Tone of voice guidelines: Free poster downloads

Tone of voice guidelines: Free poster downloads

The starting point for all good copywriting is to think about your customer and how you want to speak to them. That ‘how’ then translates into a tone of voice.

So, for example, if you’ve decided you want your business tone to be authoritative, fun, reassuring and open. You need to work out what that actually means. How does this tone work when it comes to writing?

If you’re using a professional copywriter, they should be confident about picking any tone attribute and going with it.

But if you’re writing your own copy it can be tougher.learn-copywriting-courses

You need to know how to translate your tone of voice into useable guidelines not only for you to use but also for guest bloggers, internal staff, marketing agencies and others.

Recently, I’ve been working with a rental company – they decided they wanted their brand to be known as:

  • Approachable
  • Honest
  • Knowledgeable
  • Reliable

To help them understand what these words mean and how to express them I created the following tone statements. The aim was to provide a quick reference and a succinct summary of each word and then to convey this tone when writing.

What do you think of them?

(Click to download a larger version of each as a PDF)

honest knowledgeable reliable approachable

Over to you

What words describe your tone of voice? Do you feel confident writing in your brand tone?

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  • Nice one Kate!
    This makes me think of a copywriter I know and respect (who I won’t name, and no, it’s not you!), but every time I read one of their client’s websites, it just reads like their TOV. It can be hard not to inject yourself into web copy, especially if you really like their work and feel like you’re a part of it. It’s ESPECIALLY hard if you write for the same type of client, say, you consistently get clients in fashion, or IT, etc. I guess it all comes down to deciding whether your writing is an art form, or just business (I haven’t decided yet, for the record).

    • Yes it is a tricky one. I think a lot of my clients approach me because they like my writing style and feel that it sounds similar to how they’d like to sound. At the end of the day the client is paying the bills, so while I’ll push back on tonal things I don’t agree with, ultimately it’s their call. For me writing is an art form but copywriting is a business! Thanks for reading.

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