Your Voice on Paper
by Marcia Yudkin
Whenever you speak with a
stranger on the phone, in just half a minute,
your listener gets an impression of a
personality, background and attitudes. Brusque.
Upbeat. Slow-witted. Prissy. Confident.
Similarly, whenever you put words down on paper
for business, you create an aura that
accompanies the meaning you intend to convey.
Your reader gets an impression of what you'd be
like to do business with. Energetic.
Pretentious. Genteel. Candid. Slimy.
For instance, imagine the
person behind each of these four business
Next January 15, I will be
crossing the finish line of the first ever,
nationally televised Pensacola Pentathlon --
first. If you act right away, your company's
logo will be exposed to millions on my
I don't know if you
remember me, but I'm the short red-haired
woman who spoke to you after your talk to
Pen Women United in Kenarsie last September.
I hope it's all right to take you up on your
invitation to send the completed manuscript
of my first novel.
We appreciate the
opportunity to serve you. So that we may
continue to offer you the finest business
information available, kindly fill out our
Despite the good work I
did for you, doubling your profits, I
haven't heard from you again. Have you gone
out of business? Died? Unfortunately, if you
don't set up another appointment this month,
I will be forced to expunge you from my file
To me, person #1 appears
brash, but not arrogant. Person #2 strikes me as
unusually timid. Writer #3 comes across as a
faceless, insincere corporation, not a person at
all. Person #4 gets the biggest rise out of me,
impressing me as a rude egomaniac who assumes
that I owe him my business.
Your reactions may differ. You
might appreciate person #2's apprehensiveness or
find person #4 refreshingly forthright. There is
no magic voice that appeals to everyone, every
Still, it's wise to match the
personality of your prose with your business
image and your target market. Do you want to
present yourself as the customer's ally? As a
no-nonsense expert? As a refined, cosmopolitan
colleague? As an efficient, down-to-earth
Feel free to use words you
rarely see in business, such as
"peachy." Distinctive language
makes your message more memorable.
Learn From the
Masters of Scrupulous Copywriting
Listen in as Marcia Yudkin
interviewed eight other high-profile experts in no-hype copywriting
(and was interviewed herself) to
discuss why and how to write copy that
gets the order without manipulation,
exaggeration or wild stunts.
recordings of the No-Hype Copywriting Telesummit.
Unless you're an
uncommonly nimble writer, don't try to
become someone in writing that you're not.
Phoniness hurts in marketing. Even if your
sleight of words worked, you'd run the
danger of disappointing the prospect when he
or she called or showed up at your office.
Copyright 2009 Marcia Yudkin.
All rights reserved.
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