The real question is, how easy is it to write in the voice of a client? How does a writer switch perspective and tone from objective third person to direct address, and back again, as indicated by the client’s goals?
Asking the right questions
The answer? It’s not difficult at all to adapt your writing style. If you are curious and want to learn from other people, asking the right questions comes easily. The key to the most successful communications tactics begins with the writer asking questions that provoke thoughtful, detailed answers with the client’s goal in mind.
Put another way, the best writing begins at the end. If your client’s goal is to generate sales or event attendance, then you will ask questions about the performer, the performance and the venue to help spark interest in the performance. If the client wants to sell widgets, then your questions will center around the products’ usefulness and value.
Beginning with the end in mind keeps you laser-focused on the outcomes your client desires. When you’re tempted to go off on tangents – however interesting they may be – you rein yourself in and hone in once again on the goal.
Incorporating client goals
It isn’t enough to have a list of your client’s top goals and then to develop the proper communications strategies to meet those goals.
First you must get to know your clients. Even if, like me, you work remotely and rarely attend face-to-face meetings, conversing with clients regularly about their work and their lives provides the insight to tailor your writing voice.
In addition, understanding the possible sensitivities that surround your client’s events, products or services is critically important. Know the kind of language to avoid, the proper tone for client communications, and the ways the company handles troubling issues.
A newspaper column in a specialized publication will speak to readers in much different ways than a glossy corporate brochure. In the same way, the words you choose will be shorter, more concise and more direct in a news story and more formal in a brochure.
The content can be the same even if the presentation looks different. As you write, just as important as knowing the hot buttons to push when generating attendees at a concert is your understanding about the motivations of potential investment partners and the way consumers make choices.
Finding your own voice as the basis for all your communications work is most important of all. Being true to your vision helps avoid burnout and allows you to continue to make progress as a writer. The discipline of writing requires practice and patience and focusing on using your voice to create various publications in different voices is one of the chief ways you will grow into the best writer you can be.