Getting Your Tone of Voice Right: Why It's So Important

When creating content or interacting with your audience online, you’ll likely be thinking about what you should say to best represent your firm. But sometimes the way things are said is just as important. This is where tone of voice comes in.

Why should you spend time developing a tone of voice?

Tone of voice refers to the way that you communicate with your potential clients. It should reflect who you are as a firm, the areas you specialise in and the values you hold.

By developing a set tone of voice, you’ll be helping your audience to read between the lines and get to know your firm, the services you offer and the ways in which you operate.

This is especially important in our sector as people will understandably want to learn as much as they can about your firm before entrusting you with their legal matters.

You might consider using a compassionate tone of voice within your content, or a more informal approach that breaks down legal jargon (while maintaining a level of professionalism). This could go a long way towards reassuring a visitor to your site that you’re the best option for them.

When tone of voice is employed successfully, it can help you to build trust with potential clients while also allowing you to stand out from competitors – which will often result in increased conversions.

But how do you go about creating a tone of voice that represents your firm?

Building your tone of voice – where to start

It can be difficult to know where to begin when you’re thinking about developing tone of voice. You’ll want to make sure that you come across well to your potential clients, so we would suggest researching your audience before doing anything else.

There are a number of online tools that could help you to do this, but Google Analytics is a good place to start. While their data isn’t always 100% accurate, it can provide a good overview of your site visitors’ gender, age, location and more.

After familiarising yourself with your audience, you might want to think about how you’d like to present yourselves to them. You could consider:

  • Who you are
    Think about your core values and anything that sets you apart from your competitors. For example, if you pride yourself on providing compassionate service, try to convey this through the tone of your content.
  • Your existing content
    It may be useful to review the content you already have on your website before creating a new tone of voice. Think about how your firm currently presents itself through content – is there anything you’d like to change?
  • What you don’t want to put across
    As well as deciding what you want to show your audience, you should also consider what you don’t want to put across. For instance, if you adopt an informal tone of voice, you’ll need to ensure that your content doesn’t start to become too familiar or unprofessional.

That’s not to say that an element of irreverence can’t work, though. Consider the example of Dead Happy, the life insurance provider. Their use of dry humour in what is traditionally a sombre industry appeals to a younger audience. This stands out among competitors, whose advertising is aimed at older people and fits a certain mould.

It’s important to remember that Dead Happy likely would have carried out comprehensive research before taking this approach, so don’t forget who you’re marketing to.

These prompts can provide a good basis for building your tone of voice. But its success will ultimately depend on how well you implement and maintain it.

Maintaining tone of voice throughout your content

When you’ve developed your tone of voice, the next step will be to share it with the relevant teams. You should make sure that any colleagues responsible for writing content or engaging with potential clients online – including on social media – is confident using the style points you’ve set out.

If you have larger teams, keeping one consistent tone of voice may be more difficult. But creating a set of guidelines could help. These guidelines can be as brief or as comprehensive as you wish, but they should include:

  • Example sentences or paragraphs that demonstrate your tone of voice
  • Grammar rules – you may choose to follow rules that are not technically correct but allow a more conversational tone
  • Preferred terminology – this might apply if you’re trying to avoid excessive use of legal jargon

This isn’t an exhaustive list, and it is up to you how detailed you’d like your tone of voice guidelines to be. But with a set of rules to follow, it will be much easier for your firm to stay consistent across all your channels and platforms.

Don’t be afraid to test different approaches, either. Consider carrying out A/B testing on your website, social media and email comms to gauge which tone of voice works best before finalising your guidelines.

If you’d like to find out more about how we could boost your marketing efforts, get in touch with us today.


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