Some of the most common questions any copywriter hears are:
“How can I stand out from the crowd?”
“Do I need to brand myself?”
“Should I spend a few thousand dollars on a logo?”
When I taught Marketing 101 a long time ago, we talked about branding consumer products like paper towels, detergent and frozen peas. Big companies needed big brands to stand out on a supermarket shelf. Consumer products companies need big brand personalities because they’re basically all alike.
Today’s small service businesses don’t work this way. They can’t brand like soft drinks or beer. Their branding has to start with copywriting.
Here are 3 ways you can use copywriting to stand out and stay visible, even in a crowded market:
(1) Brand yourself by telling a story that resonates with your clients and captures the way you connect with your audience.
Connie Ragen Green of ConnieRagenGreen.com brands herself almost entirely by storytelling.
Whether speaking at an event, writing a book or ebook, or doing a guest gig on somebody else’s summit, she shares her “how I got here and why I do this” stories. She doesn’t hold back. Aside from a simple graphic with her initials, I don’t think Connie ever bothered with a logo.
Connie’s brand works well because she connects with her audience as a Role Model. Her brand promise is, “If I can do it, you can do it.” She encourages her clients to see her as “someone just like me.”
In contrast, a financial planner who specializes in high net worth clients says, “We fight hard for our clients. We will look for every lawful way to help them avoid unnecessary taxes and maintain the wisest investments for capital growth.”
A career coach claims, “I’ve got a new way to help people write resumes, using innovative technology and a network of former HR executives. We’re especially helpful to career-changers who need multiple versions of their resume, without waiting months for a revision and spending thousands on each one.”
These business owners have developed brands that are easy to remember yet difficult to imitate. They’ve chosen their stories.
(2) Brand yourself by the problems you solve.
Sue Painter of ConfidentMarketer.com brands herself as a coach for experienced business owners — not beginners or newbies. She uses language like “make your business bigger” and she says outright, “You’ve been in business more than a year, you’re making money, but you need to increase your income and profitability.”
In contrast, Sue Dunlevie of SuccessfulBlogging.com brands herself as a coach who works with beginning bloggers. She’s got a special gift for helping you set up your first blog, fine-tune your niche and build your business way past the beginning stage.
Connie, Sue P. and Sue D. were among the outstanding speakers on last year’s Side Hustle summit. If you’ve been thinking of taking your business in a new direction, or thinking of moving from executive to entrepreneur, you won’t want to miss this program. I don’t know anyone else who’s curated these nuggets of information from highly-regarded, elite entrepreneurs.
(3) Choose your brand adjectives to match your story archetype.
Google “brand adjectives” and you’ll find long, long lists of adjectives recommended or branding your small business.
There’s just one problem. They don’t all work for everyone.
Do you feel comfortable with state-of-the-art slang and strong words that aren’t allowed on network television?
Do you have a light, humorous touch that permeates your most serious content?
Or do you come across like a wise old wizard, an approachable college professor, or a zealous advocate who inspires others to action?
One of my favorite experts writes in style that only a Celebrity archetype could pull off. Frankly, every so often it screeches like chalk on a blackboard. She uses abbreviations, slang and jargon. Her tone combines Valley Girl, chirpy cheerleader and old-fashioned schoolteacher … definitely an original.
But she’s got a following, and I grit my teeth and follow her courses because she’s that good.
Just a few examples of brand adjectives (not a complete list):
Role Models might describe themselves as caring, helpful, reliable, genuine, “boy next door” or “girl next door,”
Educators might describe themselves as analytical, authoritative, witty, clear, collaborative, frank, or knowledgeable.”
Innovators use positioning worlds like original, unique, current, industrious, futuristic, one-of-a-kind, or excellent
And if you’d like to learn more on this topic, get your FREE download: From Story To Brand: The Workbook.
You might also refer to this free training: 10X Your Visibility By Telling Stories
Next week we’re going to dig into the basics of storytelling — a Storytelling 101 for Small Business. Click here if you are interested and you’ll automatically be added to the list and directed right to the thank you page.