Making silly voices

Sometimes working in an agency is a little like working on a sketch TV show.

Last week, I was talking to Erin about a client’s voice.

“Sometimes the voice is serious,” I said, raising my shoulders to my ears and putting on a stodgy, old British man type of accent.

“And sometimes it’s playful,” I said doing my best three-year old girl with breathy voice and wide eyes (Thanks to my niece as my point of reference).

“But when you don’t know a client well, and they haven’t given you much to go on, you just make it up!

“This client has bright brand colours and fun icons, but is serious as a heart attack in terms of approach. So, I’m writing in the voice of a sassy black woman from a 1994 sitcom.”

Harriet Winslow

Sit. DOWN. Steve Urkel

Now, Erin busted out laughing at the comparison – mostly ’cause it was spot on for the client – but that’s exactly what I did. I wrote this very serious website content with a loving mom sensibility and a dash of common sense and side-eye to keep the reader interested.

Light bedtime reading

A couple days later I read an article on Contently about how the word “voice” is too often being used as a buzzword by agencies and how we don’t delve into it enough.

The author Melissa Lafsky Wall, founder of Brick Wall Media, (I love you! You’re work is so good!) made some awesome points; the best of which, is an exercise she teaches in her classes about content marketing.

You bring the flowers, I’ll bring the wine

She suggests when writing for your company, think of yourself going to a dinner party and you want each guest to leave with a particular impression of you.

“So you act a certain way, choose certain words and conversation topics over others, make certain jokes, and generally work to be the most charming, or funny, or book smart, or emotionally sensitive, etc. version of yourself, depending on which of these traits are the most important for you to convey,” she writes.

More than a feeling

Before you sit down to write, it’s essential to think about your brand as a person.

What are its motivations? What gets its blood pumping? What makes it stand out and make a lasting impression at a crowded dinner party?

So, what’s your voice sound like?

Once we uncover that and pair it with what the customer wants (in a very bizarre-looking venn diagram) then we can start to write.

Now, that’s a significant amount of work to do before pen ever hits the page, but the results are worth it. When your brand is relatable with a real personality, people are more likely to read what you have to say.

If you’re looking for a good identity thief to tell your brand’s story, get in touch today. It’s what we love to do!

And no, I will not tell you which client we were talking about.