Copywriting is probably the most underrated skill in the World.
Copywriting influences our decisions in everyday life and business.
And billions of dollars depend on copywriting to make or break a business. But no one teaches you copywriting in business school, or in marketing departments or ad agencies, do they?A study by Albert Mehrabian shows that when you communicate with people the impact of your message depends on 3 things. 7% is down to words people hear, 38% is based on the tone of those words and 55% on your body language Mehrabian, A. & Wiener, M., 1967; Mehrabian, A. & Ferris, S., 1967).
That's why understanding the difference between voice, tone and style is so important.
When you write copy, voice is your personality on paper.
Imagine your brand as a real person. Your voice is a reflection of who you are. It's what brings your brand to life. It's the verbal identity that makes your brand different from your competitors.
It's what makes Red Bull different from Monster. Or Dollar Shave Club different from Gillette. Or Brewdog different from Heineken.
When your brand has a clear voice, whenever it speaks, people think, "Oh, I know who this is. I know this voice."
But there's one thing you should know about voice. Your clients are going to buy your products because your voice, in some way, reminds them of theirs.
If your voice sounds too bland and the safe choice like vanilla, you're going to make it really difficult for any client to choose your brand. That’s why you should always write like your audience talks. To generate empathy. To generate a connection and attraction.
Now let's talk about tone. Your voice is always the same, but your tone adapts to each situation.
Here's a different way of thinking about it. Think of voice as your personality — it's something that never changes. And your tone as your daily mood — it changes , based on each situation.
You might use one tone if you're speaking on the phone with the President of the United States. And a different tone if you're having coffee with friends. But your personality never changes.
You should always let context and empathy influence your tone. For example, if you're writing website copy, the tone should be more positive and helpful. If you're replying to clients on Twitter or email your tone should be simple, clear and direct.
So and what about style? Style influences your voice. In fact, it's one of the biggest contributors to writing compelling copy.
There are many elements that can affect your copywriting style. Like verbs, sense-based descriptors, metaphors, alliterations, and more.