A prospect—a doctor—recently told me that a colleague had discouraged her from hiring a copywriter.
“You want your copy to sound like you. You want it to be in your voice,” suggested the colleague.
I took this back to my team, and we were collectively incredulous. Part of our bag of tricks is to channel your voice.
Matter-of-fact? Sure, if that’s how you speak. Colorful? Done. Simple and direct? We make it so. Salesy? Not unless your voice sounds like a handshake lubed with extra virgin olive oil.
The interviewing process of a seasoned copywriter isn’t just to collect information. If that were the case, we could read your existing copy, do some research, and be done with it.
The crucial probe is twofold. First, we’re looking to collect stories: all of which provide tremendous insight into what you care about, how you bring value, and why.
Second, we’re extending a stylistic antenna: listening attentively to how you speak, who you sound like, how we’d translate this into effective copy, while keeping you you.
Getting It Right
Then come the iterations. After 7 years at this craft, I’ll personally attribute 90% of the back-and-forth “don’t-write-this-let’s-say-that-instead” with tonal concerns.
As we frequently tell clients, voice is the easiest thing to change: more so than approach, structure, and development. It’s not like painting a masterpiece in oil and getting told the client wanted pastel. It’s more like adjusting the lighting so the room gleams just so.
Trust your chosen writer. The more you come as you are, the easier it will be for him to find your voice, set the mood, and let your copy glow.