Express your PERSONALITY to share what makes you different
Today I want to share an exercise with you that will help you develop a more distinctive PERSONALITY and tone of voice for your blog (and other marketing communications).
If you are someone who set up your own small-scale business after working for a bigger more established company, then this might seem particularly challenging as you may be suffering with what I call ‘a corporate hangover’. Having previously worked in an environment where individual personalities were not encouraged to shine, you may be more used to hiding behind a bigger corporate identity – talking about ‘we’ rather ‘I’ even if you are a one-person business, or using generic language and stock images in your communications.
For this exercise you can be aspirational – think about how you want your blog and brand to be perceived, rather than how things are at the moment.
I want you think about your blog as a separate entity from yourself – obviously it will be closely linked to your own individual personality if you are a sole trader or founder-led company, but it needs to reflect your business’ own unique and separate (though possibly similar) personality.
First of all, imagine you were going to ask a celebrity or well-known expert to write a guest-blog post – who would you choose? Who would be most aligned with the passion, purpose and principles of your business? Whose personality and style would be the closest match? Perhaps you can think of two or three people. You might select a famous person or someone less high-profile – maybe a comedian, actor, newsreader, television presenter, author, scientist or industry authority. Once you have made your decision, the most important point is to consider WHY you have chosen this person – note this down in a few words.
Next I want you to think about the way in which this person speaks and comes across in the public eye, and how you want to reflect this tone of voice and style in your blog. Do you want to be more educational or entertaining? Formal or informal? How do you want your readers to feel?
Now I want you to think of an existing brand, or perhaps two or three whose qualities and style match with the aspirations you have for how your own business is perceived. Consider car, food, drink, fashion and retail brands. Once you have made your choice, note down why you have made this particular selection. Is it to do with the way they treat their customers, the quality of their products, their innovation? Check out their websites and see if these brands have blogs you can read to get a sense of the way they write to express their messages.
Keep your notes to hand and if you find yourself getting stuck while writing, imagine you are the person or brand you chose above and write as if you were them. Look back over your reasons for making the choices and see if you can embody the qualities you admire in your writing.