Visualization of the various routes through a ...

Visualisation of roots through the Internet. Image via Wikipedia

With millions more businesses opening on a daily basis, how you can make yours stand out?

Your business communications need to stand out.
They need to be remarkable.
And the competition is growing every second.

And it’s not just business owners who have the problem. If you’re a writer, how can you make your writing stand out? How can you make sure clients hire you and not someone else? How can you make sure publishers will cherish your talent and not send out another ‘reject’ letter?

In an earlier post I said that for your writing to stand out, your need to have a personal brand online. Let me clarify that a little.

If you are a professional writer and you write articles and blog posts for other people, your job is to write in their style.

If you are a business or blog owner who wants or needs to outsource their writing, you need to be sure that the writer(s) you hire know what you stand for; that they can become extensions of that brand.

And that isn’t going to happen unless you know what the brand is; what you and your business stand for.

So which ever you are, writer, author, business owner you need to have and understand the concept of personal brand.

It’s related to the concept of an author’s ‘voice’. Once you know what the brand is, you know what sort of ‘voice’ you need to develop in your writing. You know what the branding personality is.

The first step is to know who your audience/reader/customer is.
You need to know specifics, like age and gender, but the more you know, the better it is.

Most people believe that general appeal is what they need, that a broad view is the best, but it’s not. The web is a warren filled with niches, you need to specialise. One way to do that is to say who you are writing for, and why.

Most people don’t.

They’re afraid that if they say they write for group A, they’re audience will shrink. It won’t.
They think that being specific is the same as being pushy. It’s not.
They’re somehow ashamed of what they do. So why do it?
They’re not actually sure who they are writing for. So think about it, learn!

This is not just an Internet problem. Many business owners have a problem promoting their business in person, as well as on the web.

Years ago, I used to go to a networking group, and almost every week there would be someone who’d stand up and say ‘Good morning everyone, I’m XXXX and I’m a YYYY. And you all know what a YYYY does, so that’s all there is to say, really’.

The result was truly forgettable. And the same thing happens on the web.

It’s often very difficult to give a business personality through a store, but that’s one reason blogs exist.

You can, and should, give your business a personality through your blog, that’s where you can explain not what your business does, but how, and who, it helps. The personality is part of the business, and ideally it should form part of your business plan.

You’re not throwing customers away, you’re bringing the right customers in.

The great thing about the web, is that it is niche friendly. You can develop a business which serves the needs of underwater basket weavers, but you might find there is a lot of competition.

You can develop a business which serves the needs of one-armed, under water basket weavers, and you’ll find less competition.

You can develop a business which serves the needs of one-armed, under water basket weavers with dogs, and you can probably corner the market, because only you will be able press all the necessary buttons. By learning about the problems of a specific group, you learn how to write articles they’ll find helpful. The customers would have to be mad to deal with anyone else. You don’t have to make do with a small part of your niche, you can grab it all.

And then, of course, you can start work on another.

And here the web has a huge advantage over the real world.
You can develop a dog loving brand for your work with one armed under water basket weavers with dogs.
You can develop a knitting fanatic brand for your work with one armed under water basket weavers who like to make baskets to hold their knitting.

And, you need never reveal that you don’t own a dog, you can’t knit, you have two good arms, and you never saw the point in underwater basket weaving in the first place.

Really?

Next post – authenticity!

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3 Responses to “Personal Branding Online and the Writers Voice”

  1. Linda says:

    “The web is a warren filled with niches…”

    Wow, another new word for me, today! I just checked the meaning of the word “warren.” Among other meanings, the word “warren” is used to refer to “A network of interconnecting rabbit burrows.

  2. Linda says:

    Oops! I wasn’t ready to submit my last post when all of a sudden it went “poof!”

    My final thought on the word “warren” and its referenced meaning is that I sometimes feel like Alice in Internetland, so I really like your description of the web as a warren.

    Thanks for the reminder to target an audience, know their needs/wants, and speak to them in a voice that will resonate with them.

    You’re a gem, Lesley!

  3. Anonymous says:

    whoah this weblog is excellent i like studying your articles. Keep up the great work! You already know, lots of persons are looking around for this info, you can help them greatly.

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