Hey, Client, This Is Me! Sell
With Your Writing Voice.
by: Cathy Goodwin
In a crowded
market, clients will be seeking personality
as they read what you've written -- they'll
click right past pages that feel "been
there, read that." They're looking for a
voice that says, "Hey, client, this is me!"
They want to
know not just what you deliver -- but how.
Will you be funny or serious? A perky
cheerleader or a sardonic commentator? Will
your view of life be based on "believe and
it happens" or "what you see is what you
Here are some
tips to add your own voice to your writing.
1. Write from
passionate or angry to sit still? Best time
to connect with your voice. Grab a pencil
and scribble ideas as you jump around the
articles on time management, your readers
know about cutting projects into manageable
chunks and setting priorities. Ho hum. Try
"better than zero" or "turn your life into a
yourself talking to a good friend about a
Do your words
sound different when you speak than when you
write? Transcribe the tape into an article
for easy reading.
your ideal client (you do have one, don't
you?). Imagine that she is gushing about
your service to a friend -- highly
recommending you. What words does she use to
describe your services? What emotions come
5. Cut. Then
cut again. When you have to trim your piece
to meet a word count requirement, notice
that you're left with the most essential
words -- all yours.
6. Write fast.
Get the words down before your inner critic
has a chance to participate. Edit later.
yourself: family, mistakes, secret dreams.
When you feel just a bit embarrassed, or
feel your private persona has become more
public, you've probably just touched your
8. Be concrete
-- not abstract.
guru Natalie Goldberg would say, "It's a
geranium, not a flower."
9. If you've
had voice training, be especially alert to
creating the bland and the blah.
could hold an audience while she reads the
telephone directory. Your copy has to stand
alone, without dramatic oratory. Exercise 3
may not work for you.
10. Don't be
afraid to break the rules: use slang and
contractions. And it's okay to begin a
sentence with "and" or "but."
carefully on the rules of grammar and
spelling. "Your about to head off for you're
great adventure" can be a
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