You may be thinking, what does tone of voice have to do with the success of my new cleaning company?
Truth be told, it could have everything to do with it! If it’s done right, that is.
When starting a new business, you’ll know that a lot of it comes down to experimenting. What works and what doesn’t? What will attract the right kind of customer and what won’t? For the most part, trial and error is the way to go. It may take a while to get it right, but you’ll get there eventually.
There are some things, however, that need to be right as soon as possible. This is the category that tone of voice falls into. Without establishing the right tone of voice from the get-go, it can be incredibly difficult to resonate with the right audience, thus making it challenging to gain customers at all.
With this in mind, we thought we’d share our top tips for establishing the right tone of voice for your new cleaning company.
Tone of Voice
So, you’ve started a new cleaning company, and you need to get some customers on your list. You also know that tone of voice is going to be a key component for finding those customers and building trusting relationships with them. But where do you start? And how do you know you’re not barking up the wrong tree?
First of all, let’s establish what tone of voice actually is and go from there:
Tone of voice in content is very similar to the tone of voice in real life. It’s to do with the way we change our tone when speaking to a certain type of person or in a certain situation. For example, when reading a speech at a funeral, we might adopt a serious, sombre tone. An upbeat tone would be out of place here. On the other end of the spectrum, if we were addressing a room full of toddlers, we may use an enthusiastic, chirpy tone to capture their attention.
The same methodology needs to be applied to your written content. Considering your audience and the way they’ll be expecting you to address them can give you an idea of the type of tone of voice you need to be using.
But why is tone of voice so important in the first place?
The Importance of Tone of Voice
Tone of voice is what gives your brand and your business personality. It takes away that robotic feel and gives it a more human quality, allowing your audience to better connect with it.
Your audience will feel even more connected if that tone of voice is something they’re familiar with. If you’ve selected the right tone of voice, your audience should feel like they’re having a conversation with someone they know well.
Using the wrong tone of voice may be off-putting to potential customers and may make them feel excluded from the content you’re putting out there.
Using the correct tone of voice is also a great way to give potential customers a great first impression. It instantly makes your brand seem authentic and original and helps your audience make up their mind as to whether they want to invest in your services or not. In fact, according to ContentCal ‘86% of consumers say authenticity is key when deciding whether to trust a brand – and your tone of voice is the first impression many potential customers get. In fact, it only takes users approximately 50 milliseconds to form their opinion of you.’
And if that isn’t enough to convince you of the importance of tone of voice, we don’t know what is!
While that’s all well and good, you’re probably wondering how you should go about establishing the right tone of voice for your specific cleaning company. We’ve put together a list of steps that should get you off to a good start:
The single most important step of establishing the correct tone of voice is audience research. Without knowing who your audience is, you’ll find it difficult to speak (or write!) in a way that resonates with them.
Look into individual members of your audience, look at audience analytics and determine things like:
- Age – the tone of your content will differ depending on the age of those you’re trying to target. Content full of slang and colloquialisms may now go down well with the older generation, while content with an academic tone may not resonate with families looking for a domestic cleaner.
- Location – if you’re writing for clients in a very specific local area, you can adapt your tone to reflect this. If you’re looking further afield, this tone may not be appropriate.
- Wants and needs – establishing the wants and needs of your target audience can really help when it comes to deciding on the right tone of voice to use in your content. If your target audience is after quick-fire solutions, your tone of voice needs to reflect this. If they’re looking for reassurance or advice, you may need to think about softening your tone slightly.
Determining factors like the above will give you a general idea of who your target audience is, and you’ll be able to start adapting your tone of voice accordingly.
While this falls into the research category, we feel it’s important enough to have a subheading of its own.
One of the most important things to look into when researching your target audience is the type of language they use on a regular basis. It may seem obvious, but language underpins tone of voice, and the better you can get to grips with it, the more authentic your content will seem.
Spend some time monitoring your target audience on social media. How do they interact with one another? What kind of words are they using? Mirroring the way your target audience naturally communicates in your own content gives them something familiar that they’re far more likely to be drawn to.
For example, the mother figure of a middle-class family looking for a domestic cleaner will speak very differently to a boss who requires a commercial cleaning service to keep her offices looking smart. Consider the services you are offering, as well as the language your potential customers will use to give you an idea of the tone of voice you should be using.
Looking into your competitors and analysing how they’re communicating is also a great way to get to grips with tone of voice. Look at what works for them, and what doesn’t work, in your opinion and adapt your own tone of voice accordingly.
What you won’t want to do, however, is establish the same tone of voice as your competitors. Establishing a tone of voice specific to your brand is all about being unique and making your company stand out in the crowd. Use competitor research for inspiration and leave it at that.
The final component for establishing a tone of voice that really resonates with your target audience is you! Your cleaning company is unique because it belongs to you, and you come with your own unique personality that can be injected into your content.
Some companies feel the need to remove the humour, or the friendly tone from their content in order to appear more professional and trustworthy. Most of the time, though, this makes them sound a bit robotic and boring! By showcasing the fact that you are a real person, with real feelings and opinions, you’re putting yourself on the same level as your potential clients, because guess what? They’re real people with real feelings and opinions too!
Don’t be afraid to let your personality and unique qualities shine through in your content. It’ll provide you with a tone of voice that your target audience can connect with.
Putting it into Place
Now that you’ve established an authentic tone of voice for your new cleaning company, you can start to roll it out across all your channels, especially social media and your website. If used consistently, your target audience will begin to become familiar with your brand, meaning they’re more likely to trust what it is you have to say.
Establishing a tone of voice as soon as your business is up and running saves copious amounts of time in trial and error and can be the thing that really gets your business off to a good start.
If you’d like further support in establishing the right tone of voice for your company, or even just with creating content, please do not hesitate to get in touch.
We have a range of content creation packages (and plenty of advice!) available, designed specifically for start-up businesses like yours.