What makes a brand magic?
One of the first elements of brand cool is the words and language that a business uses to convey its messaging… to get its ‘why’ across to its customers and fans.
Words can be extremely, extremely powerful, but only when they’re done well.
Most of us were not born to be copywriters.
It’s a skill just like anything else like being an artist or having a really great knack for being able to do stuff with your hands. Having a way with words isn’t something we’re all born good at. So it’s really important not only to acknowledge the pieces that you’re going to need to bring that brand core to life, but also the people. And in this case, the person is probably a copywriter.
So today I want to walk you through some of the pieces that you’re going to need to bring that brand cool to life through words and a couple little notes about how to work with hire, find, et Cetera, a copywriter who might be able to help you if this is not your strength.
Now the other thing I want to say is that even those of us who are artists or writers, I happen to be a copywriter and an author, I still struggle doing stuff with and for myself because I’m so close to it. So even if you are gifted with words, you might still need help in the form of an editor or someone else who can sanity check you. Because one of the most difficult things about everything we’re about to talk about today is being able to cut it down.
We talk and talk and talk and talk. It’s much harder to be succinct.
For this language to work in your brand, it’s got to be sharp. It’s got to be punchy because these days nobody reads.
I want to talk about the pieces of language that you’re going to need within your brand. In order to bring that magic to life in a way that people can really understand and connect with it instantly. Because as we know, nobody’s got any time, no one’s got time to read, no one wants to know the whole story. You just want to find those snippets of language and have words that are going to really get straight to people’s guts and make them feel something.
And remember, sometimes those feelings aren’t positive. Sometimes we want people to know if they’re not a good fit as quickly as we want them to know if they are. So this process can be a little uncomfortable, not only because you’re not just trying to make everybody happy, but you’re trying to be polarizing.
You’re trying to make people fall in love or know that actually they don’t like you at all, which for most of us human beings is not not something that we’re really comfortable with, but also because a huge part of this process is being able to chop and chop and chop lots and lots of language down into small pieces that have a lot of impact.
So let’s look at some of those pieces and what they are, the brand cool words that I want to take you through today:
- Brand statement
- Origin story
1. Brand Statement
So let’s first talk about your brand statement because this is one of the most valuable tools you are going to have and you’ll also be able to find another episode that goes really in depth on this and you’ll be able to find in the show notes and download of a pdf to help walk you through how to build your brand statement because we don’t have time here to go into it in depth. When I talk about a brand statement, what I have mean essentially is an elevator pitch and that is essentially eight to 13 ish words that you use over and over.
To answer the question, what do you do? Because most of us, our instinct is to answer that question by just saying literally what we do, right? I’m a yoga instructor, I’m a dog trainer and that’s boring. It’s so boring. So brand statement is a more interesting way to answer that question.
That wraps up why you do what you do and sometimes who you do it for as well as what you do into a short little package that you can deliver easily and effortlessly that not only excites or delights people but also encourages them to ask more questions. Because what we’re looking to do here is to start a conversation, not just have a one and done question and then walk away.
So again, make sure you download the PDF to help walk you through exactly how to craft your brand statement because there is a specific little formula that can be very, very helpful to help you do it. And this is something we all struggle with. It is challenging, so don’t worry if you find it a little bit tricky, it’s going to take a little bit of time to craft it. But one of my pieces of advice would be to practice it.
So if you think you’ve got something that you like, practice actually saying it out loud and see how people react to it. Because what you’ll find is you’ll kind of move and tweak it. Use different words here and there depending on how people react.
The next piece of brand cool we’re going to look at which is sort of similar to a brand statement is a tagline and people often ask me what is the difference between a brand statement and a tagline? It’s this.
A tagline can often be quite artistic or abstract.
It doesn’t necessarily need to convey distinct information. It can be a little bit punchy or fun. So for example, your tagline might just be a couple of words or it might be just a short sharp statement. It might be something a little bit more abstract. My brand statement in my business, you’ll probably hear me say a lot is I help entrepreneurs find freedom and fulfillment by building brands instead of just businesses, but for an actual tagline, I use what we call our manifesto, which is do good, be real, find happy, and build brands that matter.
