Your writing voice has a big influence on whether people will get to know, like, and trust you. Come across as too formal or stiff and you’re likely to turn some people off.
I aim for a conversational tone when I’m writing marketing material, whether that’s for myself, a retirement community, or a REALTOR.
What is a conversational tone?
What do I mean by a conversational tone? Well, it’s a bit like how I’d talk with someone over a coffee, but not quite. The difference is that I have more time to formulate my thoughts and come up with the right language when I’m writing it down. I guess you could say what I’m really aiming for is a friendly but extra-articulate version of my in-person self.
I’m using a conversational tone right now. How can you tell?
- The language has an immediate, between-you-and-me feel to it. I say things like “Come across as too formal or stiff…” as opposed to “A conversational tone is one that comes across as too formal or stiff…” I ask, “What do I mean by a conversational tone?” and start my answer with a folksy “well”.
- I use the pronouns “I” or “you” and don’t use the third-person as much as I would in, say, academic or business report writing.
- I tend to keep my sentences short. I may even choose to make them so short, they’re not actually sentences anymore. Like this one.
- I also keep my paragraphs short. Sometimes they may only be one sentence long (if I want something to stand out).
- I try to be as down-to-earth as possible in the way I explain things, using relatable examples where possible.
- I don’t try to say too much. I tend to write about one topic at a time.
- As you’re reading this, it should leave you with the impression that I’m approachable (if I’ve been successful).
Conveying more than facts
The thing to keep in mind is that when you’re writing marketing materials, you’re doing more than conveying facts. You’re revealing some of your personality, especially when you’re writing to promote yourself as a REALTOR. Readers will be asking themselves – at least on a subconscious level – “Can I trust this person?” “Can I relate to them?” And your voice will factor into their overall impression of you.
A while ago, I came across an article written by Julie Wildhaber, writing for Grammar Girl, that did a great job of unpacking some of the nuances of conversational writing voice.
Julie pointed out that there are many different types of conversational voices. For instance, “there’s a big difference between a conversational voice on a celebrity gossip site and a conversational voice on a bank site.”
What you want to develop is a voice that works for you and your particular audience.
“Voice is important because your writing should have as much personality as you do,” Julie writes. “A strong voice helps you make every word count, establishes consistency across your website or body of work, and most importantly helps you grab your readers’ attention and establish a relationship with them.”
It’s why developing your own conversational writing voice – one that will resonate with downsizing seniors *and* your other clients – is so important.
It’s true whether you write your own material… or have someone write it for you.
Finding your voice
That’s why I teach REALTORS not only *what* to say to downsizing seniors in their promotional material… but also *how* to say it.
In my Messaging That Attracts Downsizing Seniors course, I give lots of opportunities to develop your messaging and your voice through weekly writing assignments. On top of that, I provide one-on-one feedback. Beats trying to figure it out on your own.
I’ll be offering the course again this Spring. Stay tuned for further details.
Coming up next week
Next Monday, I’ll offer advice on describing your services in terms that resonate with downsizing seniors. Until then.