Back when I was a tender 18-year-old college student, I was filling out my university application. I decided to write about the time I did work experience at my local newspaper: ‘I was accepted on a week-long placement by the Grantham Journal,’ I wrote.
I thought I was clever to write this because it meant my local newspaper had deemed me good enough to write for them.
My tutor reprimanded me. ‘You need to tell them you actively sought out that placement, because it shows you’ve got gumption!’
And how right she was.
If I said to you, ‘Writing is the service I offer,’ would you hire me to write for you? Doubtful. Or if you did, you’d pay me a shitty wage, because I’m clearly crap at what I do.
But if I said, ‘I’ll write some fucking excellent words for you,’ well, you might mutter about how I shouldn’t swear and then stroll away. But you also might think, ‘Who is this chick? I like her style,’ and then hire me because you like a side of sass with your copy.
Using the active voice shows authority, commands respect and lets people know you’ve got your shit together. All of which are important if you want to build a business based on trust, customer loyalty and being fucking awesome at what you do.
People are more likely to believe in you if you sound like you believe in yourself – and the active voice can help you with that.