Now that’s quite long. We don’t use it all the time, but that’s a little bit of a sort of different, slightly more extract, a little bit more commanding version of what I would call sort of a tagline. But yours might be much shorter taglines that I’ve helped businesses craft for their businesses are, for example, Victoria Stilwell. Her tagline is the future of dog training. So it’s a little bit shorter and sharper and it really gives you a feeling about what this brand is all about.
And again, make sure you go down though that PDF in the show notes because it will help outline this a little bit more. You can also have a little bit more fun with it and you can just use sort of like three words for example. So you could have something like shop, play and stay, which isn’t a great example, but it gives you an idea of the type of angle that you can take, which might be different than someone else.
But the point of a tagline is to just give enough information about the business, the personality or maybe what you do or what you want to be known for that it’s something you can use quick and sharp, possibly next to your logo and things like banners or on the website or as headlines to help people understand what you’re all about.
3. Brand Method / Philosophy
The next piece of language that’s going to be really important that gets overlooked quite a lot is what I call method. Or sometimes it’s your philosophy. Sometimes it’s simply the answer to the question, how do we do it? But there is going to be something that you do special or different within your business. Even if you do the same job or have the same product as a lot of other people. And this is your chance to craft some copy that explains that in a really exciting way.
So one of the things that you’re going to be looking at is what is the transformation that I help my customers go through? What is the journey? What is the path that I want my customers to take from before they work with me? To having success after having hired me. And typically you want to have this again in a short punchy, one, two, three, four or a sort of a set of stages or it’s a, this is how we do it, kind of bit of language that is super valuable for places like your homepage where you’re trying to convey quickly why someone should hire you over someone else. The other critical piece about this is it helps you seem like an expert or a thought leader rather than someone who just sells a thing. So this is the way to get the emphasis off of just what you sell or your pricing and onto why what you do matters and why the way you do it is better or different.
4. Origin Story
The next piece of copy that you’re going to want to craft, and this one does take a little bit longer, is your origin story. Now you’re going to start with most of these bits of copy. You’re going to start by writing and writing and writing or speaking and having your words transcribed and then having someone else edit them for you. Because this is one of those things that is almost impossible to bring to life in a short form. You have to kind of go along and then edit, edit, edit, edit, and it does take a bit of time. But what the origin story is, is this sort of memorable repeatable story of how you came to run your business or how your brand came to life.
One of my favorite examples of origin stories is you’ll often see this in restaurants on table cards or on the menu.
They’ll often have a very short little story about their history. And this is one of those things that when you go back to tell your friends about eating at this restaurant, he will often repeat this little bit of history about how this restaurant got it started or where the recipes came from. Because it is a way for you to connect with that restaurant and with that brand on a way that’s deeper than just the food or the prices on the menu.
What you’re looking to do with the origin story is to give people a short, repeatable, memorable little story that they can tell to their friends to get that word of mouth marketing going. And also so they can connect with you beyond the stuff that you sell. So what you’re looking to do is to tell your whole story and then cut it down to just a couple sentences or a short paragraph or two that tells about how you got your start and embedded in that it’s going, you want to have some emotional stuff that makes people excited or interested in supporting you as a brand.
Sometimes there’s a little bit of drama or heartache. Sometimes there’s something really good that you’re doing for the world. Sometimes it’s a little bit funny or quirky, you know, there’s a lot of origin stories out there about the brands that started in a garage or in a van. And that makes us really excited when we see what that brand looks like now.
One of my favorite examples of that is, if you’re familiar with the brand, Life is Good, which is a t shirt brand in America. They have this great very short story about how the founders basically drew a smiley face on a tee shirt and were selling those t-shirts out of their van and now they are a multi, multi, multi, multi, multimillion dollar lifestyle brand with stores all over the world and they still use that same bit of copy about how they got their start and it’s not just in writing, it’s on the tags, it’s on the website, but it’s also a little bit of language that the founders use when they are interviewed for press.
