Creating Your Tone of Voice Guidelines
If your customers were given a snippet of your content to read, would they know it was you, just from how it sounded? Finding your brand’s tone of voice in today’s noisy marketing world can be challenging.
Whether your content strategy involves publishing blog posts, press releases, or videos, the right words in the wrong tone can have a negative effect on your messaging. I’ll help you define your tone of voice with my three-part process.
- Exploring your brand’s values
- Identifying your language and style
- Creating your tone of voice guidelines
As a web content writer, I’ll help you refine your brand’s values, character and personality. I’ll look at the language you currently use and recommend ways you can ensure that it aligns with your values and messaging more effectively. It’s one thing knowing what to say and another knowing how to say it. My guidelines will ensure that your brand’s tone of voice is consistent in every piece of written communication it publishes. Ill also provide you with content templates that can be used to form the basis of all your communications.
''The Whole Process Was Easy''
‘Jamie helped me with the copywriting for my first whitepaper. The final product was excellent and delivered at a reasonable price right on time. More importantly the whole process of doing business was easy and professional. Jamie produced good drafts, responded to queries and adapted to feedback throughout. Great experience and hopefully the start of a long working relationship.’
Kenny Fraser, Director, Sunstone Communication
What I'll Deliver
Defining your tone of voice is a logical place to begin in marketing your brand. The final document will be a PDF or Word document, text-based without design elements. It will be well-presented and appropriately formatted. The guide will include:
- A definition of your target audience and their needs
- Refining your company values & mission statement
- An analysis of three competitors, exploring the pros and cons of their tone of voice
- Tailored tone of voice guidelines with practical examples, with a specific focus on social media
- Brief style guidelines to ensure consistency in formatting, grammar and punctuation
The guide will act as a reference point for all types of written communication: for website copy, blog posts, social media posts, external emails, reports and proposals etc.
I provide tone of voice copywriting services to clients in a range of industries including:
How to Establish Your Brand's Tone of Voice
How exactly do you set yourself apart from the competition while still sounding like you? In this post, I look at how to define your brand’s tone of voice to help you strengthen your position in your industry.
How I'll Approach It
To begin with, I’ll send a short briefing document with some questions to help me gather the information I need. The questions are in regards to competitors, target audience, values and how you’d generally like the guide to look. I use this information to create a practical document that can be used as a reference when writing as your brand in any capacity.
The proposal assumes that you’re able to provide core information on values etc. rather than ‘exploring’ it, as this would be more of a workshop exercise.
To create the tone of voice guide, I first of all look at what makes your company unique. I outline the features of your service and importantly, the benefits.
I then look at three of your closest competitors, outlining their position in the marketplace and evaluating what’s good and bad about their TOV. I use these conclusions to evaluate your company’s current position in the industry and where it aims to be in the future.
I then look briefly at your target audience to ensure it’s documented in the guide. Essentially, this is who we’re writing for.
I take your top four values and top four personality traits and provide practical examples of how they translate into your written communication. I demonstrate how each specific value/personality should sound and how it shouldn’t sound. This is the lengthiest part of the document as it breaks down your ‘voice’ into specific elements.
Throughout the guide, I provide practical examples of how your voice should sound. These examples can be imagined or based on existing marketing/social media messages.
I then create a short style guide, which provides advice on preferred punctuation, spelling, grammar, parts of speech etc. in keeping with your brand voice.
Tone of Voice Guidelines and a Social Value Report for EMCOR UK
I was asked by London brand and design agency, Designhouse, to create a Tone of Voice document for EMCOR UK, based on a Social Value Report I had previously written for the company.
Tone of Voice Guidelines and 15 Optimized Web Pages for HostChain
I was asked by HostChain to write the website copy for their new brand. The copy was to be used as the basis for the website’s design. The company required upbeat, consistent, and informative copywriting that included tone of voice guidelines.
Tone of Voice Guidelines, a Brochure and 10 Website Pages for Energy Company Omexom
As a freelance copywriter in the UK that specialises in writing for the energy sector, I was asked by Omexom to write the copy for the launch of their new website. They needed a tone of voice that reflected their position as a leading electricity provider to local authorities in hard to reach areas of the world.
Website Copywriting and Tone of Voice for Spartan Maritime
Marine consultants, Spartan Maritime required copy for their newly re-branded website. The copy had to strike a balance between communicating the technicality of the company’s offerings and engaging the reader on a conversational level.