Let’s be honest. Writing doesn’t come easy to most of us. It can almost feel like a chore, a time-consuming task that takes you away from the things that you believe will boost your business.
The unavoidable truth is the way you write and share your message is crucial to the success of your business or even for you personally as an employee. Being an effective communicator, both in the written and spoken word, is an invaluable skill.
Sure, you could hire a content or copywriter to write engaging and persuasive content to level up your business marketing (if that’s you, let’s chat). But if you’re not running your own business or you don’t have the funds to pay an expert writer, this simply isn’t an option.
I often get asked how I write in such a way that is so distinctive and reflects my voice. I’ll let you in on a secret – I have no idea! Finding my voice as a writer didn’t come overnight. It took taking up a regular writing habit to uncover an effective flow that works for me. It took developing opinions on topics and issues that matter to me to unearth the voice within.
Writing in your voice, whether it’s an email, your LinkedIn profile or your website ‘About’ page, is about authenticity. To be authentic is to be genuine, original, real, credible. Authenticity builds trust. And if you want to build some level of a relationship with your reader (as a customer, colleague or contact), trust is key.
Easier said than done, cut through the fluff words and get to the practical stuff. What can I DO?
Okay, I hear you! Grab your notebook (or for the digitally-inclined, your phone) and write this down. You don’t want to miss this.
So, how can you be more authentic in your writing?
Write what you know
This is a tip I’m almost certain you’ve heard before and one to hold on to, there’s so much truth to it! As a reader, you can tell when you’re reading an article, blog or book that lacks authenticity because the author hasn’t lived out the topic they’re writing about. It can be tempting to want to write about all the irresistibly attractive topics that people are itching to know more about at the time.
Resist the temptation to be purely driven by likes, shares and views. Instead, write as though you’re writing for that one person who needs to hear from your personal experience to forge their path in your area of expertise. This authenticity will pay off in the long run!
Write the way you speak
Now, this is one that I’ll admit I didn’t always put into practice when writing. This was especially true when it came to writing for work, confined by the traditional delivery methods of a professional services firm. Though I would have stumbled over the words if I attempted to read a highly technical report aloud, it did mean that I mastered the art of business writing. You win some, you lose some, right?
Business writing aside, think of the last website you visited or the last book you read. Was it easy to read? If so, you could probably imagine the author in front of you saying those same words as though you were carrying out a conversation. That’s precisely what it is, conversational writing. Not only is this writing style a heck of a lot easier to read, it also creates the belief that the words are genuinely from you.
The next time you write anything (I mean ANYTHING), read it back aloud to yourself. How does it sound? If it sounds natural, you’re good to go!
Write to tell your story
We’ve all got a story to tell. No one can share your story the way you can.
Sharing your story requires a level of vulnerability that can’t be achieved by any other piece of writing. It’s also a good way to get you in the habit of writing as yourself and no one else. By documenting your life experiences (the good and the bad) and what you’ve learned along the way, you’ll find that you discover your true writing voice.
Also, it doesn’t hurt that everyone loves a good story! Use storytelling to hook your readers in and you’ll leave them wanting to read more of your stuff.
If you need pointers on how to tell your story, check out this article on 7 Simple Ways to Tell a Compelling Story.
Try these writing strategies the next time you write an email or a social media caption and let me know:
- Do you feel like you’re being more authentic?
- How was it received?
Leave your feedback in a comment and if you enjoyed this post, please share the love by sharing with others!
Oyelola is a freelance writer based in Sydney, Australia. She works closely with entrepreneurs and businesses in financial services, consulting and education, writing quality-rich content to engage their readers and motivate action. When not writing for clients, Oyelola provides insights on writing, wealth and work on her Phrased with Purpose blog and shares her faith journey on her personal blog, He Speaks, I Write.