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When I sit down to write for my business, it never quite comes out the way I want. I end up sounding stuffy or stuck-up. How can I sound more like me and less like the papers I used to write for school?
This is a pretty common thing for most new business owners. We're all taught in school about the proper way to structure sentences and paragraphs. Your papers need to have a thesis statement and supporting research. You shouldn't use contractions. And heaven forbid you write in first person (unless it's an opinion piece).
All of these lessons are great for formal writing, but for most of us who are creating our content for our very human businesses, like coaching, virtual assistants, and services, that formal town feels very foreign to who our customers are going to connect with.
That's why I recommend creating an Authentic Brand. In this case, authentic just means not false or copied.
This isn't carte blanche to throw out all the rules of writing. You should still strive to use complete sentences and the correct word choices. (Your and you're, anyone?)
But you can and should pick the colors and image styles that resonate with you, and writing in your voice. Not how you think your customers want you to write, or how your competitors write, or the colors they choose.
Some people throw out f-bombs without a second thought. Others may be full of faith and grace. Some of us will have pastel color palettes, while some use the most vibrant colors of the rainbow. And a select few may do everything in shades of grey.
You may be reading this and thinking to yourself: But I'm supposed to have a brand board with colors and fonts and pick images that resonate with my target audience.
All of those things are true – but they also need to resonate with you.
Imagine this scenario:
You meet someone at a networking event (or in a Facebook Group, if virtual networking is more your style). You hit it off, and they're offering a website development project that sounds right up your alley. They say “check out my website for more details.” Off you go.
When you get there, it's so unlike the person that you talked to. He was gregarious and funny and seem to just get you, but his website is all legal terms and buttoned-up suits. It looks like the same guy on the About page, but its nothing like the person that you met.
You're left wondering – which is the real person? If I decide to have him develop my website, who am I going to be working with? The guy I met at the networking event, or the guy on the website? Because I'm not sure the guy on the website is the guy for me.
With an authentic brand, you're the same “you” everywhere you go. From your blog posts to your Instagram stories, your email newsletters to your coaching calls.
Plus, you'll probably find that an authentic brand is easier to maintain because it's just about being you.
Does your brand feel authentic to who you are? I'd love to hear how you made your brand authentic to you – or help if you're struggling. Let me know in the comments or drop me a line with the contact page.