So they are repeating it everywhere and it’s a really powerful tool to get that message spreading separate to an origin story is your bio, so I’m not going to go into that too much because it’s a very different thing. You will probably need to have a bio as the founder of your business and brand, but that’s not the same. Nobody is going for an origin story to learn about where you went to high school or where you got your degree.
A bio is a separate document that is what it says on the tin. It’s different than an origin story.
So the difference you’re looking for between a bio and an origin story is it an origin story is much more about the brand and why it matters and less about you personally and your personal journey. Um, so keep that in mind in terms of the context of what other people are interested in or what your personal journey has to do with what you sell and why it matters to the world.
The last bit of copy I want to talk about today is hashtags because this is now in the digital world.
We live in a really important part of some of your sort of branding and marketing and really it’s condensed down to just a couple of words that you use on a regular basis. So hashtags have really important value when it comes to helping people engage with your brand, helping other people share. Again, some of that word of mouth marketing for your brand and to build a community, especially in places like Instagram where you can get people using your hashtags to connect with you.
They can put the hashtags on their photos and then it’s easy for you to find and comment on them. Or it’s a way to categorize your own types of content so that people can follow along. There’s some brilliant examples out there of hashtags that are associated with particular businesses, but what you’re looking for here is to have one or two words that are connected together that have something very special to do with what you do or what you sell or why you do it or who your audience is that people can use and share as well.
For example, in our world we have a few hashtags we use all the time and some of them have been picked up by our audience and some of them haven’t. The hashtags that have been really popular in our audience, our first hashtag is #enchantedrebels, this is language that we use to describe our tribe. So a bit like some of those celebrity names that singers use for their audiences.
This is how we described the people who are part of our world and our people have really gravitated towards this idea of being an enchanted rebel and they use #enchantedrebels to describe themselves and or something that they’re doing.
You’ll see that on Instagram. Another one that’s been really interesting and popular is #mydailytreats. Now this is something that we brought to life a couple of years ago when we were talking about how important it is to get self care into your life.
You might have a Hashtag that is related to your physical product or again to your tribe or to your community or like the #mydailytreats, something that is a routine or a ritual that you’re trying to encourage your audience to do. And you want to use language that is specific to you.
When someone goes to that hashtag, you want it to be a place that is pretty much owned by you and they’re going to see mostly your content or the content of your contributors and fans.
So today we have talked about several bits of copy that are part of your brand. Cool. And copy again is just a fancy name for words. We’ve talked about your brand statement, your tagline, your method, your origin story and what makes that different from a bio. And finally your hashtags.
Now quickly I want to say something about hiring a copywriter.
We have another episode about hiring artists and we go into a lot more depth about who those artists should be. But when working with a copywriter, you want to find someone whose voice or language you absolutely love. It makes you feel something, but keep in mind, copywriters are quite good at matching your own voice as well. So if you give them good examples of what you want your copy to look and sound like, they’re really good at matching them. They don’t need to be very expensive.
So don’t worry. You can for a couple of hundred dollars you can get a lot of really great copy written potentially and a great place to find them is on an up a website called upwork.com you can put a job description out there, get several people to respond and then maybe give a few people a test project so you can see what they are, what they actually sound like and how they actually write.
Definitely test a few people to see who you like working with and to see who sounds like a good fit for you.
That’s it for today. If you want to workshop any of these ideas, ask questions about hashtags, origin stories, or help us workshop your brand statement cause I know that one in particular is really tricky, grab that PDF that’s going to help walk you through your brand statement and crafting that and your tagline, and then head on over to facebook.com/groups/magicmakersHQ. This is our private group for magic makers like you who want to find freedom and fulfilment by building a brand instead of just a businesses. And we are there to help. So come on, say hi.