Guest post by Melanie Kernodle
When we think of branding, so many people automatically jump to logos, colors, and pretty mood boards. Don’t get me wrong, I love all those parts of branding too (I’m secretly a graphic designer wanna-be) but there is so much more to branding than just that.
A brand is defined by just more than colors and fonts. And one thing I think a lot of people overlook when it comes to branding is copy, the actual words that you use which also make up a part of your brand.
Ok, if you’re sitting there scratching your head thinking, “What the heck is copy?” let me go back and explain it. No, it’s not like copy and paste.
I mean copy as in the words and language that you use on your website, in your emails, in your blog posts and anywhere that you have written stuff. Yeah, all those little things.
See, most people don’t really pay much attention to their copy when they’re creating their brand, especially when they’re just starting out. They don’t think about what kinds of phrases they should use or what kind of tone they want their brand to have. And that’s a shame, because copy makes up a huge part of the online world.
So How Does Copy Build Your Brand?
Let’s look at it like this, if your brand was a person, what would he/she wear, or do, or how would they act? Now ask yourself, what would they say and how would they say it?
Is your brand more formal and corporate feeling? If so, using slang words like “yo” and “bangin’” porobably don’t fit in line with your brand. If your brand is more loose and carefree, the sentences and tone of voice will probably be less structured and you can stick a few “hey y’all’s” in there.
The way that you communicate with your audience has a direct correlation between how they feel about your brand. If you want to give them the right vibes, you need to be intentional about your copy and make sure it’s helping give your audience a real sense of your brand.
Have an Arsenal of Words/Phrases
A great way to build your brand through copywriting, is to make sure that you have an arsenal, or playbook if you will, of words and phrases that are in line with your brand. Make sure you’re using language that resonates with your ideal client and makes them feel right at home.
You want those ideal clients to feel comfy and cozy with your copy. Imagine them resonating with it and silently shouting “Yes! That’s it!” in their head after ever sentence.
One way to find out what language really clicks with them, is to go directly to the source. Jump in conversations your ideal clients are already having and look at exactly what type of words and phrases they’re using.
You can do this by joining Facebook groups, going on Quora, sending a survey to your list, or even looking at the comments people are leaving on your blog.
These are all awesome places to find the exact words you should be incorporating into your copy. Talk about things in the way that your audience talks about them, use the sames terms, tone of voice and the same phrases. This will make your brand so much stronger and build more authority with your ideal audience.
Have a Consistent Tone of Voice
By creating copy that is on-brand, you’re essentially making your whole brand experience more consistent. Rather than using different copy all the time and randomly changing your tone of voice, your audience will get a clearer picture of your brand and who you are.
This is so important if you want to have a really strong brand. Just like how you need to be consistent with your visuals and colors, your tone of voice needs to do the same thing. A consistent tone of voice makes your brand stand out.
Clearly define your tone of voice and stay firm with it. Once you commit to your own unique brand voice and tone, it gets so much easier to write copy. Because you don’t have to stress over it anymore.
You’ve made the decision and defined your voice so now all you have to do is follow through on that. It will make those words flow a whole lot easier. And it will keep your copy consistent and coherent for your audience.
Have a Conversation with One Person
When trying to really hone in on your copy and making sure it is inline with your brand, it’s helpful to focus on just one person. Try to imagine writing to a single individual, rather than the whole entire internet. Not only will this help you focus, but it will make it easier to gear your copy directly towards your ideal client.
A blog isn’t a conversation you’re having with multiple people all at once. It’s a conversation you’re having individually with the reader.
It’s just you and them.
Picturing this will help you to write better and clearer copy and content.
Try to stay away from appealing to everyone. This can be easier said than done, because we all want to be all things to everyone and we want everyone to buy our stuff. But that’s not how it works.
Like Seth Godin says, “everyone is not your customer.”
It’s ok if your copy doesn’t appeal to some people or if the language doesn’t resonate with them. They may not be your customer.
The more you line up your copy with your brand, the more you can really focus in on those people who are your customers and they will be more attracted to you.
Own Your Brand
Whatever copy feels right for you and your brand, own it. It’s ok if you don’t sound like all of the other people in your industry. It’s ok if you’re a little wacky and “out there” and you use words that aren’t “professional” sounding.
That’s the beauty of this crazy, wonderful entrepreneurial journey. You get to create a business and a brand that you love and that feels good to you. And your ideal people will resonate with that and love you even more for it.
So take some time today (seriously, just do it) to do these 3 things to build your brand’s copy:
- Figure out what language your ideal clients use. Look at Facebook groups, Quora, or even your own blog comments and make a list of words or phrases. Then integrate those into your copy
- Create a consistent tone of voice. Define what you want your brand’s tone of voice to be. Then every time you go to write, double check to make sure you’re following that.
- Write copy to one person. Image you’re writing everything to only one person. Really see them and focus solely on talking just to them
Your brand is important. And your copy is a big piece of that. Don’t skip over it. Your copy could be one of the greatest assets of your brand and it can really make you stand out in this crowded online space.Melanie Kernodle is the Chief Content Strategist and Copywriter at CopyRefresh. She is passionate about helping solopreneurs create amazing content that helps attract their ideal clients and grow their business. When she’s not writing, you can find her chowing down on some tacos or reading a personal development book. Join her free email course to help you write better copy here, or find her on Twitter and Instagram.