The second 3 voice types are the “voices of accessibility.” In contrast to the voices of authority who are successful by positioning above or ahead of their readers, the voices of accessibility get down to their reader’s level. These are particularly effective in industries where the audience lacks confidence and wants to feel like they have someone “in their corner.”
Here’s the 3 voices we’re talking about.
Notice how the “voices of accessibility” dominate the bottom right of the graph: basic vocabulary and long cadence. This is because these voices are the most calming.
Voice Type #4: Friend at the bar
The “friend at the bar” can be one of the easiest and most effective voices to use in copy. Basically, you speak to your audience like you’re talking to your friend. It comes across as “hey, here’s this cool thing I want to tell you about because I like you and figured you’d like cool things.” You don’t have to “work” at your voice as much because it’s how you actually talk to other humans. The tone is casual, the cadence short to medium, and the vocabulary basic.
Fitness coach John Romaniello is the master at this. Look at this post to see what I mean — In it he gives you a free workout, supplement advice, and sells his coaching program… all the while you think you’re having a chat about the new Star Wars movie.
Here’s 3 more “Friends at the Bar”
Kevin Rogers – Copywriting
Joe Rogan – Podcasting
BIG BRAND EXAMPLE: M&Ms
Voice Type #5: Learning as We Go
This is similar to the parental authority voice but instead of “I’ve learned this lesson” it’s “I’m in the middle of learning this thing and want you to watch.” It’s all about experimentation.
The tone is curious, the cadence can vary, and the vocabulary is basic. One person who’s built an empire around this is AJ Jacobs. He wrote best selling books on religion, health, and genealogy — without being an expert in any of those fields.
In the business field, Pat Flynn takes his readers on his journey with him, interviewing experts, testing, and even reporting his earnings every month. The headline of his site shows his curious tone.
Here’s 2 more “Learning as We Go”
BIG BRAND EXAMPLE: Lay’s
Lay’s has tried over 204 different flavors of potato chips. Some are amazing. Some… not so much. But by experimenting they discover (and help their customers discover) flavors that no one else can.
Voice Type #6: The Yogi
The last type of voice is most pervasive in the self-help and life coach field. The tone is gentle, the cadence is slow, and the vocabulary is unlike any other voice. I imagine many of these “Find your soul’s purpose” sites being read in a calming voice next to a babbling brook. This voice is not to be discredited, however. There is a huge market of people that want to be gently coached rather than shouted to. Many of these writers speak from the heart, offering personal experiences and struggles. One writer that I really enjoy is Alexis Neely. She coaches lawyers to create more authentic practices and gets very personal in the process.
Here’s 2 more “Yogis”
Mastin Kipp- Business Building
BIG BRAND EXAMPLE: Lincoln MKX
As a side note, if you’ve read many of the less meaningful life coaching sites, you’ll enjoy this parodic “New Age Bullshit Generator” where a computer generates copy that rivals any sales page I’ve seen in the space.
In Part 3, we’ll cover the “Voices of Outlook.”
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