How do I find my writing voice?
What can I do to sound unique?
How can I make my words stand out?
Just some of the questions I receive on email from you guys requesting a little help with all of the above.
Full disclosure: One guy did ask me if I’d join him in Geneva for a glass of Chardonnay. I politely declined. Firstly: Ugh, Chardonnay. And secondly? If there isn’t a convention happening in Geneva, what’s the point, right?
Here are some things I want you to know about sounding unique in your writing:
Thing 1: It isn’t just about one piece of writing. It’s about being consistent with your voice in everything you write so that over time, your voice is unquestionably yours.
This 2: Which means writing periodically– whether a new article every week (comme moi), daily Facebook updates, or private emails to your list twice a week.
This 3: Your writing represents your brand, which means when you pick out the 5 key things your brand represents, you weave these into your writing consistently.
Today I won’t be hitting you with a ton of theory, but taking some writing examples and asking you why you think they’re unique.
This isn’t for the faint hearted. The answers won’t be obvious. Which basically means anyone who comments on this post with some analysis is a genius.
So here’s how it’s gonna work:
I’ll take a key message and rewrite it using the voice of 3 brands you recognise.
What I then want you to do is tell me why each is different, and one thing you’ll apply to your own writing to make it sound like you.
Ok, here goes:
The message: It’s nearing the end of the sales period, and each brand wants their audience to take action now to buy their programme.
Brand 1: I Will Teach You to Be Rich by Ramit Sethi
This brand appeals to men in their 20’s and 30’s who aspire to be the best in their field, but don’t know where to start. At the same time, they fear leaving it too long to make a decision about business and life (starting a side gig, starting saving, etc).
The audience is drawn to the brand for its practical application and step-by-step approach. The tone is aspiration-focused, with a touch of arrogance.
Copy: Remember, [course name on starting a business] closes at midnight PST. We convince ourselves we’ll start a business “when I have more time”, but ask yourself this: where do you want to be a year from now? It’s time to make a decision.
Brand 2: The Middle Finger Project by Ashley Ambirge
TMF has an audience of mainly small business owners with creative/service based businesses (think artists, photographers, coaches). Being creative and standing out in an over-populated market is key to them. They value freedom above all.
They audience is drawn to the brand because it’s sassy, smart and makes them feel invincible. The tone is fun and uses imagery.
Copy: Real talk: [course name] is almost at capacity and we’ll be closing the doors in 5 hours. So if you’ve been telling yourself you must learn to market to your audience and don’t register for this course? You’ll be forced to wear crocks for the rest of your living days (and may take them to your grave – the rules on this aren’t totally clear). That’s how karma works, right?
Brand 3: FirepoleMarketing by Danny Iny
This brand has an audience of entrepreneurs, small business owners and freelancers. They value community, trust and a methodical approach to learning.
The audience is drawn to this brand because of its friendly and approachable voice – even a hard sell feels like a gentle nudge.
Copy: The doors to [programme name] closes at 11.59PM PST. Some advice from me to you – it’s crucial to move fast. Not just because the program is almost full, but because the sooner you start, the sooner you see results. I’m looking forward to helping you start seeing them!
All 3 had the same message to deliver – what do you notice about the tone of the text? How would you describe the voice (friendly, tough, philosophical …)? What words have they used to appeal to their specific audience?
Answers in the comments below – show me your genius.
What to do now?
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