How To Write With Personality (4 ½ tips)
As a business owner, you want your customers to feel like they know you. Which is easy enough in person… but what happens when you have to write for your website, social media, or emails?
Suddenly you feel like you sound either…
- Stiff as a board and way too business-y, or
- Weird and fake
The good news is, you don’t necessarily have to be a professional writer to write with personality.
Here are a few ways to find your voice and write with confidence:
1. Steal from yourself.
When it comes to writing with personality, the best place to look for inspiration is… you!
Think of how you speak to friends, family, and colleagues. When do you use humor (if at all)? What words do you use to express yourself? Pay attention to nuances in your everyday conversations, and bring them into your writing.
Don’t worry whether it’s “professional” or even grammatically correct. Just write how you talk.
2. Share stories of yourself or customers
People love stories! Whenever possible, back up your points with anecdotes of yourself and/or customers. This will give people a real sense of who you are, what makes you unique, and why you do what you do.
Remember: people will choose a story over a sales pitch any day. Sometimes a personal story with the pitch in the P.S. works better than a full-blown sales letter.
3. Create customer personas.
If you’re struggling to write with personality, it may be because you feel like you’re writing into the void. Customer personas are snapshots (not caricatures) of your ideal customer. A persona may include information like their needs, problems, hobbies, habits, personality, and demographics/psychographics.
Creating customer personas gives you a tangible person to imagine in your mind as you write. Start by writing down what you know about your favorite customer, client, or donor. Next time you write, you’ll have a tangible recipient to imagine in your mind.
4. Visualize a real-life conversation.
Once you have your customer persona in mind, imagine you’re at a coffee shop talking to them over an oatmilk cortado. Or a pumpkin spice latte. Or a plain ol’ cup of drip brew. Whatever.
Just close your eyes and imagine yourself saying things about your business to a real person. What words are you using? What words are you not using? What tone do you take?
This is especially helpful for writing 1-on-1 communications like emails, pitch decks, or fundraising letters.
Bonus Tip: Don’t overthink it!
You don’t have to be anything you’re not. Don’t try to sound like anyone else.
It’s easy to envy those bright, spunky, fun, and super-creative brands. But it’s 100% okay to be a brand that’s warm and nurturing. Or clean and professional. Or outlandish and shocking. Or just plain weird.
So feel free to use wit, puns, humor, or four-letter words… just make sure that it’s intentional and relevant to your content.
Writing with personality doesn’t have to be an intimidating process. Keep these tips in mind when crafting copy for your website, emails, or social media posts. You might just find yourself actually enjoying writing!