Bring your story to life through copywritingPosted on September 28, 2020 by Sarah Robertson
This month, as part of our new brand storytelling series, we’re introducing Ruth Buckingham, a Freelance Marketing Consultant and founder of Kandu Marketing. Ruth provides jargon-free content marketing support for small business owners, and here she shares hints and tips on how you can bring your story to life through copywriting.
When you picture a copywriter, what do you think of? Before I started my business, I often thought of a copywriter as the person who comes up with all the snappy tag lines like “Just do it” or “Always Coca-cola”. Some copywriters do focus on short-form content like this, but copy can come in all shapes and forms, from the content you put on your website, through to sales brochures, case studies, award entries or even your latest Instagram story.
Raising brand awareness through copywriting
When running your own business, copywriting is one of the many hats we wear when we start out. DIY is a great approach as a way to keep marketing costs down. Copy plays a vital role in creating your brand story. When combined with the right visuals and creative, strong copy can enhance your brand and help position you as an expert in your field. This, in turn, allows you to price accordingly.
A further advantage of running your own business is that it is also possible for you to show some personality and individuality in your copy and allow your audience to get to know you. This is often an advantage for a smaller business as it’s something that larger corporates with more restrictive brand guidelines can often struggle with. By using storytelling to help bring your brand to life to your audience, you can also build the know, like, trust factor.
Enhancing your copywriting through storytelling
I was introduced to the Donald Miller StoryBrand concept by another marketeer, and it has struck a chord with me ever since. The essence of his approach is that you make your customer the hero of your marketing message. In doing so, you can clarify your message, and cut down on a lot of the selling or waffle that some marketers can be guilty of.
Rather than starting from the point of what you would like to tell your customer. For example, “Wow our company is so great, we have been going for 25 years”. Or “We’re launching a new product or service that is brilliant because XYZ”. Instead, talk about the customer and bring them to life in a way that makes them recognise themselves in the story. This, in turn, makes them the character, or hero, in the stories you tell.
Next, we come to the problem, and again if you can attach an emotional need to it, you will create a tighter bond with your audience. For example, a software company might talk about their desire to help their clients have a positive impact on climate change. The company could then talk about how their solution reduces the need for printing and helps create a greener process.
By describing the hero of the story, your readers can relate to that character. And they can be taken on a journey to solve the problem they are facing, with you as their guide.
What is your magic that will help them solve the problem? Your customer wants a guide to help them through a business situation, not another hero like them. In this part of the story, you could tell them what makes you unique or qualified to solve that problem and also how you will help them do it. By sharing your expertise or accreditations, it builds depth in the story and develops a picture of how you are the guide that your potential clients need.
Your story will then culminate in an action that the customer should take to avoid a mistake and then power them to success. I like to focus on success in my storytelling, so don’t always include the mistake! I tend to recommend rounding your story out with a success story of someone you have helped in the past. Using their words always helps. It feels less like a pitch and more like a friend, or someone with a similar need, is recommending your solution to them. And there’s no expectation of any gain.
Telling your brand story throughout your content
Once you have created your own brand story, you can use it in many ways, it might form the basis of your “about me” pages on your website, or you could use it to explain a recent product or service innovation. You can also use the story to weave through your social media content to help you build a closer relationship with engaged followers.
Once you’ve crafted a compelling brand story, you may hear your clients or collaborators telling that story, or it may lead you to talk about your business to a different audience, perhaps through a podcast or an event. Think about your brand story before crafting any new copy, or use it to brief agencies if you can outsource, to help them get a feel for who you are and what you want your brand to represent.
The benefit of telling a story to bring your brand to life is that it allows you and your business to stand out and be truly unique in your field. Doesn’t this sound much more positive and valuable than filling your copy by reeling off a list of features and benefits? By describing the hero of the story, your readers can relate to that character. And they can be taken on a journey to solve the problem they are facing, with you as their guide.
*About Kandu Marketing*
Ruth Buckingham is a Buckinghamshire-based Freelance Marketing Consultant and operates as Kandu Marketing. She provides jargon-free content marketing support for small business owners. In short, Ruth can create compelling content that sounds like you. Find out more: www.kandumarketing.co.uk