Even if you have a strong idea of who you are as a person, you can have a difficult time laying it all out on your website. It’s way too easy to get lost trying to imitate your favorite boss icons even though you already have an amazing personality and ideas that deserve to be seen. When I send out questionnaires to new clients, I often receive similar responses when I ask who they most admire for their writing. Many of my recent clients have been photographers who admire industry giants like Jenna Kutcher and Katelyn James, both of whom are known for their fun, personality-driven words.
It’s great to have role models, but too often we don’t look past those who we believe are setting the tone of our industry and realize that we can make waves of our own. When copywriting is a major part of building your personal brand, you have to stick the landing just right. The only way to accomplish this is to go through your own brand-building process to ensure that your words stand out in a competitive landscape.
Industry role models are awesome, but having your own voice is important if you really want to stand out. It may seem like one person is the tastemaker in an industry and that we should all follow that person, but why not try to do something different? Read on for four ways to make your brand and website stand out.
Tell your story.
When many solopreneurs dive into writing their website for the first time, they skip the all-important step of spelling out their offer, unearthing their core values, and surveying their ideal client. To really understand what needs to be on your website, you have to engage with your brand as an entity.
What do you envision for the future? How do you seek to help others? And why should your ideal clients be lining up around the block to work with you? This is also a great time to dig into your story and why you started your business in the first place. After all, every brand needs to have a point of difference. It’s likely you’ll find yours in your story.
The process may not look like everyone else’s, and this could also be what sets you apart. During this time, think about what you’re tired of seeing in your industry and what you wish you saw on other websites but have yet to discover.
Think about your ideal client.
When you’re fired up about an industry voice, it’s easy to get swept up in their brand so much so that you want to be exactly like them. It may seem like they are the only voice anyone would want to listen to. But think about it: You may love these industry voices, but does your ideal client? It’s possible and even likely that your ideal client may not resonate with the same people you do. Plus, even if your ideal client does admire them just as much as you do, isn’t it important to stand out?
The last thing you want to do is appear as if you’re imitating someone else. So take a little time to break down exactly why you like this industry voice. Is it because they are personality-driven, friendly, professional? Keep this tone in mind when you go to write your website but close the tabs with their pages so you can hear yourself think. When you go through the process of developing your messaging you can keep these adjectives in mind while writing but ultimately come to your own conclusions as to how you should write.
Walk through the user experience.
Too much of the time, we think of copy and design as separate entities but they’re really two different ends of the same process that leads to a cohesive brand and website. Which is why you should keep design in mind while writing copy.
Instead of trying to emulate someone else’s site, consider the main goal of your website. What do you want readers to take action on? Should they schedule a consult call or book their session? If they aren’t ready to buy from you, can they download a free guide or read your blog? Make sure your site offers something to the reader and make it extremely clear what you need the reader to act on so they can connect with you.
Not only will this make your site targeted to your ideal client but it will also be unique from others with different goals for their readers.
If you’re still struggling to imagine writing differently from industry greats, it’s time to find yourself a larger pool of inspiration. Pinterest is a great resource for web design and copy inspiration if you just want ideas for your general aesthetic and style. It could give you ideas about how to lay out copy, configure your site, and place calls to action. But always remember that you should never imitate someone else’s site and always aim for uniqueness.
About the Author
Kayla Dean is a website copywriter and content writer for visual creatives helping entrepreneurs say what they mean with confidence and strategy. Her byline has appeared in publications like Bustle, The Believer, and Darling. When she’s not writing, you’ll find her planning her next big trip or marking a book as “currently reading” on Goodreads.