Brand voice tips from your friendly freelance healthcare copywriter
We’re in the digital age, baby! And it’s opened doors for startups big and small, making it possible to reach a global audience with minimal effort. Woo hoo!
Whether you’re a new online startup or a brick-and-mortar setup, launching a biz is exhilarating, stressful, nerve-wracking, and a million other things simultaneously. There’s a sh*t ton to do — from tedious paperwork and financial considerations through to the more fun stuff like your logo, branding, website, and the giant beast that is marketing.
But first, my friend, in the words of Julie Andrew, “Let’s start at the very beginning, a very good place to start.” And where is that? Why! With your brand identity, of course.
WTH is brand identity?
If you’re like many new biz bosses, this may be one of the first times you’ve given any significant thought to what your company represents. Your brand identity is all about how people perceive your company’s essence — it encompasses everything from your logo and slogan to the fonts you use on your website, social media accounts, and how your brand interacts with the world.
People recognize you from this core brand identity, or at least they should do. You need to up the ante and enter the arena with a strong brand identity that raises you above the rest and leaves a lasting impression. And when it comes to making a lasting impact, image is everything.
You know what else nails your brand identity like a boss? A copywriter. A talented, experienced freelance healthcare copywriter.
“But why would I need a copywriter? I can write, and branding is all about the visuals anyhow.” I hear you. But no! Branding is more than choosing pretty colours and working on a logo. Branding is all about your essence, story, and unique voice.
Essence? Yep. Your brand’s identity, personality, mission, values, and vision are what make people connect with it on a deep level.
To communicate these effectively, you need crisp content in your language that speaks to your audience in theirs. Because let’s face it, different people are looking for different things from the brands they buy from. So you want them to know whether or not you’re right for them just by reading the content on your site. And you want them to recognize you through your brand voice.
Your content must sing your story AND be engaging, entertaining, and easy to read. A lot, huh?
That’s where a freelance healthcare copywriter comes in. And we’re worth every penny, even if I do say so myself! Because aside from collaborating with you to pin down your brand voice, we can write stunning content for you. And you must know that the difference between good and meh content is as vast as night and day.
What is tone of voice in copywriting?
Well, tone is how you say something, and voice is your brand’s personality.
You can have two businesses writing about exactly the same topic, but your clients should be able to tell you apart by your unique style and the way you speak, well, write.
To quote Oscar Wilde, “Be yourself. Everyone else is already taken.”
When you have a recognizable brand voice, it cuts through the static.
What’s the difference between tone and voice?
Yes, they’re similar, so I’ll forgive you if you mix them up, but there are subtle differences.
Consider this. Voice is personality. And personality can shine through in your messaging.
The tone, however, is how you say something. Your brand should have one consistent voice, but it can have multiple tones that you tailor to the situation. For example, you’d change your tone when writing a casual blog post compared to a formal document.
And is essential to have a consistent personality or voice across all channels, as brands that do so increase revenue by 23%.
A consistent voice allows clients to recognize you immediately and feel comfortable no matter where you are.
Why is tone of voice so important?
For one thing, it establishes your brand. I know that a brand identity encompasses all sorts of goodies like your logo and jazzy slogan, but your tone of voice helps you stand out from the crowd.
Think of it like this, if you stripped away all the visuals associated with branding, could your clients tell it’s you? Or would you fade away into the background of humdrum content?
Your tone of voice establishes you and makes you recognizable and authentic. You can unapologetically be yourself.
TOV also makes your content shine. It makes it spicy. Now I know all too well that some content calls for a relatively dry writing style — white papers I’m talking to you — when you let your voice shine through in your writing, it makes it enjoyable. Your readers feel like they’re having a conversation with you. It makes an impact.
When your readers are engaged, they’re feeling emotions, and it keeps them glued to the page. And you know I love a statistic, so consider that clients who feel emotionally connected to your brand have three times higher lifetime value! So, imagine that just by being yourself, you could increase your revenue a whopping three times!
The world is plagued with dull, cardboard-tasting content. Don’t let yours suffer the same fate. How? It’s simple. Enter stage left — tone of voice guidelines.
Tone of Voice Guidelines
Before we get to putting pen to paper — I’m old school — and actually working on some copy, you need to nail your company’s unique voice and tone.
So, what the hell are tone of voice guidelines?
Well, as we’ve discussed, TOV refers to the feelings and attitude conveyed in a style of communication — whether it’s written or spoken. It includes the words and phrases used, sentence structure, and punctuation. Tone can give away your age, sex, location, personality type through to profession, interest, time of day…all sorts! And people are pretty damn good at reading these details when they come across them online.
Phew! That’s quite a lot of responsibility for one little term. But rest assured that by putting guidelines in place, they’ll ensure any brand content you put out there is consistent and works hard.
Your TOV guidelines ensure that the tone of voice you — and any copywriter — uses remains true to your identity and values.
The guideline for tone of voice comes down to three things:
- Who it’s for?
- What does the brand represent?
- How should people feel when they read it?
For example, how would your company want customers to feel after interacting with them? Would you like them to be excited, confident, reassured, excited, or comfortable?
Guidelines provide consistency in approach so that no matter who is reading your content — whether it’s a customer looking for advice on product A vs. B or a first-time visitor dipping into your digital world — everyone gets the same feeling about it. Be that warm and fuzzy, or impressed and inspired.
Your TOV guidelines should include details about:
- vision and mission
- the brand and what it does
- voice guidelines, for example, are you serious, fun, techy, chill, etc.
- brand values
- brand personality and how clients see you
- ideal client avatars
Creating a TOV guideline together with your copywriter helps them nail whatever they write, so you need minimal, if any, edits or changes.
If that sounds like a lot of up-front work, it’s because it is! But your TOV guidelines make things easier in the long run, so you’ll save time and money when you outsource content writing to a freelance healthcare copywriter. It also ensures that any content produced by an internal team is on-brand from the get-go — yay for avoiding miscommunication!
The take-home on tone of voice
Establish your tone of voice to supercharge your brand’s personality and make it stand out from the crowd. Your content should ooze your brand voice so people know who you are and what you’re about, even if they couldn’t see your visual branding.
Taking time to create a set of tone of voice guidelines provide a strong foundation for your copy and content, helping you stay true to who you are and achieve consistency in your communications. Plus, it’s an excellent framework for any freelance healthcare copywriter working with you.
Nail your tone of voice, and you’ll get more bang for every buck you spend — pinky-swear!