“What the f*!k should I make for dinner?” It’s an age-old question made memorable in this great little cookbook, website, and Facebook feed that’s been followed by a few hundred thousand people.

Would this recipe collection be half as successful without its (ahem) direct approach to communication? Behold, the power of voice.

This is one example of many that proves the point: it’s not just WHAT you say; it’s HOW you say it that can make the difference between being seen or skipped over.

By writing in the right voice, you can relate with your readers in a way that is both enlightening and entertaining. This becomes even more essential as news feeds overflow with stories.

At Muse Content Group, our professional writers are trained to adapt messaging to suit the voice of the brand. Here’s some insight into the process we use to pack client words with personality.

Define your brand persona.

If your business were a person, how would you describe him/her? Imagine this question in the context of friend’s bar-b-cue. Are you the boisterous storyteller at the center of attention? Or, maybe you’re the lady in the corner immersed in quiet conversation with new friends.

Consider the different personalities you know and how they might phrase the question: What should I cook for dinner?

What the f*!k should I make for dinner?
Hmmm…dinner. What would be good tonight?
I wonder what recipe would be appropriate for dinner this evening?

Your brand voice can range from down-to-earth to highly refined, depending on your approach. Generally speaking, the more upscale the brand, the more formal and sophisticated the tone.

Content First – Style Second

We always start drafts by asking ourselves, “What’s the main takeaway that must be communicated in this venue?” Once we have approval on what we’ll say, we’ll style it up in second draft. In this way, we can focus our energy on the strategy of the message, and then the art of the technique. This is similar to an artist making a sketch before filling it in with color.

Simply put, be confident in your message to start…and then think through how you’ll say it to stand apart.

Read it Out Loud.

This is a great technique for any written communication, from emails to white papers. It’s especially important for social media posts. When you read your writing out loud, does it sound like something your brand persona might say? Well-worded writing should roll off the tongue as naturally as your own dialogue at that friend’s bar-b-que.

If you stumble over words, it’s likely awkward or too lengthy. Cut for brevity and try again.

Are you ready to get writing? Look for inspiration in some of our favorite voices in branding:

Emma email
“Who’s emma? We all are, even the dudes.”

Cards Against Humanity
“If you want to navigate a phone tree, you may call us at (312) 756-0834.”

Old Spice
“Get shaved in the face.”

Chipotle
“Integrity is kind of a funny word for food.”

About Jackie

Jackie Bebenroth is an award-winning copywriter turned strategist/creative director with 15 years of progressively responsible experience in the field. Skill set extends beyond messaging to include brand positioning, strategic planning and business consulting. Successful track record of developing top-down marketing, media and content plans, then bringing the strategies to life in creative campaigns. Fluent in forward-thinking digital outreach, with current emphasis on maintaining a balanced content presence across social media and blog platforms.

Jackie was named Content Marketing Leader of the Year by Content Marketing Institute.