How to Adapt Your Tone of Voice While Working With Different Clients
Every brand has a voice. It defines how a brand communicates its personality and connects with its audience. No matter what, this tone of voice must remain consistent across all brand channels to engage your audience and create brand recall.
Understanding a brand’s tone of voice and embodying it in a piece of content is a copywriting basic freelance writers should know.
This is because it allows you to create more engaging and unique pieces of content that stand out from the repetitious online content. Before we dive into how you can adapt to different tones of voice, let’s get a breakdown of the definition behind the tone of voice.
What is a tone of voice?
The tone of voice, whether written or spoken, represents a business personality. It creates an impression on everyone when interacting with your brand.
Most brands and clients often have an idea of how they want to be perceived, such as being positive and inspiring or humorous. However, knowing and executing a brand’s tone of voice is very different.
It can be even more challenging for freelance writers as they work with different clients. To overcome this, you must regularly communicate and replicate it in your writing.
6 ways to adapt your client’s tone of voice
1. Ask who the target audience is
Do you know who you are writing to? Is it the tech-savvy millennials who are constantly on TikTok or marketing executives working in corporate jobs?
Knowing who your target audience is will greatly hint at the tone of voice to be used.
A younger crowd will resonate better with memes and gifs, while the older generation will prefer more professionalism.
So make sure to understand a brand’s customer persona and don’t be shy to get details about their manner of speaking and values.
Likewise, knowing what channel you are writing for is equally essential, as the voice on LinkedIn is inherently different from Facebook.
Because despite creating a consistent brand experience across platforms, each piece of content should also adapt to a platform’s culture, norms, and rules.
2. Understand the company’s value and product
Every content is part of sales and marketing. Writers need to learn about the company’s value and product to build a trusting relationship with your brand voice.
It allows them to take a better angle that supports the brand’s value and answers what customers expect from the company’s product or service.
Let’s take Volvo, for example. The Swedish luxury vehicle’s value of emphasizing safety has become a key characteristic of the brand’s voice.
It is so prevalent that you can see it everywhere, from its website to ad campaigns.
3. Read the brand’s tone of voice guidelines
When it comes to brand communication, there are many factors to consider, like word choice, emotional tone, and even communication style.
Often, clients that engage with freelance writers will have published or ready guidelines to ensure all the writing captures the appropriate voice.
A great example that demonstrates this is HubSpot.
Given that it often engages with third parties for guest posting, it has a published voice and tone guide and a community to answer any questions.
4. Get examples of writing that resonates with them
Another tip to quickly adapt your tone of voice is to get representative examples.
There are a dozen ways to craft a joyful and confident brand voice, but examples of the client’s preferred voice in action can give a better image of the client’s expectations.
You can always match the tone, word choice, and cadence of the example, but it is better to ask your clients what they love about each sample and why it works.
5. Review with the clients to determine what works
Even with all the guidelines, discovering the appropriate writing and speaking tone will still need practice.
Explore the limits of each brand characteristic when writing and note any ambiguity when applying the tone of voice in real-world content.
Some companies may still need to improve their branding strategy. So consult with the brand and see what is the best practice to establish.
More importantly, keep track of the performance of each content. Because despite preferences, customer engagement is the best metric when it comes to what is effective.
6. Keep notes on the defining voice for each brand
An effective brand voice must be consistent, which can sometimes be challenging for freelance writers juggling content for multiple brands.
One quick tip for maintaining a uniform brand identity is to create your style guide for each brand. List down the rules you need to follow for each brand voice.
Make sure the style guide is easy to navigate and highlights each brand’s audience, value, language, or tone across various channels and situations.
By keeping the rules clear for each brand, you can make the transition as quick and seamless as possible to save time and improve the content you produce.
The tone of voice is what brings a brand to life. It can attract the right audience and let companies stand out among competitors.
As a freelance writer, it is an essential skill to improve creative writing and style. After all, the more brand voices you can match, the more clients you can work with.