Imagine you receive an email is from the boss of a local lawn care company.
He’s a local guy. A lawn care guy. He has dirt under his fingernails.
To my mind the email should sound like it came from him… not from a fancy-pants marketer.
I’m not saying the email should be unsophisticated in how it’s put together.
But just suggesting the tone of voice should match our perception of the person whose name appears at the end.
And it’s not just about tone of voice. It’s also about what he says.
For example, I don’t think it’s in character for our lawn care guy to write something like, “Book your early-bird appointment now, because places are strictly limited and filling up fast!”
Lawn care guys shouldn’t sound like marketers.
But he might say, “Call me now, so we can get to you before the first hard frost. Here’s my cell number…”.
That voice should sound both natural and consistent
This applies across all email marketing.
Come to think of it, the same holds true for e-newletters, social media and even the text on your website.
Your voice should match your brand. That could be a personal brand or a business brand. Either way, you need a voice that is natural, consistent and recognizable.
The only people who should sound like marketers are marketers writing to other marketers.
If you are writing to sell me an upgrade for my email automation software, by all means sound like a marketer.
That doesn’t mean you should drown out your own voice and character with “marketing speak”, but it makes sense that you sound like a marketer. Because that’s who you are.
But if you’re a lawncare guy, you should sound like someone who loves to take care of people’s yards.
If you’re in private practice as a therapist, you should sound like the real you. Someone well-trained, professional and trustworthy… but empathetic and accessible too.
Let your true voice rise to the surface.
I got into this during my interview with Ann Handley a while back. You might want to check out our conversation.
Put simply, if you’re a solo professional or small business, you need to find your voice. That’s the voice you are going to use in your emails, and across other marketing channels.
First, that voice needs to represent the real you.
Don’t write AS IF you like to take care of people’s yards. Write AS someone who really cares about people’s yards.
Don’t write AS IF you’re a therapist who is trustworthy and empathetic. Write AS a therapist who is trustworthy and empathetic.
It’s about not pretending. It’s about finding a voice that communicates the real you.
Get excited about marketing your business, with your own voice.
When I talk about using your real voice, people sometimes think I’m suggesting they tone down their sales messages.
Not at all.
If you’re excited about the work you do, you can get out there and promote it as often and as energetically as you like.
Just do it in your own true voice.
When you use your own voice, and not the voice of a marketer, you’re letting people know you’re genuine, and approachable.
That means they’ll feel comfortable reaching out to you.
And that’s step one in opening up a conversation, building trust, and making the sale.
So… don’t sound like a fancy-pants marketer.
Sound like your true self, at your most enthusiastic and persuasive.
NOTE: This is what Conversational Copywriting is all about. Find out more about getting professional-grade training as a conversational copywriter here…