Hey, did you know you don’t have to write like an Ivy League scholar for your clients to take you seriously? It’s true. Casual writing is okay! People respond better to things they can understand and easily follow.
Let us set the scene for you… You’re in the 10th grade. English class just started, and you could really use a nap. Your teacher says, “Okay everyone, let’s begin reading ‘Great Expectations.’” And just like that, your brain checks out. Let nap time begin! It’s not because “Great Expectations” isn’t a good novel. It’s because the language is scholarly, and frankly, not entertaining.
Don’t make your readers feel like 10th graders reading “Great Expectations.” We can universally understand casual writing without being sloppy.
Look at the difference between these sentences:
While these sentences are similar in content and length, small changes make the casual sentence more readable and not completely dull!
Too Casual: “Hey, party people! What’s poppin’? We just wanted to let ya know that our new products coming out on Monday are BOMB, and you def need to fork over your cash to buy them!”
Casual: “Hi, everyone! We hope you’re having a relaxing weekend. Keep your eyes peeled for new products launching MONDAY! You will not regret getting your hands on them. Happy shopping!”
Formal: “Hello, loyal clients. We hope this email finds you well. Our exquisite new line of products will be available for purchase starting Monday. We hope you will consider purchasing some new items and have faith that you will enjoy them thoroughly.”
Embracing Casual Writing
Sometimes we overuse formal writing, which results in writing too much. There’s a time and place for formality. But no one wants to feel like they’re reading a contract when trying to support your company. Keep it clear and concise! If your writing is intimidating and makes clients feel uneducated, they will find someone else to work with.
Consider your audience, brand, and topic from the get-go. When you know who you’re talking to, you know how to talk. If your audience is used to slang terms and relaxed verbiage, stick with informal but intentional writing. It’s best to consistently maintain a similar voice and tone, no matter what you’re writing about. Your business will stand out if you use inclusive language, clear information, and an intelligent strategy. Speak directly to your people and make it personal.
What is Casual Writing?
Think of casual writing as an informal talk with your accountant. It’s not an overly casual chat with your BFF. It’s also not a formal conversation with the President of the United States. Casual is the happy medium.
If you do a quick Google search for the definition of “informal,” you will find this: “having a relaxed, friendly, or unofficial style, manner, or nature.” Incorporate that definition into your writing. Casual writing is comfortable and conversational. It’s not so informal that you’re using “OMG” or “BRB,” but conversational enough to use “talkative” instead of “loquacious” or “disgusting” instead of “abhorrent.”
Tips for Casual Writing
We’ve convinced you that casual writing is the way to go. Good! Now, how do you do that? You know how to write formally. How do you tone it down to make it casual without going too far?
Tips for casual writing include:
- Use Active Voice. Using active rather than passive voice automatically makes your writing more personal and casual. Speak. To. Your. Reader.
- Proofread Out Loud. If you read your writing out loud, and it doesn’t flow or sound conversational, it’s either too formal or poorly written. Remember, it shouldn’t sound like you’re talking to your accountant. Well, unless you’re writing for an accountant.
- Avoid Industry-Specific Terms. Just because someone is your client doesn’t mean they understand writing. Avoid using words that only relate to the “behind the scenes” of what they do. Speak to the ordinary person. If you must use industry jargon, explain it.
- Utilize All Punctuation. Sentences ending in a period are not the only sentence structures you should use. Exclamation points, question marks, and ellipses need some love too! Only using periods is boring and stiff. You’re speaking to humans, not machines. Bring life to your words!
- Add Your Own Flair. It’s totally acceptable to have a personality for your brand. Your voice and tone shouldn’t sound like everyone else’s. You can be friendly and fun while still being professional.
- Keep It Brief. Pretend that every word you write costs a dollar and SAVE YOUR MONEY! You don’t need a bunch of extra words. Communicate as simply as possible. This advice comes straight from our Content Director, Kenna Griffin. Again, if people wanted to read a novel, they would pick up “Great Expectations.”
Can You Take Casual Writing Too Far?
Sometimes it’s tough to discern when to use casual writing, but that’s why knowing your audience and client is essential. No matter what your business goals are, certain things are far too casual to use.
Ways to take casual writing too far include:
- Including too much slang
- Using too much jargon
- Using inappropriate or exclusionary language
- Writing crude or offensive humor
The goal is to keep people coming back to read your content, not push them away!
Reaching the Masses
Sometimes doing more doesn’t mean doing the most. Creating a casual voice for your brand can be as simple as not overwriting or eliminating jargon. You may be closer to informal content than you realize! Don’t stress. Adding these simple writing tips to your content will reach more people, and in turn, boost your content’s exposure. More exposure means more business.
If you want to elevate your business’s content strategy even more, you may need Content Journey in your life. You can worry about successfully running your business while we create casual, consistent material for you. Contact us to help you out. We’ve got your back!