I wrote recently about the importance of capturing the right tone for a client. I’ve just finished working on a website for Nicky Rangecroft, a therapist and mentor – a great case study on how to work with a very specific and sensitive voice.
Nicky, a Psychology of Vision-trained coach, works with individuals, families and businesses who have identified a need to change; and through coaching and workshops, Nicky guides them as they work towards these changes. As you can imagine, this is an interesting tone of voice to get right. It needs to have warmth and understanding, yet mustn’t drift off into vague healing speak which is not what Nicky is about, and could alienate her corporate clients. Like any business website, it needs its calls to action, but these mustn’t jar.
The answer, of course, came from Nicky herself. Nicky speaks beautifully – you can see why she does the job she does, as her language is very calm, very reassuring, with a lovely rhythm and flow to this. Capturing this simply involved taking notes from our conversations – I haven’t written that much by hand since my finals – and taking down verbatim as much of her own phrases as I could. (Slight digression – I once worked with a wonderful writer, a museum head of interpretation. A highly-qualified woman, she told me that actually, the most useful course she’d ever done was shorthand.) The result, I hope, is copy with integrity that reflects the client’s own idiom, with calls to action delivered in a friendly, inviting way.
The designer on this project was Lena from Biz and Bytes. I’ve known her for years, and she put me in touch with Nicky. We formed a nice, productive triumvirate of Cornish freelancers. Like the copy, the website is cool and uncluttered. Nicky works internationally, but the style has more than a nod to her native Cornwall. Copywriting for Nicky was a joy – there is clearly something calming about writing in this voice. I didn’t even mainline coffee. I hope Nicky’s clients get the same feeling from it.