Your Writing Voice and How It Affects Your Marketing
Last month we spoke about knowing your audience and adapting your messaging for the best fit. The next step is harnessing your unique writing voice.
Writing voices are distinctive, just like audible ones. They reveal a lot about someone, their tendencies, quirks, references, education, mentality, etc. Your voice demonstrates the depth and breadth of your vocabulary, style, preference for metaphors, and even your life experience.
Your writing voice is quite similar to your speaking one; they both take work to develop. You can influence it with the people you surround yourself with, the media you consume, and how you think. Gaining confidence in your writing is different than giving a speech; you may not get the applause or the confusion, but instead comments and reviews later.
As for marketing, writing is the spark behind viral campaigns, embedded jingles, and seemingly eternal slogans. Great writing sticks in our heads for years and reminds us of the latest and greatest solutions. However, writing to sell isn’t free with language like fiction or mired in facts like non-fiction.
But perhaps the greatest lesson for sales writing is this: copy excels when people miss your words for their meaning. Flowery prose and apt metaphors shouldn’t draw attention to themselves; instead, eyes should be on the product.
The wrong voice is too loud, shining through the words like a neon sign. Ugly sentences snag audiences on an awkward phrase or poor comparison. It jolts them out of the reading experience like a missed note in a song.
You may have read this far and thought, I don’t do much writing for sales or my company. If this is you, you still probably write emails, memos, texts, and social media posts. These are all avenues for your voice, so keep reading.
Writing voice can be difficult to identify at times. I find that reading a lot of someone’s work helps me become familiar with their traits. I frequently edit certain writing and pick up the small details over time. As a result, I calibrate my editing, speeding up the process. You’ll find, too, that if you read specific authors, you can pick out these little details and identify their writing solely from a few paragraphs.
I’ve also found that identifying my voice is crucial for adapting my writing to its purpose. Occasions may call for it to shine through or take a background spot, and the more familiar you are with your twist on things, the easier your time applying it.
Above all, voice is personal, carrying the essence of you into your written word. I leave you with a word of caution, infuse yourself carefully and as the occasion calls for it. Your voice can whisper in a rigid format with a formal feel or shout in an informal note with creative freedom.
So, learn your voice and use it well. Your writing and your customers will thank you.
Todd Miller has spent his entire career in the metal building products manufacturing industry. He is president of Isaiah Industries, an organization recognized as one of the world’s leading metal roofing manufacturers. Todd is currently Vice President of the MRA (Metal Roofing Association) and a Past Chair of MCA (Metal Construction Association). Through his website, he strives to raise the bar on standards and practices to provide property owners with the best possible products for successful roofing projects.
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