How to find your voice

(When you can’t afford a Copywriter)


Copywriter & Strategist

November 11, 2022

For start-ups and scale-ups looking to find their place in the world, communicating who you are [to the people who need to hear it] is an integral chapter in your brand’s growth story.

Whilst brilliant brand design can get your visual identity talking, consumers need more to get them across the line. So if you’re looking to make your mark without a Copywriter in tow, here’s how you can get your brand saying all the right things.

Who are ya?

Imagine your brand turning up to a party where nobody knows it. How would it make an impression? What would people say about it when it left the room? For founders who know their business inside out, it’s easy to forget most people are starting from scratch - and know nothing about who you are or what you do.

Giving your brand three ‘personality traits’ is a great way to set your tone of voice in motion. If they feel obvious, then they’re probably on the right track. But be sure to always keep the brandscape in mind; if you’re sounding the same as your competitors, then you might need to reposition to a tone of voice that will set you apart.

If you’re struggling to get off the ground with your personality traits, it can help to liken your brand to someone you know. Are you more Adele or Beyoncé? Shiv Roy or Kendall Roy? Picturing your brand as a person will get you closer to discovering your tone of voice, and where it sits on the sliding scale of personality traits. If in doubt, a quick look over Carl Jung’s Twelve Character Archetypes doesn’t hurt.

Don’t force it

One of the worst mistakes you can make with messaging is to sound like you’re trying too hard. If you’re not the next Innocent smoothies, don’t try to be. Just stay true to who you are (but don’t be afraid to make yourself memorable, too).

A good thing to ask yourself before publishing any copy is ‘how would I say this to a friend?’. People always respond better to a human tone that treats them as an individual and comes across as genuine. Check out Monzo’s tone of voice guidelines for some top tips on sounding like a person you’d actually hang out with.

A useful exercise to test your tone is with an ‘About Us’ page. Start with the problem your brand is trying to solve, and then explain why you’re the solution. Whatever you write should chime with your business’s mission, and reflect your ‘why’. When writing about yourself, keep your target demographic front of mind. If you’re writing for Gen Z, think of their waning attention span - and keep your writing punchy, straight-talking and peppered with the active voice. If you want people to take their time with you, create a space that feels anti-urgency: slower, editorial language and words that paint a picture. Above all, it should feel right when you read it back to yourself.

Be consistent

Once you’ve landed on your personality traits, you’ll need to apply them across every touchpoint. There’s nothing worse than a great landing page description, matched with an overly-functional call to action. Consistency is key, and that means translating your verbal personality into stuff that doesn’t just sound good, but sounds good together.

In order to achieve that unity across all of your marketing material, it’s best to start with the writing, not the guidelines. Once you’ve written some copy that you’re happy with (even if it’s just a couple of sentences), try to analyze why it works, and why it speaks to your brand. Jot some basic ‘rules’ down - less about ‘what’ you want to say, and more about ‘how’ - and try to stick to them as you write across different channels. The more copy you write, the more you’ll be able to finesse your rules into some rough guidelines, and ensure you’re giving your audience 100% realness wherever they’re interacting with you.

If you want help to find your voice just let us know, we are always happy to help.