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Say What? – Choosing a Tone For Your Business

By Jessica Brown

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Think about the kind of book you read as a kid. Now, think about the latest book you checked off of your reading list. Unless you’re truly a kid at heart, these two pieces are probably vastly different. The first was probably very visual with short and punchy sentences while the second is probably written with a more advanced vocabulary and font.

When deciding on what writing tone to take on your website and in other marketing materials, there are a lot of things to keep in mind, including:

  • Your customers
  • Your prospects
  • Your brand

Your customers

Just as every business is unique, so is every customer. A website for a mechanic wouldn’t be written the same way as a website for a daycare center. Think about how you socialize with customers in person. Do you present yourself very formally, or do you take a more casual approach. Your answer could decide whether you would want to add this sentence to your website:

We help our customers by providing the latest in heating and cooling solutions.

Or this one:

Got the chills? Working up a sweat? We’re here to keep you at the right temperature.

Your prospects

Your customers are extremely important, but so are your potential customers. In order to gain more customers, you need to choose a writing style that appeals to the kind of customers you want to attract. For instance, if you ran a retirement home and wanted to reach out to those looking to put a loved one in your care, you would want to have a very friendly and approachable tone. Your words should comfort your customers while they make a difficult decision.

Just as it’s important to include content in your marketing materials that your customers will be looking for, it’s important to consider the mood your customer may be in while looking for more information.

Your brand

Your website and marketing materials are your story to the world. How do you want to be talked about and remembered? A fun and useful way to get answers to questions like these is to build a company persona.

Picture your business as a person:

  • How would they greet someone?
  • What are five adjectives you would use to describe them?
  • What kind of activities would they enjoy doing?

Creating a persona will help you stay more consistent in your writing tone, because you’ll be able to more accurately determine what your company would and wouldn’t say. Personas also help when you’re working with a company (like us) to help you craft your messaging. By telling us exactly how you would like to tell your story to your customers, you give us the tools we need to carry out your messaging.

Once you find your voice, it’s only a matter of portraying it to your customers and potential customers. Thinking about what tone you want to use will ensure that your story sounds like you’re the one who is telling it.


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