Text speak is tempting to use online—it’s quick, it’s easily understood by most people and it’s kind of fun to use. But if you’re marketing your copywriting services, using these shortened phrases and silly abbreviations is one of the worst things you can do. There are four ways that you can damage your reputation as a writer by using text speak online.
It Makes You Sound Uneducated
Would you hire a writer who is obviously uneducated? No, and neither would anyone else. Text speak may be obvious to some people, but to others it just looks like someone who never learned to spell. If you want a reputation as a professional writer, you can’t allow anything you write online to be poorly written. Even if it’s just your Facebook page or a forum that you frequent, prospective employers do check those places. They look into what you do online and what you sound like when you do it.
It Makes You Sound Too Young for the Job
If you are talking in text speak regularly, chances are that you aren’t a seasoned grandpa. You might be in your 20s, 30s or 40s and full of life experience, but you’ll sound like a pre-teen who is so excited that One Direction came out with a new video that you just can’t take the time to spell out all of your words. Clients interested in hiring writers want someone who is mature enough to meet deadlines and old enough to be employable.
It Makes You Sound Like You Aren’t Serious
Some people dabble in writing a little because they think it sounds easy. Those people are insane. If you frequently communicate online with text speak, you will not sound like a serious writer. You will sound like a kid, a drunken student or a dabbler, but not a serious person who is there to stay. No one wants to form a writing relationship with a writer who is just dabbling. The dabblers soon realize that it’s far easier to sell your own organs on the black market than it is to write for a living, and they soon move on to said black market (I assume). Show that you’re here to stay by taking care with your words.
It Makes You Get Into Bad Habits
Text speak starts with texting. No one will see your texts, right? It migrates into emails. Pretty soon, it creeps into everything you do, and you may not even notice it. It starts to feel like a natural way of communicating over time, and it will be tough to break that habit once it’s ingrained. To avoid getting settled into bad habits, don’t start them in the first place. Your organs will thank you.
Lizz S is a freelance writer available on WriterAccess, a marketplace where clients and expert writers connect for assignments.