Proofreading Services: How To Choose The Right Service


In a world filled with endless options, it is important to make your business stand out while also making a lasting impression. No matter what your business is, proofreading services are vital in ensuring your vision and mission statement are engaging, captivates your target audience, and attracts new customers or clients. Keep reading to learn a little more about how the services offered by us, at IL Consultancy (IL Consultancy), can help present your business in the best light.




Think about it this way: If you met a prospective client for the first time, would you show up with wrinkled clothes, unkempt hair and a stain on your shirt? No. Often, new customers will read about your business as an introduction, whether this is through a printed advert, a website or a social media post. All of these require a reliable and reputable proofreading service such as the services provided by IL Consultancy.


Understanding the service on offer will help you make the right editing decision for your business. It is important to note the distinction between copy editing and proofreading services. Many advertisements use these two terms interchangeably, but the services are distinctly different.


The Differences Between Copy Editing And Proofreading


While the terms copy editing and proofreading are often used interchangeably, there are distinct differences between the two. While both are used to clean copy up, the easiest way to remember the difference is this: copy editing happens before proofreading.


Copy editing is employed as a way of substantively editing copy and is aimed at reworking or polishing copy so that it is easy to read while retaining the author’s voice and meaning.


Copy editors keep the following in mind while editing copies:


  • Syntax
  • Grammar
  • Punctuation
  • Flow
  • Tone and voice
  • Spelling
  • Misused words or phrases




Proofreaders, on the other hand, take over once the copy editor has completed their work. Proofreaders are viewed as specialised editors, and their job is to oversee the mechanical aspects of copies.


The history of the profession is steeped in the traditional typesetting process. When book copies were printed, something known as a “galley proof” would be created. The galley proof was regarded as a master copy of a manuscript and would be checked by proofreaders. Any mistakes found would be corrected, and this proofread version of the galley proof would go to printing presses.


The job of a proofreader includes checking the following:


  • Capitalisation
  • Grammar
  • Spelling
  • Page layout
  • Formatting
  • Punctuation


Professional proofreading services can help your business thrive. Here is what your copies need to have in place to ensure the best desired outcome from hiring a proofreading service:


Let Your Content Speak For Itself


When you have gone through the effort of writing copies, it is important to keep in mind that any written copy is there to make your business shine. If your business is small, it may be tempting to cut costs by self-editing copy, but this may become a costly mistake. Making use of a professional proofreading service will bring in a fresh pair of eyes to read through the copy. This will ensure any errors are spotted and fixed, and also allow prospective customers or clients to gain a better sense of your business and ability to execute services.


Typos Can Cost Your Business Money


Publishing copies littered with errors can be costly. It can drive potential clients or customers away, as mistakes made in copy can create the impression that the business is careless, does not pay attention to detail, and does not take itself seriously. Errors can also drive away prospective employees and stakeholders for the same reasons.




In the long run, publishing copies that have not been professionally checked through a proofreading service can cause the business to become a money drain and may result in eventual closure. A recent LinkedIn study found that customers are less willing to trust the products or services of businesses that have lazily written, or error-ridden copy published to their sale platforms, as it does not inspire them to trust the level of delivery the business can execute.


Use Appropriate Language


Each field is filled with jargon specific to the industry. One of the jobs of a professional proofreader is to double-check facts, figures, names and locations, and – in some cases – to simplify complicated jargon for the audience. Good copy bridges the gap between using appropriate field-specific language without being too complicated for the layman to understand.


It is important to remember that while every business aims to attract potential clients within its specific field, the language used in published copy should not alienate those who need the service or products provided if they do not understand the jargon. Online proofreading services are abundant. Here are tips to keep in mind when choosing a reliable proofreading service provider:


Check The Proofreading Provider’s Credentials


Typing “proofreading services” into your Google search bar will turn up an overwhelming number of results. There are many proofreading services available, but not every option will deliver the desired quality of work. Always check proofreading services’ credentials.


Credentials can usually be found under the “about” section on a proofreading service’s website. IL Consultancy’s services are accredited and include not only proofreading services, but translation, editing and localisation, transcription, and formatting services.


Request A Proofread Sample


It is standard practice for proofreading services to provide prospective clients with a sample of proofread copy to illustrate the service’s level of skill, execution and turnaround time. Most proofreading services provide a sample free of charge, but some charge. If you are not satisfied with a proofreading sample, move on to another service.


Take The Time To Book A Consultation Before Settling On A Proofreading Service


Consultations may seem like a time-consuming activity, but this will help determine whether a proofreading service is able to provide the expertise needed to proof different types of copies. If your business is looking to improve the quality of its newsletters, a consultation will provide clarity on whether the proofreading service you are considering specialises in newsletter proofreading and formatting.


Consultations can also help you determine whether a proofreading service’s cost factors into your budget and affordability.


Here are some important questions and points to remember during a consultation with a proofreading service:


  • Which style guide does the proofreading service use?
  • What is the expected turnaround time for the copies to be proofread?
  • Is the proofreading service provider adept at working with UK or US English?
  • A brief breakdown of the proofreading service’s experience in the field, and its areas of special focus.
  • Request a portfolio of work, as well as a proofreading sample.
  • Does the service charge per word, per hour, or per page?


Only once consultations have concluded can you choose the best proofreading service for your business’ needs and vision.


IL Consultancy was founded in South Africa, by Linda Botha and Hannetjie Sapire. We offer a number of services, including copy editing, proofreading, translation, localisation, formatting and layout services, and graphic design. Some of the other services we offer include business communication expertise and training, project management and educational content development.


Whatever your need, IL Consultancy has highly trained and qualified team members to deliver accurate and factually correct written and editing services. We are one of South Africa’s largest outsourced translation and editing services, and offer consultations.


We represent African and European language copywriters, editors, proofreaders, interpreters, and translators. Our in-house staff is made up of highly skilled, seasoned, and committed trainers, practitioners, and educators who were individually chosen for their high-caliber abilities, reliability, and expertise. All our work is checked through independent checking services to ensure it is as clean, factual and satisfactory as possible. Reach out to us with any queries, and we will happily assist with whatever service you need.