Tips To Shift Between Writing Tones While Working For Different Brands

Every day we communicate with different people and our levels of interaction also differ from person to person, depending on the closeness of our relationship with them and the subject of conversation i.e. serious, factual, funny, etc. We find it quite easy to switch from one tone of the conversation to another, from one person to another, whether face-to-face or on texts. Because every other conversation affects our mood and hence the tone gets adapted accordingly.

But how do you apply this same switch to writing? Communication isn’t rocket science, and it’s quite easy to shift between one tone to another given your environment. Whereas when it comes to applying the same shift to one’s writing, even some experienced writers struggle to the point of questioning their writing skills.

So how can one shift between tones when writing for different business purposes? There are a few tips you can follow, which we’ve discussed below…

1. Read Something New or Unrelated

Read Something New or Unrelated - writing tones

I’ve found that reading something entirely unrelated to work usually helps provide you with the shift you need between writing for different brands. For example, if you write for two different brands, with one being a restaurant the other being a clothing brand, and have to write blogs simultaneously for each, one thing you can practice to easily shift between tones is by reading a news article or a science-related blog after finishing one task and before starting on another. This gives your brain the refresh button it needs to start thinking again.

It doesn’t matter what you read as long as it is independent of your work’s subject matter. This may seem like you’ll be wasting time but in reality, it’s a way for your brain to dig into your creative psychology while being provided a temporary escape from work.

2. Know Your Audience

Know Your Audience

An important aspect of writing about any business is for you to know what their audience is used to, and what they require from you. If out of the blue you start writing funny taglines for an elegant-toned dessert shop, not only the audience but also the client is bound to get annoyed by this sudden shift in tone.

Even if you want to bring a change in what the audience is used to, you have to create a median between what you want to convey and what they expect to get from you. A slow, gradual change not only gets the audience used to change but it will also make them excited about getting something new from a brand they trust.

3. Read the Last Thing Written for The Brand You’re About to Work On

Read the Last Thing Written for The Brand - writing tones

To write for any brand, you need to get into its personality. And yes, we told you to read something unfamiliar in our first tip. But it’s also important to rekindle with what you’re about to write on. So once you’re done refreshing your brain with new information, read what was last written for the brand you have to work on.

Whether it was written by you, or if it was written by someone else and now you’re going to be the one handling said brand, it is important you get your mind familiar with the brand’s language. Although familiar to getting to know the audience, this goes beyond just the business-client relationship. This exercise helps you discover the brand’s emotions from a newer perspective, giving you a deeper understanding of their attributes. Hence, you can write with better ease for them than you did before.

4. Search for Ads/Images Relevant to the Brand

Search for Ads/Images Relevant to the Brand

An exercise I find to be useful is searching for images or ideas relevant to your brand – this activity doesn’t only inspire you, it also serves as a guide to learn what you ‘don’t’ want to do. This process is quite helpful to give you new ideas, and it is effective especially when you’re short on time and need to submit a project quickly.

Another huge advantage of researching different relevant brands is that it helps you get through your writer/creative block. At times, when we work on the same brand using the same tone for a long period of time, we start losing touch of our creativity and hit a brick wall. Googling for relevance and looking at the work of competitors usually gives you the inspiration to do something new or better than what you’ve been doing all this time, and hence shifting your writing tone becomes easier.

5. Talk to a Coworker or a Friend

Talk to a Coworker or a Friend - writing tones

When we keep going from one project to another, we’re bound to get inside our heads and block our thought processes from refreshing. Before you know it, you will start getting frustrated with why you can’t focus regardless of how zoned into work you are. At such times, it’s important to get up, walk around, talk to a friend, watch a sitcom, and if it’s time for lunch, go out to eat to get your head cleared up.

You might feel like you’re wasting time watching an episode of “Brooklyn 99” in the middle of work, but staying in one space for too long affects your creativity and productivity, stopping you from working properly.

6. Keep Your Tone Consistent from Start to Finish

Keep Your Tone Consistent from Start to Finish

While you may change tones for different subjects, make sure you use the same tone for one single piece for a particular brand. Switching between tones in a single blog won’t just make your audience confused, it will also make them lose interest before they get to the message you’re trying to convey. Keeping a consistent tone from the first sentence to the last will get your audience gripped to what you are saying and maybe even recommend your piece to others.

7. Use Your Voice

Use Your Voice - writing tones

Unless you’re providing a user guide on how to operate a machine, you need your voice rather than your content to draw your audience in. We get your urge to come off as reasonable and diplomatic, but if you want to express your opinion, express it! Bringing emotion to your writing will give it a human touch and make your audience relate to it better than when you use a robotic tone to convey your message.

8. Test Yourself

Test Yourself

Now that you’ve gotten familiar with all the tricks and tips of switching between writing tones, take a passage from any book or article and test yourself by writing it using different tones.

  • A conversational tone to reach potential consumers.
  • An authoritative tone to address corporate executives.
  • A casual tone for millennials.

Since you need to write for different clients across different industries, this test can prove fruitful to your benefit.

9. Start Writing

Start Writing - writing tones

After reading all these tips, you just need to buck-up and get to work. Whether these tricks work for you or not, we don’t know that. But neither will you until you get started on the process. Switching between tone to tone from brand to brand is not something too easy or fast-paced, but it’s not impossible either.

Put yourself to work, try a few of the tips, and as long as you’re in-line with the brand’s overall personality and coming up with fresh content, you must be doing something right.

Even with the struggle being real, it’s no surprise that content writers have to assume distinct tones and voices depending on the client and their audience. Going from task to task and switching from the serious tones of an academic blog to the light and fun tone of a restaurant in a matter of minutes is no easy shift. Hence, the art of switching between writing tones while working for different brands is quite necessary to learn.

The entire process can be disorienting. At times, it consumes a lot more time than it should as one keeps switching from brand to brand and needs to adapt to their way of working. But it’s also this process that gets you to the professional level you want to reach when it comes to your writing.

Maha Abdul Rehman

A content writer and a psychology major, I procrastinate for 6 months or write consecutively. And I occasionally watch (see: obsess about) Football.

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