How to Find the Right “Tone” for Your Content

Hold up. What does a copywriter even mean by “the tone”?

Any copywriter worth their salt will ask what you want the “tone” of your content to be before they start writing for you – but it’s often hard for you, the client, to find an answer.

 

So, to help business owners and copywriters everywhere, we have created this guide to understanding and choosing the right tone for your content

 

You might even be thinking, “Why is this even important? Can’t they just start writing?”question mark on chalkboard Perth

The tone of your content is vital for us as content creators to know before writing
anything for your business
– get this wrong and it will require an almost complete re-write. You will read it and tell us, “That doesn’t sound like me.” Most of the time, this is simply due to the client not knowing what we meant by “tone” in the first place, so they couldn’t convey to us what they wanted

In every brief sent to a client before writing, we pose these two questions about tone;

How do you want to approach the tone of your content? (Funny, casual, professional, friendly…) Give five words that describe the tone of your business so far across your social + website.

and

What do you want your customer’s/clients perception of the business to be?  Up-market/Professional/Approachable/Affordable… etc.

 

Now, you may read this and instantly know the words to describe how you want your content to read and how you want your business to be seen – or it may just completely confuse you. If it’s the latter, keep reading, we can help!

 

You may also have thought that those questions are basically asking for the same thing twice, but sometimes a business will want to be seen as professional and trustworthy, but also have a fun, casual vibe to their company. Knowing that, we can write their website content with a causal tone, but make sure we focus on conveying the knowledge and validity of their brand.

 

Here is an example to give you an idea of how the tone and content are linked…

 

Business X – Quirky, up-market inner-city bar, run by young, vibrant owners.

bar at night hanging glasses Perth

They are looking to attract fun, young professionals, so they want to be seen as fun, different, and a place for a good night out.

To attract those people, their tone words are; Quirky, fun, up-beat and current.

They want their business to be seen as; Unique, fun, up-market, and the place-to-be.

When writing their content, we use all that to help us create something like this:

 

Bored by stodgy old pubs, but nightclubs aren’t your scene?

Come drink with us and have a weekend worth talking about round the water cooler.

We have created your happy place, right in the middle of the action here in Perth, with live music, locally crafted drinks for all tastes, and lashings of atmosphere. After-work drinks have never tasted so good…

 

It’s young, fun, up-beat, and creates the sense that this is the place to go for a good night out if you have classer tastes, but still want a fun time.

Can you see how their tone words, quirky, fun, up-beat and current, as well as how they want to be seen, unique, fun, up-market, and the place-to-be, really help us understand how their content needs to be written to give readers a real sense of the business.

 

If all they told us were the facts; location, owners, services, etc. and we wrote boring, run-of-the-mill copy, then how will visitors to their website know it’s a place they will want to spend their time?

 

Writing for the target audience means you are speaking to the people you want to do business with, the ones who will think, “This sounds like me. I have to visit this place, it is exactly the kind of bar I will love!” That’s the type of targeted copy you need to attract the right people to your business – otherwise visitors will never become customers or engage with your business.

 holding magnifying glass Perth

How to find your tone.

 

Here are 4 steps to help with figuring out the tone of your content – grab a pen and paper and scribble down whatever words come to mind with each step

 

  1. Firstly – who are you?

 

Are you friendly, funny, knowledgeable, honest, professional, relationship-focused, serious, shy, out-going… You are the person behind the brand, the person running the show, and the way you operate is often organically a result of who you are. People buy the person, not the product.

 

  1. How do you run your business?

 

Is it all about people, connecting, engaging, family-operated, and so on? All those things are also major selling points. If your target audience are the people who you can build relationships with, will be your loyal customers and you pride yourself on the caring service you offer, all that HAS to be communicated through your content and its tone!

 

  1. What do your customers already say about you?

 

Do they say you are warm, caring and professional, or friendly, trustworthy and competent? Read any reviews or thank you emails you have and see what words keep coming up. Your website meets people before you do, you want it to represent you well, but also authentically!

 

  1. What do you want people to say about your business?

 

If you have done any business development or marketing, you know the kind of associations you want people to have with your business and brand. What words do you want to come to mind when people think about your business? Quality, experience, affordable, genuine, service, etc.

 

Now read the words you have written down – do they resonate with you and your business? If they do – you have found your tone!

 

As copywriters, our whole purpose in life is to create copy which is engaging and compelling, and most importantly, authentic to you and your business. We want it to attract your target audience and showcase the personality of the people behind the product, so every visitor will want what you are offering.

 

Here’s hoping the whole concept of tone makes much more sense to you now, and you’ll know exactly what to put down next time you cross paths with a copywriter!

 

        Feel free to get in touch with us for any copywriting you might need, or if you have questions about tone, content or life in general– we’ll do our darndest to help!

