Want to engage an audience? Speak through your words.
Nobody wants to go onto a website and find heaps of overwritten copy that reads like a sixth form essay.
That’s why we need to stop trying so hard to ‘write’, and start trying to speak through our words instead.
Voice is a powerful connector. If you can speak directly to your ideal customer in a way that resonates, you’ve opened the door to a sale, a new customer or client.
But how do we do that?
For starters, we need to let go of the fusty old ideas we learned about writing in school. This is not an English class. This is the real world. These are your customers.
Speak to them.
Know your voice.
Businesses are as different as people are. Just like people, they use words in different ways.
Some brands are so clearly defined that you can imagine them as real walking, talking human beings. You might dislike them, find them irritating, love them, trust them or feel a deep loyalty to them. That’s because these brands are characters designed to engage with their target audience.
What does your business stand for? What are its values?
Who is it trying to reach, what does it want to say to them? How will it say it?
If you can get these points pinned down and let them run through everything you do, you’ll have a verbal identity, verbal brand, or tone of voice. Whatever you want to call it, it’s a powerful tool for marketing.
Now – stop trying to do your best writing!
Once you’ve got a clearly defined brand voice, audience and message, the next bit should be easy.
Stop thinking ‘I’m a writer, and now I’m writing. Look at my words, they are good words, I am trying hard!’ STOP IT.
Be your brand. Think like it would think.
If you’re calm, straightforward and professional business, then embody those characteristics as you write. If you’re fizzy, fun and upbeat, let that come across in a conversational way.
It’s a bit like acting. Or writing a script. Every character has a voice.
Audience is everything
Now your brand is speaking through your words, get it to talk to another person.
Your ideal customer.
Feel that connection. Express your message directly to them, in a way they can relate to.
Your audience needs to be right there, sitting opposite you as you type, just like you are for me right now. Hello!
The more you write believing this, the more real it becomes for your audience, the more they will buy into your vision, your business, your dreams.
That’s when audience turns into customer and – maybe most importantly of all – your community.
Need some real, human words writing for your business? Or maybe you’d like a hand finding out what your values are and developing that into a tone of voice that works for you? That’s what I do! Let’s chat: firstname.lastname@example.org.