Hi, friend! Do you know what makes your brand personality shine online?
When bloggers and business owners ask me for feedback on their website, the first page I hop on over to is their “About” page. As a website copy ninja, that’s not too surprising, right?
For the first time in my life (I dare to say), I’ve been feeling like a lone wolf for the last one and half months. As an introvert, I almost always prefer working independently because I’m much more efficient when I don’t have to wait around for other people to get things done. The cool thing about being a website copy ninja is that I’m always lurking around someone’s “About” page. It seems like I’m making a new friend even though it’s my first time meeting them. There’s something sticky about their story. And the “About” page is the first point of connection between the blogger and new visitor, right?
Among all your main website pages, your “About” page has the biggest potential to bring out your brand personality. Brand personality a topic that I feel is neglected in a world that cares much more about visual design branding and looks more than substance. Have you ever landed on someone’s “About” page and silently screamed, “OMG, she’s the one!” These are usually the few websites and blogs that you keep top of mind. Meaning you don’t need to bookmark it. Meaning you don’t need to follow them on social media for an update. You remember their URL and when they pop into your head, you head on over to their site to see if they have a new post.
You want to be one of those bloggers some day, huh?
So what separates those sleep-inducing “About” pages from those exciting ones with a cause and mission? I’ll show you a few examples at the end, but first, let’s go over how to make your brand personality shine online.
#1 Write like you talk.
This one is seemingly easy to do because let’s face it, most people aren’t good writers. They may have other strengths and talents, but writing takes effort, focus, and most of all, substance. If you’ve never worked for corporate, you might never have been exposed to their jargon-filled, boring writing. If you have, you might subconsciously pick up that boringness in your writing. And then start using it on your own website! No, that’s a trap!
A couple weeks ago, a client came to me to spruce up her website copy. When I went through her website, both her “About” page and “Work with Me” page was long and dry. The part that didn’t draw me in is that she wrote in the third person. Ugh!
During the whole time I was on her website, I was reading about her, but it feels like she was talking about someone else. She has worked for many well-known brands. Yet when it came to connecting to her website copy, it didn’t match up with her exciting and upbeat personality in her profile picture.
If you’re curious what tone to adopt for your brand personality, I recommend reading Joanna Wiebe’s post on “Tone of Voice 101: How to Write Copy That People Can Connect With.”
#2 Get to know your strengths, talents, and what you can do better than your competitor.
Aka your differentiation. If you don’t know me, I have a background in recruiting. Meaning an eye for catching talent. In my free Niche Clarity email course, I also dedicated an entire lesson to help you unleash your talents. In a saturated marketplace, you can easily fall and blend in with everyone else.
But in order for your brand to shine online, you really want to identify what it is that you’re good at in relation to the topic you want to help others in.
If you don’t have a solid brand personality yet or praises from clients or customers, begin thinking about what people tell you in real life. Then ask yourself, what are the recurring patterns that come up in these things that you’re so great at?
#3 Show everyone that you’re a difference maker!
I always try to step away from the spotlight. But that’s kind of counter-intuitive when you’re writing a blog, right? In the last month, I realized how powerful word-of-mouth can be. It can get you more work, more clients, and more trust. People probably don’t know you, but they trust their friends.
In some of my upcoming posts, I’m thinking of including and talking about some of my favorite personal brands and creative entrepreneurs. I hope this will also inspire up and coming bloggers and creatives to start something unique and different.
I didn’t make it such a priority to collect testimonials when I first started client work because I already had enough on my plate. But definitely, start a page that showcases what others have said about you. Your brand personality isn’t only about how you feel about yourself, but also what others feel about their interaction with you. Start a page called “Praise”, “Love”, or “Testimonials.”
Don’t feel like you have to email everyone you’ve worked with to ask for a testimonial. That’s definitely a good start. If you join and connect with people in Facebook groups or Twitter, screenshot your conversations and dump it into a folder on your desktop.
#4 Match your articulate marketing to your visual brand.
Imagine when a new visitor land on your website… they are immediately drawn to your design. We are visual creatures by nature, so looks and design are what gets us to collaborate immediately. It’s either, I feel ya or I’m leaving. As a girl themselves, she loves the pink and gold detailing on your website. Naturally, these colors and femininity will make the reader feel that your brand is friendly, sweet, and maybe with a touch of sophistication.
But… when she clicks through to read one of your blog posts, you start cussing and using the language she isn’t accustomed to. After two paragraphs, she makes the assumption that your brand is more punk rock and badass street. She clicks away because your brand substance didn’t meet the promise of your visual brand.
