Choosing Your Tone of Voice When Copywriting

A huge aspect of copywriting involves tone of voice, but how do you know if you’ve got it right? This is particularly difficult for a freelance copywriter, who have to figure out the right tone to use for different businesses.

In this article we will be looking at how you can hit the nail on the head when it comes to the right tone for your copy.

Branding & Personality

It may be useful to think of your business (or the business you are writing about) as a person. If you humanised them, what would they be like? When making your hypothetical mind-map about this, try to avoid generalised words like ‘friendly’ – almost every brand in the world wants to be friendly.

Instead, think about specifics. Nike, for example, would be a tenacious, hard-working person. Coca-Cola would be relaxed and sociable. These are the kind of things you should be looking at.

And if the brand were a person, how would this person talk? This is key in establishing the brand’s voice.

Branding & Values

Every company has values that they want to push. People connect more with brands who they share values with, so it is important to adopt the same values as your target audience. Make a list of the values you think the company possesses; if it helps, reflect on the brand’s values in the past and whether these have changed.

Consider how these values would translate into the language of your writing.

Now the Good Part: The Style of Writing

Now we will talk about what you came here to see – how should you be writing? I can’t concretely tell you how you should be writing, because part of being a good writer is developing your own flair and skill.

For example, friendly and conversational brands will use ‘you’ll’ and ‘doesn’t’ rather than ‘you will’ and ‘does not.’ Adventurous and laid-back brands will use ‘awesome’ and ‘stoked’ rather than ‘good’ and ‘motivated.’

It may be helpful to fill out a table regarding your company’s values, how they want to come across, and how a person with these same values and personality traits would sound if they were speaking. You should be getting into the minds of the audience, in a way.

A final thing to note about tone is that you should always be consistent. If you change your voice halfway through the copy, it seems unnatural, strange, and will probably put the reader off. Re-read your piece thoroughly afterwards to check that the tone remains consistent. As long as you have this aspect nailed, you will more or less be able to write good copy regardless of the specifics of the tone.

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