Just as an artist can portray the image of another person in their work, so too can a writer. One of the important roles of a freelance writer is to be able to write in their client’s voice. This is important for creating a consistent brand and to ensure that content flows smoothly between the web site, blog, social media and marketing materials. But for writers who excel at creating a very distinct voice for their own writing, learning to take on the voice of a client can be challenging. Here are several ways to help create a versatile voice that can be shaped to fit the personality and style of many different people.
Learn the Lingo
Every industry has its own set of commonly used words and terminologies. As a writer, you’re not expected to be familiar with such terms from the start, but you should make the effort to learn them as you go. This will help you to use the terms accurately and create a natural voice for your clients. Aside from common terms, each business will also have its own preference for how it refers to certain aspects of the business. For example, should you use the word clients or customers? Does the business prefer a certain acronym or shortened version of its name? It’s important to learn these preferences and to use them throughout each writing project to create a genuine voice.
Feel the Rhythm
This is subtle, but important. The rhythm of writing from one person to another can vary greatly. Some people prefer lengthy and complex sentences while others keep each thought short and simple. In order to portray the same rhythm of your client’s own writing, you should review any work they have written. Take note to their particularities. Maybe they like to start a paragraph by asking a question or maybe they’re very liberal with their use of exclamation points. All of these small nuances have a big impact on the overall feel and style of the writing.
Switching back and forth between multiple writing projects for a variety of clients can make creating a consistent voice a challenge. You need to remember the style that best represents each client and be able to quickly get into this mindset every time you write for them. For readers to believe that you are that person or business, you must remain consistent in your voice. Even the most subtle changes in terminology or sentence structure can make the transition in content awkward and disingenuous. Once you write several pieces for a client, be sure to reference them when starting your next project. This will refresh their voice and reset your writing style.
The job of a freelance writer is no easy task. You must develop a unique writing style to first get noticed, but then be able to let go of this style to take on the voice of a client at a moment’s notice. The ability to be versatile in your writing is invaluable. Remember to familiarize yourself with your client’s commonly used terminology, use their writing rhythm and be consistent with this style across all projects. ~Stephanie