How the humble voice note can transform your marketing communications copy

Mike Nicholson

People like to read the words of other people

People like reading the words written by other people far more than content published by brands, so sounding like a person is probably a good idea.

However, something weird happens to us when we start smashing away on a keyboard. We start to talk in a strange 'professional' tone which doesn't represent how we would talk face-to-face, and that can make our copy feel stiff, and devoid of emotion or personality.

If you read some of Rory Sutherland's work on LinkedIn, you can almost hear him saying the words as you read, because he writes how he talks.

You've no doubt heard that we should 'write how we talk' and that's true, but it's actually quite difficult to do that if you don't actually talk first.

Enter the voice note

One of the best writing tips for how to write how you talk, is to actually talk first, and record that conversation on a voice note.

Talking helps us to think, and thinking helps us to write.

You can do that yourself, just as I did with this article, but in an ideal world, when you are crafting something as important as your marketing communications copy, you would record a conversation with somebody who isn't in the weeds of your products and services.

If you do that, you can not only make your copy sound as you would speak, but you can also pitch it at the right level.

What I mean by 'in the weeds' by the way is that the longer somebody works within an organisation, the deeper their knowledge gets, but that means that they start to lose track of the line between what they knew before they joined, and what they know now. Your ideal clients are in the former camp, but you are in the latter, and that knowledge gap is causing a epidemic of copy that, to the reader, is abstract, overly complicated, or confusing.

It makes perfect sense to you in the weeds, because your brain fills in the gaps with your learned knowledge, but to your ideal client, it's like you are talking another language!

If you think of the marketing funnel, when you are talking to people at the awareness level, they have a helicopter view of your products and services, so if you're talking in language that only makes sense to people in the weeds, you will lose them.

Talk to somebody before you write

If you have somebody that you can talk to, who is similar to your ideal client, but not in the weeds of what you do, have a conversation with them and record it.

When you play it back, pay close attention to the words you used in order to help your conversational partner to understand, and pay particular attention to the words they used to clarify what you were telling them.

It's likely that your ideal client would use very different words and phrases to explain what you do - and that is a disconnect. By using the language that our ideal clients understand, we communicate far more effectively.

As Dominic Perkins at Playrcart said on LinkedIn recently "We had tonnes of marketing copy to try and articulate our transactional tech, and then one client ruthlessly simplified it by saying "Oh, so you are like TikTok Commerce for the open web?" Nailed it in one sentence.

Simplifying is an art form, but one worth investing in if you want the most effective communications.

Try to cover these overarching questions in as much detail as you can:

✔️ Who you are?
✔️ What you do?
✔️ How you do it?
✔️ Who you do it with?
✔️ Why your prospects might care?

Remember communication is partly about what you want to say, but it's mainly about what your audience needs to hear.

Just Press Record

I personally use an app called 'Just Press Record' (other apps are available) which sits on my iPhone, and after I have recorded my ramblings, it gives me a transcription that I can use to construct my writing more quickly than starting from scratch.

With our clients, we ask them to send us a voice note so that we can hear how they talk about a subject, how they explain it, what stories they tell, which phrases and tone they use, and that enables us to write their ideas, in their voice, with our helicopter view of their business.

Which leads my to my final point, another way you can help to make sure your marketing copy is aimed at people in helicopters, and not people in the weeds, is to hire Karen and I at Six Sells.

Despite our combined 60 years of sales and marketing experience, we are very much in a helicopter as it relates to your company, so we can help you craft copy that lands well with your ideal clients.

Summary: The key benefits of the voice note

✔️ You can record a voice note while driving, in the bath, or while walking the dog!

✔️ Talking helps you to think, and clarify your thinking, which in turn helps you to write.

✔️ It’s quicker to speak about something than to write about it, and it’s quicker to edit a page of transcribed text than to start from scratch.

✔️ You can hear the words and phrases that you use face-to-face, which helps you write with the personality that makes you unique.

✔️ Helps you to write how you talk.

✔️ If you record a voice note of a conversation with somebody like your ideal clients, it enables you to select the words and phrases that most resonate with your audience.


Six Sells is a B2B communications agency for sales and marketing leaders.

We help your client-facing people to speak to more of your ideal clients, more often, via social media and personable content.

We offer training, consulting or done-for-you services, which increase the awareness, familiarity, trust and interest in your company and its products and services.

Email for more information.