A common question I get asked from new or prospective clients is how will I sound like them? In this blog I hope to work through the steps I take to ensure that every piece of copy that I produce for clients sounds like they wrote it themselves, or to use the technical term, that the copy captures the client's tone of voice.
What is tone of voice?
Tone of voice is a key element of branding and is all about how you present your business to your audience. It could include anything that you write or say as that business and is really about strategically thinking about how you want talk to your ideal customers.
It’s an important tool within your branding guidelines as it tells your audience who you are. Using a consistent tone of voice helps to build trust. You wouldn’t want to have always written with a certain style, perhaps formal business and then outsource to someone else who writes in a much more informal way.
Equally, you may like to inject some humour into your tone of voice to help convey a character or brand value that you want to represent – if so, that humour then needs to carry through consistently in all of your communications activities.
If you would like to read about this in much more detail, there is a fab blog post on the SEM rush site.
When outsourcing your content, how can you be sure a copywriter will capture your tone of voice?
How do I capture your tone of voice when writing for your business?
For me personally, this is one of the areas of my job that I really enjoy and probably comes under a “research” heading!
- Depending on the size and maturity of your business, you may have been able to invest in your brand over the years. If so, you may have a tone of voice section in your branding guidelines, but more often than not these don't exist. As your business grows, it is worth considering creating these guidelines, particularly if you start to outsource to different people for different tasks, such as content, social media or email marketing for example.
- When I first start writing for a new client, we have a call or a meeting to be briefed on their requirements. This also allows me to get a feel for how to write for them. I listen to how they talk about their business and also how they explain what they want and understand more about their typical clients.
- The next stage is to go away and research both the topic and the business itself. This would include checking out their website, following along on social or generally just hanging out where their content lives. This gives me a chance to really absorb the style and tone that the business already uses.
- Front of mind for me is who the target audience is? I need to be sure that I am writing with the right tone of voice to appeal to them.
- Lastly, I always include two rounds of revisions in my packages. If a client feels that they want to tweak the tone in any way that can easily be done before anything gets published.
One of the benefits of having a very small business, or a personal brand is that you can really let your personality shine through when writing about your business and blogging. Ideally you want a copy-writer to be able to capture that emotion so that you can continue to build the “know, like, trust” cycle.
“You’ve knocked it out of the park. You even made it sound like me, how did you do that?!”
Feedback received from one of my Blog Booster clients
If you think that you would like to work with someone for ad-hoc or ongoing content and you want to be sure that someone can really create content that sounds like you and helps you convert potential clients, then I would love to hear from you. Visit my service page to find out more.