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Gastblog: Find your voice and speak up

When you think about your business’ branding, you imagine what it looks like: colors, styles, design and logo. The identity of your business plays with its personality and makes it appealing to your ideal customer. If a picture is worth 1,000 words, as they say, then your brand design is worth a couple of those as well. But, never forget that your business doesn’t just need a look and personality, it also needs a voice.

by Samantha Oberholzer

And this is where design and copywriting come together. Copywriting is a key element of your branding, and unfortunately, it’s often underestimated. So, how do you define your brand voice and make sure it complements its image and identity? Let me break it down for you:

1. Speak to your target audience
Knowing exactly who it is who would use your products or services is the first step in finding the right words to market what you offer. Are your customers experts, or are you introducing something they’ve never used before? Are you targeting other businesses or customers? When you know who you’re talking to, you can make sure the text on your website and in your brochures speaks to them specifically. If you’re translating your copy into other languages, consider how you would like to address your customers: do you speak to them in a formal tense, or more casually? If your customers are experts in their field, you would use industry-specific terms or detailed information that they might relate to and understand better than someone who is new to the industry. On the other hand, if you’re selling a service that simplifies a long-existing process that your target audience has never used before, you would use descriptions that are easy to understand, clear and enjoyable to read. Nothing turns a customer off more than lengthy, overcomplicated text that doesn’t answer their questions or spark their interest.

2. Choose your words wisely
Is your brand serious? Friendly? Funny? Bold? Would you use “Hey there!” or “Dear Mr. Smith” in your email correspondences? Does the word “innovative” fit your brand better than “modern?” Like choosing the color for your logo, selecting the right words can make all the difference when it comes to attracting your customers. Your story needs to make an impact, you want it to resonate with your customer so that they can start building a relationship with your business from the first time they land on your website. And for this to happen, you need to ensure that you’re using vocabulary and a tone that suits them and brings them closer to your products and services. Of course, the first step to choosing the right words is making sure you know who your ideal customer is.

3. Be unique
It’s easy to fall into the trap of mimicking successful brands and businesses who inspire yours. If it works for them, why can’t it work for you? I’ll tell you why: because you’re not staying true to your authentic brand. Your business is an individual – it has its own unique selling points that set it apart from the competition, so it should look and sound different from the competition too. As you make decisions about your branding, give your business a voice that reflects this original identity.

The best way to make sure that the copy in your offline and online marketing materials sells your business is to work with a professional. Make room in your budget to hire an expert who knows their way around the alphabet and can define your brand’s voice, whether it’s informative, warm, hip or maybe even a little crazy.

About
Samantha Oberholzer is a freelance copywriter at SO Many Words, a one-woman text agency based in Switzerland. Born and educated in North America, Samantha specializes in creating fresh English marketing texts for international businesses and startups. When she’s not writing copy on her laptop, she’s in an office store looking for her next favorite pen.

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