Tips to Plan Your New Website & Content….

I had a few clients from around Perth come to me last week wanting not just a copywriter, but to totally upgrade their website – and no idea where to start!

It can feel like a bit of a chicken and egg scenario … Do you go to the website designer or content writer first? Do you need to know exactly what you want before you go or is that what the designer or copywriter is for?

 

Well here are a couple of things to kick start your website brainstorm – before going to either a web guru or creative copywriter!

 

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  1. Begin Reconnaissance.

 

Have a good gander at your competition – google your top keywords, see which businesses come up, and then see how and what they promote to their customers. What angle are they using? What services do they promote as their top-selling or most popular? What pages do they have – Home, About, Services etc.? What do you think they are missing or should be doing? What do you like/would do differently?

This is a total brainstorm, write down all your observations and take note of what is working for them or isn’t, and try to see if there is an angle you could take on your website that would make your content and site stand out from the rest.

 

  1. Think like a client.

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Put your acting hat on and try and think with the brain and perspective of a client. And not just any client, but like the kind of client you WANT to work with – your target audience. If you can talk directly to them through your content, you will be much more likely to be attracting and converting the kind of clients you want to work with!

 

Ask yourself… What questions are you always asked? What confuses your clients the most about your services or what you can offer them? What are their main concerns? What makes you more worthy than your many competitors of their business? What are their problems you can solve? What do they need to know? You might want a few infographics that address some of these questions, or maybe your Home page needs a video to personalize your brand… try and think outside the box – but always with your client in mind.

 

  1. Tangible Planning.copywriting perth, copywriter perth

 

I’m a very tactile person, I love lists and bullet-points and laying work out very clearly in front of me. So this next point makes a lot of sense to my brain.

 

Now you have heaps of information and ideas brewing – map it out! Grab sheets of paper and mock up the layout of your site, one page per web page, and feel free to pin it to your wall with arrows that go between each page showing the path your clients will take to get to the goal – contact or sale. This helps you make sure all your info links together in a way that tells your visitors everything they need to know and steers them to the point of sale.

 

  1. Guinea pig time.COPYWRITING perth, copywriter perth

 

Find a third-party – a friend, partner or passer-by and test them out on your mock up. Listen to the questions they ask – it will help you figure out what you are missing or what isn’t working.

 

By this point you should have a fairly clear idea of what you want your site to look like and what info needs to be included. Now you just need to take this to a website designer who will thank you (possibly with tears) for being so organised and pro-active, and use it to build you the perfect site. To be followed by a chat with a copywriter who will also tear up at the sight of such clear and thoughtful preparation, ask some additional questions and use that information you gave to create targeted content that engages and connects your audience.

 

It’s a beautiful thing.

If you are at the ‘chat with a copywriter’ stage, feel free to contact us here or head to our services page for some more info on how we can help!

Let’s Talk Content!

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The importance of copywriting for website content.

 

We see so many clients come to us much later in their business, after they have their awesome, professionally designed logo and their brand spanking new, fancy website.

After spending so much on the ‘image’ of their brand, they look at the cost of hiring a copywriter and think, “It’s not a priority right now, that part is easy enough to just do myself.”

The trouble is that as a business, your brand is more than just pretty logos and great website, it’s the content, or the ‘copy’, that ties it all together and speaks to your potential customers.

Good, creative copywriting, and clear, grammatically correct content, establishes trust and communicates to your audience that yes, this business will be a good fit, they ‘sound’ like what I need.

 

It’s the ‘sound’, or ‘tone’ of your website content that is crucial in helping you target the right kind of customer, the client that you want to work with. Once you have identified who that client is, your copy must reflect that, and essentially be talking directly to them when they read your content!

One client of ours is a gorgeous, bubbly lady who is all about a personal relationship with her clients and creating almost a family within her business which provides children’s sport classes.

Unfortunately, her content didn’t reflect that at all! It was stilted and dry, very basic and filled with errors. Conversely, as soon as we started our face-to-face meeting, I already wanted my kids to be able to have lessons with her – and I don’t even have any!

Her website content didn’t have the personality that she needed to convey to visitors who she and her business really were, and her fun, warm and vibrant personality was her biggest selling point!

We always tell clients that a copywriter exists to tell the story of their business. People connect with the story behind the brand, and making sure it’s personality and mission is conveyed through your content is the best way to make people want to keep reading – and ultimately choose you over your competitors!

So our challenge to you is to go read through your website content with fresh eyes.

 

Ask yourself,

  1. Does this sound like me?
  2. Is this attracting or speaking to my target audience?
  3. Is it aligned with how I want my business to be perceived?

 

If you are in doubt about any of those feel free to get in touch, we absolutely love helping businesses authentically convey their message, voice and personality through great website content!