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Have the conversation: relax but stay focused when copywriting for social media

This time it’s personal – as more and more organisations are finding they need to think a whole lot more about the way they ‘talk’ to their clients and customers as the social media explosion reverberates.

Tone of voice of course already matters hugely when copywriting for web pages and print. That’s because although ‘content is king’, audiences make up their minds in just seconds as to whether to engage with your brand or organisation based purely on its ‘look and feel’.

So it’s especially important now to nail a conversational tone of voice in the fast-moving world of social media. This is an arena where it’s easy to get the writing wrong if you don’t give staff at least some framework in which to express themselves as humans and be, well, social…

Now you’re talking

If good copywriting is often about talking to people through words, then good copywriting for social media needs to be extra accessible using all the techniques you might use if you were right there chatting with someone face-to-face.

You’d use contractions. Boosting the pace and flow of your words by using a subtle ‘ to replace a range of letter combinations that simply don’t need to be there in chatty, accessible writing that warmly mimics speech.

And you’d use ‘you’ – addressing your reader as a living, breathing person, not some vague, anonymous concept.

Not only that, you’d also shake up the rhythm in a way that makes things always interesting for your reader.

That’s because absolutely no-one, anywhere, wants to read dull, third person sentences of a monotonous, predictable length.


Contact Tim Trout if you’d like to find out more about developing tone of voice for the people at the communications ‘sharp end’ of your brand or business.  





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Headline news!

Oh-My-Headline-300x248Writing strong headlines is one of the most important elements of copywriting. Because if you can’t get the attention, you’ve got no chance of holding it – and getting the results you want in terms of response.

This thoughtful blog piece in The Guardian charts how online headlines have moved from click bait to over-promised hype – and suggests readers are wising up to too many hollow promises at the top of a story…

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Copywriting course: Cooper Security

CooperMid-January saw a trip to the Forest of Dean to deliver a customised copywriting course for a comms team at Cooper Security, the security technology specialists recently acquired by US power management giant, Eaton.

During a full day’s workshop, delegates explored a wide range of copywriting techniques – including applying Eaton tone of voice guidelines to web copy, newsletters/emailers and printed collateral.

Thanks all for making it a fun and productive session.





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Who are we writing grammatically for?

Apologies for the less than subtle headline.

The preposition ‘for’ at the end of this one would have attracted the red pen from grammar teachers of yesteryear. So it might have read: For whom are we writing grammatically?

But doesn’t it sound, well, stiff?

It seems the rules are now being widely ignored. And those sensitive to these things better get used to it.

Check out The Guardian’s interesting piece 10 grammar rules you can forget: how to stop worrying and write proper

Careful when writing for some clients though, this sort of thing can get people very wound up…

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SEO: keywords just soooo yesterday

Once upon a time we copywriters knew where we all stood SEO-wise.

We included keywords and phrases in just the right percentage and position – then stood back and waited for the traffic to roar in.

This piece on neuromarketing is a useful taster of where we’re going next with SEO – if we haven’t started going there already…


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Happy New Year!

From friendly Cardiff and steamy Dubai, to elegant Bath, diverse London (plenty of times) and even deepest Staffordshire.

2012 was a busy year for Tim Trout Copywriting Courses with clients of all shapes and sizes sharpening the way they produce content for on- and offline communications.

A very Happy New Year to all Tim Trout Copywriting training clients old and new.

I look forward to working with you as 2013 unfolds.

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Copywriting course Oct 18th: Capita IT Services, London

After a fantastically messed up Thursday last week courtesy of First Great Western (who first cancelled my early Bristol-London train and then delayed me a further two hours) I’m delighted I was finally able to work with a Capita IT Services comms team in Victoria yesterday, October 18th.

The three delegates all worked extremely hard and were a pleasure to teach. Case studies, news stories and PowerPoint narration scripts all came under the spotlight and a good time was had by all.

Thanks for organising the day.

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Projects update

Loads going on at the mo, what with copywriting training courses now booking into September – including one for the UK’s biggest name in outsourcing – plus websites for apps, video scripts, various University of Bristol projects including faculty brochures and more.

All good.

And now here comes the sun…

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Live in Atlantis June 30: 14 delegates and a mere 12 nationalities!

20120630-215116.jpgA fabulously interesting and fun experience – delivering two copywriting courses for comms and marketing team members at 5-star luxury resort Atlantis, The Palm, Dubai.

This image is from the Saturday session when I worked with 14 delegates representing some 12 nationalities. Their forensic knowledge of English grammar and structures was quite something, even though for some English is a second and, in some cases, third language.

The day before I’d worked with 12 Atlantis and One&Only colleagues. Nationality count? Only four or five…

Thanks to all in Atlantis for making this event so successful – and hugely enjoyable.


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May 25: copywriting course for Close Group delegates, City of London

A packed day working with seven bubbly delegates from various parts of the Close Group – including Close Premium Finance and Close Motor Finance. The course was hosted in Close offices at Crown Place, London EC2.

The main focus was  writing for online platforms including web and email. And we preceded that with some useful cross-platform copywriting skills and tone-of-voice work.

Thanks all for your input and energy.

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