I was catching up with the local writing news the other day, and I came across an advert for a course on how to get started copywriting.
Curious, I gave it a read. And OMG, it sounded like it was written by Siri.
The sentences didn’t flow, there was no colour or personality to the words, and it gave me no faith in the course leader whatsoever. Fair play to the person running the workshop if they make a living copywriting, but there’s no way they’re earning as much as some copywriters do (which can be over six figures, maybe even seven).
So, while there’s no way I’m attending that course, it did inspire me to write this list of ways you can add more personality into your writing.
This list works for all forms of writing, but is particularly important when writing nonfiction. There’s a misconception that nonfiction has to mean boring, but boring writing of any kind isn’t going to get you loyal readers or earn you money unless your research is really, REALLY good.
Write for ONE person
Ugh, the amount of people and places I’ve come across that ignore this marketing message and think it’s acceptable astounds me.
While I don’t deny my own marketing has been a little haphazard, it’s because my original target audience was, too. I used to write my old content for my younger self. And while there’s nothing wrong with that, my younger self was all over the place, making it difficult to pin down particular pain points to write about.
So, if you do nothing else on this list, make sure that you pick ONE person to write for.
While I know you want to write for this person and that person and you don’t want to isolate this other person either, the broader your target audience is, the more difficult it is for you to have a voice.
Imagine you’re at a networking event. Unless you’re the organiser, nobody will pay you any attention unless you approach them first. Your message will be stronger if you speak to someone one-to-one. The more people you try to speak to at once, the harder it is to cater your conversation to everyone’s wants and needs.
Don’t worry so much about upsetting people by excluding them, either. It’s a natural part of life. Some products or services fit what we want, others don’t. It’s much better to have a small percentage of people willing to pay big money for your writing than a large percentage willing to pay you pittance. We value things more when we pay more. Your writing services (whatever they may be), are no different.
Write how you speak
I’ve written before about why we need to write how we speak, and I stand by it.
When you write how you speak, it’s a lot easier to create a connection with your audience. Nobody wants to read something that sounds like it was written by Siri.
When you’re trying to sell something, you’re going to get much more out of the person on the other end if you create a connection with them, and fast. One of the fastest ways to do this is to write how you speak.
Don’t be afraid to sound human.
Ultimately, this is what you need to do if you want your audience to embrace you.
We’re not yet in a world where robots have taken over, and the ones that are close to doing so are the ones that sound vaguely human.
I’ve always strived to be honest with you on this blog, and it’s because we spend far too much time focusing on what’s shiny and happy in our lives.
Life isn’t always shiny and happy, and it’s ok to admit that.
The more candid you are with your readers, the more they’ll trust you. This means they’ll convert faster, become loyal to you, and pay you more.
Be your ‘authentic’ self
If you read enough writing and marketing advice, you’ll have heard the word ‘authentic’ bandied about a lot.
Trouble is, most people regurgitate this advice without actually knowing what it means.
Being your authentic self means not following what other people do. When you copy someone else’s style, you’re just a copycat.
If you’re not sure who you are, your audience will still connect with your honesty. Most of us have no idea who we are. Admitting that humanises you like nothing else.
With time, writing can help you to figure out who you are, what you want to do, and build a relationship with your audience.
Great writing is fearless
There’s nothing wrong with being a little afraid when you hit ‘publish’—that’s perfectly normal and many writers feel that way.
But what makes great writing so good is that you publish it anyway. You learn the difference between being afraid, and writing that just isn’t good enough.
By following the tips above you’ll create a faster connection with your audience. This will make them more likely to engage with you on your website or social media, share your content with their network, and purchase your products and services.
Over to You
What are your tips to adding more personality to writing? Share your tips in the comments below 🙂