How to nail the perfect tone of voice for your small business
Guest Blog: Copywriter and Content Creator, Laura Beckett shares insights and advice
Do you ever look at the words on your website and think, “My business sounds boring. I sound like all the others?!”
In this post I’ll talk about how to inject personality into your writing, and why a website copywriter like me can help. It’s time to go from boring to brilliant.
Why tone of voice is important
Think about your friends, and what attracted you to them.
Was it because they were bland and characterless? Of course not. Maybe they stood out thanks to their dry wit and humour, or they helped you solve a problem. Or made you feel special.
As the saying goes, people buy from people, so it’s important that the words on your website reflect you, and your business. When potential customers land on your website, they’ll only buy if they like the sound of you.
Remember: you are your business!
Consider what your business stands for
As a website copywriter working with small businesses, I often meet clients who are nervous about adding personality to their writing. Adding flavour to your writing can be something as simple as using a friendly tone; your style doesn’t have to be funny or dynamic, especially if your area of work veers on the serious side.
When developing your written tone of voice, start with your brand ‘essence’ and values – basically, what you and your business stands for.
Is super personal service your driving force?
Are you warm and caring?
Down to earth?
What about fun and lighthearted?
Coming across as professional doesn’t have to mean dull.
Don’t forget your personality – we all have one!
So, you know your brand values. Good. Now it’s time to think about your personality, as there’s no point in writing something if it doesn’t feel like you. Think about what makes you unique and own it.
There’s nothing wrong with taking ‘heavy inspiration’ from competitors if you like their vibe but don’t copy their style or turns of phrase. Remember, your writing should reflect you. No-one else.
Let’s say you’re a business coach or marketing consultant. Don’t use lots of business speak just because others have. And if using words like ‘convert’, ‘strategic planning’ or ‘calls to action’ feels alien to you, don’t use them.
Consider the type of clients you want to attract
Use the right tone of voice and you’ll attract customers who get what you do and share your values.
As a website copywriter, my ideal clients are small business owners who don’t enjoy writing or have the time, those whose writing isn’t their strong point, and people who have no idea about effective and persuasive copywriting.
I’ve avoided using business speak on my website (and socials) as I want to come across as easy to talk to. I don’t want to scare people by using marketing or copywriting jargon, as they’re more likely to look elsewhere for copywriting services.
From my tone you should pick up that I’m quietly confident rather than an over-promiser, and I don’t take myself too seriously. I want to attract clients who I want to work with: genuine people who have a passion for what they do. So far, I’m attracting my kind of people – and so can you, if you nail a tone of voice that works.
Try writing a few phrases in different tones of voice. Want to be funny and slightly off the wall? Have a go. If it feels awkward and laboured, try muting it down. You’ll soon settle into a flow and tone you’re comfortable with.
Write like you speak
Imagine telling a friend about your business. One who knew nothing about your services. Regardless of the tone of voice you land on, your writing should be simple and jargon free.
Decide on vocab and grammar
Tone of voice often includes the type of words you want to use, and those you don’t.
Can’t stand the word ‘go-getter’? Hate ‘solutions? Don’t use them.
The same goes for grammar. Decide from the start if you’ll use contraction words such as ‘you’ll’ or ‘we’ll’ and deploy in all your writing – don’t swap and change. Why? It’s confusing and jarring for customers, much like speaking to a friend who suddenly changed personality.
Create a list of banned and preferred words to help you (and your wider team if they write content) to stay on the same page.
Be consistent and customers will love you
How would you feel if a friend suddenly started changing the way they spoke? Probably confused. The same goes for businesses and brands.
Build brand loyalty and trust with customers through consistency. If your tone of voice resonates with them, they’ll keep coming back.
When you’ve chosen a style you’re happy with, use it across all your marketing materials including emails, social media posts, blogs, adverts, bonus content and core website pages.
Adapt your language when appropriate
Attracting different types of customers means adapting your tone of voice.
For example, an online flower shop selling funeral flowers will have a slightly different sound to a summer wedding flowers blog. Think about purpose and audience.
Work with a professional copywriter
Going round in circles deciding on a tone of voice for your small business? As a copywriter and digital content writer, I’ll help you nail your words in no time and write website content you and your customers LOVE.
I’ve helped small businesses and start-ups in Cheshire and the across the UK feel good about their words and marketing messages.
About Quietly Loud
Getting on no-fuss copywriting is what I do best. I’ll never be the loudest person in the room, but I’m naturally inquisitive and I’ll ask you lots of questions to get the best results. Writing without fanfare and show, giving you words you’ll love.
I love learning about you and your personality, and what drives you. The whys and hows. Unearthing those gold nugget stories to entice customers.
As a writer specialising in website copywriting, my greatest enjoyment is raising your business profile, and giving you a voice you’re proud of.
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