaching your writing goals faster.
- getting honest and constructive feedback.
- improving your career prospects in a writing-intensive workplace.
Once you’ve identified your goals, use this list as a checklist while you search for the right coach.
2. Start Your Search
You can search for a writing coach in on-line or in-person writing communities or professional writing organizations. Writing classes or guest lectures are good ways to find in-person mentors. But if you’re open to online coaching, consider people you learn of through blogs or podcasts, or meet through listservs or discussion groups on social media. See if your favorite blogger is into mentorship—contact them directly to ask.
3. Assess Strengths & Weaknesses
Writing mentors have their specialties, ranging from non-fiction to self-publishing, and business writing to legal writing. Choose a mentor that offers the right services and packages, then assess whether their coaching fits your needs.
4. Evaluate Credentials & Read Testimonials
Check the credentials of your potential business writing coach. Explore testimonials and client feedback to learn more about their background. Choose a coach with relevant and up-to-date experience—someone who can help you develop, improve, or refine your skills. Also look for clues about personality fit in client testimonials. A successful mentoring relationship requires a good fit in both personality and skill.
5. Consider Your Budget
Experience and services offered can shape how much the fee of a writing coach will be. Conduct research and find out how much your prospective candidates charge for their services. Hire a business writing coach with budget-friendly rates.
6. Schedule a Trial Coaching Session
The best way to assess a prospect’s capabilities is by conducting a trial coaching session. Look into trainers that offer a free initial coaching session so you can gauge their expertise.
7. Evaluate Whether the Coach is a Good Fit
Finally, ask yourself these questions before you make your ultimate decision:
- Are you able to communicate comfortably and effectively?
- Are you able to establish rapport?
- Did your trial session make you look forward to the next?
Who are the Best Writing Coaches to Work With?
We’ve discovered some of the best coaches in the writing industry—these three coaches work with professionals who write about complex issues for work. If you’re interested in learning from a writing coach, here are three to consider:
1. Greg Kurtz from Good Comma Classroom
When your writing process craves a blend of inspiration, contemplation, and old-fashioned hard work, where do you turn? We suggest inviting Greg Kurtz to survey your drafts and technique (or lack thereof).
An experienced editor and the creator of Good Comma Classroom’s online video series Master the Writing Process and Master the College-Entrance and Scholarship Essay, Greg also meets one-on-one virtually with professionals and students. His 29 years as a writing instructor enable him to help you overcome writer’s block.
If you’d like to see how Greg can help you write better, consider signing up for GCC’s Writing Coaching for Professionals program.
2. Anne Janzer from The Workplace Writer’s Process
The business world requires a lot of writing—content marketing, proposals, emails, and various other communications. To be an effective business communicator, you must find your business writing “voice.” Author and business writing coach Anne Janzer can help you find your voice, identify opportunities for growth, and develop a process for creating compelling content.
Anne is an award-winning author, nonfiction author coach, marketing practitioner, and blogger. As a professional writer, she has worked with several tech companies, and has written in the voice of countless brands and corporate executives. She is the author of the books Get the Word Out, Writing to Be Understood, The Writer’s Process, The Workplace Writer’s Process, and Subscription Marketing.
Anne offers individual and two-person coaching packages. You can learn more about these services here.
3. Michael T. Hamilton from Good Comma Editing
Some writers see blank pages as white deserts littered with the dry bones of their weak phrases. Others turn blank pages into word avalanches, burying themselves in confusing sentences and paragraphs. That’s where Michael T. Hamilton, the founder of Good Comma Editing comes in.
Michael has trained his team of editors and educators to refine over five million words since 2013. Michael’s experience in connecting disorganized ideas into unified, persuasive arguments led to his publication in The Wall Street Journal and powers Good Comma’s live and video-based one-on-one writing coaching programs. Learn more about it here.
Team Up With an Automated Writing Coach
Writing coaches can help you determine the strengths of your writing and areas for improvement. Over time, your coach can become a mentor and trusted advisor to help you achieve your professional development goals.
Want to improve the quality of your writing further? Use WordRake to help make your writing clear and concise. Even though it can’t replace a human coach, it is the go-to editing software for professionals and businesses. WordRake provides instant, objective feedback through the familiar Track Changes feature. Get your 7-day free trial now.
WordRake is your on-demand writing coach ready to give you feedback at any time of day or night. It won’t replace a human coach, but it will improve your writing. With daily use, you’ll improve your writing judgment and your results. And for $129 per year, you can add WordRake to your writing workflow even while you work with a coach!
About the Author
Nicole Abboud-Shayan is the Business Development Associate for WordRake. Prior to joining the team, Nicole practiced law for several years and then launched her own media and marketing company. Follow Nicole on Twitter @nicoleabboud or connect with her on LinkedIn.