conversational

A visual representation of avatars or personas for a company or organization

If your brand or business is going to be conversational, it needs a voice.

But what kind of voice? What should it sound like? What kind of vocabulary should you use?

Companies find their voices in all kinds of different ways.

Sometimes it’s the voice of the founder.

For a long time, the voice of Apple was the voice of Steve Jobs. And the voice of the Virgin group of companies is Richard Branson, more or less.

Other times companies can borrow the voices of brand ambassadors or through celebrity endorsements. Those borrowed voices are intended to match the character of the company or brand.

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people in conversation outside bar

The concept of the Cooperative Principle was introduced by philosopher H. Paul Grice way back in 1975.

Grice had noticed that when two people are holding a conversation, they tend to cooperate in some important ways.

He framed the Cooperative Principle with four conversational ‘maxims’ people should follow to move a conversation forward.

Here’s a simplified version of what he drafted…

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Group of people in conversation

The focus of most of my posts is on writing sales copy that is less pushy and adversarial… and more open and conversational.

In this post I’m going to focus not on sales copy, but on web content.

Because content can go either way as well.

Content can be flat editorial that is broadcast AT an audience of passive readers.

Or content can be more engaging and conversational in its approach and tone.

If you want your own content to be more inclusive, engaging and conversational, here are 4 things you might want to think about.

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Conversation makes people smile

It’s not hard to write in a conversational way.

Or to make people smile.

You just need to relax a little. Access your inner human.

But a lot of people in business struggle with that simple idea. Being human.

They’ve convinced themselves they need to sound like a “real business” or a “real marketer”.

The trouble is, as soon as you do that you create distance between yourself and your readers.

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Group of people in conversation

I admit it. I’m turning into a total conversation geek.

But honestly, conversations are fascinating.

Conversation is the bedrock of every relationship we have.

First dates begin with a conversation. That interview for your job… that was a conversation. The relationships you have with your kids is based on the conversations you have with them.

That cluster of people in hallway at a conference? They’re having a conversation.

At coffee shops, in bars and restaurants, even on airplanes… people are connecting, learning and growing through the power of conversation.

As marketers and writers, we can tap into that power as a way to better connect with our customers and prospects.

Let’s look at just 3 of the lessons we can learn from having a good conversation.

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Truth be told, this video is an outtake.

I’ve been trying to record a video to put on the Conversational Copywriting homepage… but have yet to get it right.

Not even close, really.

To start with, I’m aiming for just under two minutes.

But the video above is a little over 4 minutes.

And I did a ton of takes before this one. And that meant the sun kept getting lower, right to the point where I got that highlight on the background on the right side.

Not a big deal, but enough to make me want to try again.

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