Putting your personality into your copy

February 28, 2020

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Three ways I capture your personality and sprinkle it through your marketing copy

Writing is weird. No matter how many times you rehash the sentence, it just doesn’t sound like you. The thoughts and feelings you know subconsciously so the words should be on the tip of your tongue keep escaping you. Which is weird. Because you have no problem being you and talking about your business when out and about in public.

As I said, writing is weird. It has the ability to suck the character out of people and brands, leaving them sounding dull, monotonous and like every other fucker competitor who’s doing the same thing.

Why does this happen?

A few reasons.

  • The fear of being different — everyone else in your industry is doing it this way, so you must be the same
  • Inexperienced writing technique — simply not knowing how to create personality driven copy
  • Not caring enough — they’re just words no one will read
  • Or the opposite — caring too much and trying too hard to capture something that should be natural.

Sometimes it’s a case of being too close to something and no matter how hard you try you’ll never see the wood for the trees.

Adding personality to your copy is important

It’s a way of setting yourself apart from everyone else. And it connects with the right people so they go on to become (hopefully loyal) customers.

One thing I’m really proud of is the number of clients who say to me, “You get me.” I think this is the biggest compliment a copywriter can get. “Getting” someone isn’t easy. Humans are complex and we’re all different. Digging under someone’s skin enough that they say, “You put what I think into words so perfectly,” is… Well, it’s quite an astonishing thing to hear you’ve achieved.

So how do I worm my way into my client’s head so I’m able to reflect their personality and pepper it throughout their copy?

Sometimes I do a weird hypnotic, astral-projection thing where I stare at a picture of my client for so long that I become them. It’s why I insist we connect on LinkedIn so I can look at your headshot for hours on end.

Im-kidding

Me spending that amount of time on LinkedIn would be totally weird.

Instead, I do something very simple.

The ability to listen — an essential copywriting skill

For me to “get you” I need to hear you speak and get to know what makes you tick. It’s why I insist on a 60-90 minute briefing session on Skype or Zoom. This is my opportunity to listen to how you talk and during the call I’m listening out for three different things.

1. The words and phrases that make you, sound like you.

Everyone has their own quirky way of saying stuff. How you speak is often driven by local dialect and idioms. Finding out which ones are your favourites and adding them in where appropriate are how I make copy sound familiarly you. This is also a useful thing to do from a reader perspective because when a client or customer speaks to you on the phone, in store or over email, they’ll hear you say these things. It’s all about being consistent.

2. How you talk about your industry and business

Getting you to discuss your industry gives me two different insights. The first is a check-box exercise. It’s a chance for me to identify any technical terms and processes I need to learn because they’ll feature in your copy.

The second reason is because how you view your industry is unique to you. Your experiences, knowledge and perception may be different your competitors. As such, the language and tone you use is different and it’s likely these feed into how you talk about your business. Channelling this is how I can make you sound different to other companies in the same space.  

For example, the Las Vegas wedding company I write for has a very different view of the Las Vegas wedding scene compared to chapels on the Strip. This company organises weddings in the Las Vegas desert. Their service is vastly different from the neon lights and Elvis officiants Vegas weddings are commonly known-for. As such, how the owner of the company talks about the trends and changes in the industry is different. 

3. Revealing something personal

Good copy connects brand and customer. Copywriting techniques such as understanding pain points, answering fears, building trust helps to achieve this. But I believe a great way to cement the connection is by revealing some personal titbits about yourself.

It’s a good idea to share a few words about your hobbies and interests outside of work. Although I’m of the opinion that what you choose to share should somehow benefit your audience so it’s still relevant to them.

For example, on my website content service page I state that I enjoy heavy metal music.

Why’s this relevant?

Because it’s often what I’ll have on in the background when I’m (head)banging out someone’s copy. It gives the reader a chance to envision me at work, doing the word thing for them. Plus, it’s a little personal detail so they can get to know me better and hopefully surprises them just enough to keep them interested.

Some examples of how I’ve done this for my clients:

  • An SEO strategist who loves marathon running
  • A male escort who loves going to the opera, theatre and ballet
  • A wedding coordinator who loves rock climbing
  • A female escort who practises yoga.

What could you share? Take a moment to think about your hobbies and interests. Which would be appropriate for you to share and how can you relate it back so it benefits your audience?

Let your personality come through in your copy so your audience can “get you”

The whole reason for having personality-driven copy is so your ideal audience is able to get to know you and connect with you. Whether you’re a freelance company or small business with a brand, there’s always a personality there waiting to get out. Don’t be afraid to let it show on your website, email and blog copy.

I’d love to hear how you weave personality into your business copy. Are there hobbies and interests you share? Or is there a distinct phrase you use often that clients instantly know as you?

Comment below or drop me a tweet, @RoseC_Leic.

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