The Importance of Voice and Style in Business WritingPosted by Nicole
A few weeks ago, I wrote about how tone is the place where your brand meets your customer in business writing. Voice and style play an important role in conveying the personality of your brand in a way that is distinct from, but related to, your tone.
Think of tone as a kind of filter, and voice as something distinctly you, no matter what tone you use. For a useful analogy, think of your mom. The tone she used with you differed when she was pleased or annoyed. But her personality, tendencies toward certain word choices, volume, expression are all uniquely hers. Style is the extension of that unique voice; it is more or less a summing up of it.
When marketing your business, do you use a consistent voice and style? Is it consciously directed at a target audience? When you start out in business, each decision you make in how you present yourself must be conscious. Eventually, it will become easier to slip into the style you’ve developed that is both you *and* designed to appeal to your target client. Honing your company’s unique voice and style is part of the fun of marketing a business you’ve created as an expression of you.
A few final thoughts on voice and style:
* Always be consistent in your written communications, even if your company has a hundred employees with a large marketing team. Appear to have multiple personalities and you will confuse your audience. A confused audience takes their business elsewhere.
* Your voice should be unique and interesting — like you. Appear to be devoid of personality and just like at a party, potential clients will wander away to where the fun is. One of my favourite writers with a writing style that is smart — and makes you feel smart for reading her stuff — is copyblogger’s Sonia Simone; another writer with a one-of-a-kind style that is fun and engaging is business goddess, Leonie Dawson.
* Governments may be the worst at voice and style, perhaps because they’re not worried about their brand (or attracting an audience). For lack of an engaging voice, I’m still trying to get through the four page letter I recently received from a government agency. It might be important, but I don’t know for sure. My mind keeps wandering from the monotonous voice I hear in my head when I try to read it.
Remember that if you are clear on your brand, marketing your business using correct tone, voice, and style is easier. If you need some help defining or re-defining your brand, Kaira Sturdivant Rouda’s, Real You Incorporated: 8 Essentials for Women Entrepreneurs, is a great resource that can help you find your unique voice.