I’m not saying pink and gold will never associate with punk rock. When deciding on your visual branding, take color coordination into account. Punk rock peeps may wear gold, but perhaps alongside black and not pink. Secondly, keep in mind that readers usually already have a perceived sense of what certain colors and designs stand for before they land on your website. If all their life, they associate pink with being girly, they won’t be able to change their perception if the pink on your site stands for punk rock.
The goal of a visual design is not to have a pretty website, but to draw people in the same way your words should connect with your peeps.
#5 Be serious and take action on your personal values.
Having worked for two non-profits in my life that somewhat changed who I am, I’m all about personal brands that comes attached with a bigger cause. Last night I was working with an upcoming Health Coach to unleash her inner ninja. It was one of the better conversations I’ve had recently mainly because I was surprised how vulnerable and open she can be. I’ve been through a long period of depression and anxiety before, but despite the experience being inspirational for myself, I rarely tell people about it in real life.
Brand personality and substance has lots to do with your underlying values, whatever they may be. For this coach, it happens to be compassion and friendliness. I know talking about those values can be vague and pretentious. But ask yourself, are you walking your talk? Do you respond to your blog comments in a timely manner? Do you answer your followers’ questions on social media? Do you plan community gatherings to connect people with one another?
So you may ask, is it worth working with a copy ninja to write your “About” page?
Sometimes it’s hard to justify the expense of hiring a copywriter to write your “About” page. After all, unlike a sales page, it doesn’t have a calculable ROI. If your sales page sucks, it’s easy, you’re not going to get any sales from it. But what’s the consequences if your “About” page sucks?
Your “About” page is your 3-minute elevator pitch for new visitors. It’s either they love you and you love them even more. Or, they leave and never come back. I always see this as a “love at first sight” type thing.
But should you invest in a copywriter immediately to craft your “About” page?
Once you figure out what you want your brand to stand for, get something up immediately.
Because for every reader who lands on your “About” page who doesn’t convert, you are losing a subscriber.
And we can’t let that happen.
If you subconsciously know what you stand for, work with a copy ninja to unleash the sticky parts of your story and tie together the loose ends. It’s much harder to do it yourself when you’re so close to your own business.
What are the benefits of having a sticky story?
Glad you asked!
Have you ever landed on a website where you connected with their story so much that you were instantly sold?
They are so memorable that you don’t really need to even try to remember their URL or bookmark their site. You will naturally find a way back to their website to stay updated with their work.
The difference between an “About” page and a sticky story is the difference between an average man and a charismatic man. It makes you feel warm and it strikes a chord in ya. Sure your “About” page doesn’t have a direct relationship to your ROI, but being memorable and different in a saturated niche is just as important.
On average, customers don’t buy from you and clients won’t work with you the first time they meet you. People need to be exposed to your brand seven times before they buy from you. But if you have a stick story, you are much more likely to be memorable. Instead of seven different interactions with you, they build a stronger and unbreakable connection with your story. Trust is built, which results in a shorter sales cycle.
Examples of Memorable “About” pages
The Scholarship System by Jocelyn Paonita
I love Joycelyn’s “About” page! It’s short and gets to the point. A few memorable things about her page is that she knows who she’s targeting — parents with teenagers who wants to go to college. This is really important and many bloggers’ “About” page will only talk about themselves. That’s a bit of a turn off because I don’t know what I’m in for.
Your “About” page should be both about you and your audience. I always recommend starting off with talking about your audience to get their attention. Then introduce yourself and tell them how you fit in with your compelling cause. To me, a memorable “About” page should be easy to remember even if the person reading it isn’t even your target audience. Joycelyn’s does just that.
I came across Mary Angela’s website by accident one day and was instantly drawn to her designs. Now I know whatchu might be thinking. Aren’t we talking about brand personality and memorable “About” pages? Why are you talking about design? Mary’s website is the perfect example of a website’s writing that matches her fun and colorful designs. The splashes of color definitely take me back to feeling like a kid, all warm and fuzzy!
Her brand is quite simple but filled with color (and hope). Thus her writing reflects that, except for her “partner in crime” husband (which reflects the other piece of her brand: BEING FUN)!
Alex helps entrepreneurs turn their Instagram accounts into business assets. Like… is that really possible?! According to her, yes. Alex’s “About” page starts off with connecting with her readers before she dives into talking about herself. She also elaborates on her background and experiences in sales, which gives her credibility to talk about business and marketing.
What do you do to make your brand personality shine? Are you working with a copy ninja to make all this come alive or are you fighting this battle alone?
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