Copywriting for a brand can be more difficult than writing for yourself or an individual. You can’t interview a brand, hear the cadence of its voice or ask what inspires it. This is why it’s important to establish brand guidelines by doing a brand audit to help find a brand’s voice.
Is the brand upbeat? Maybe it would use exclamation marks or emoticons! 😉 Is the brand stoic and somber? Maybe it would speak in short, Hemingway-esque sentences. Consider the brand’s target audience and what it wants to hear. A financial service, for example might use an exclamation point here and there on its social media pages. Finance is exciting! It is less likely, however, to use a 😉 on social media or in real life. Wouldn’t you be a little disconcerted if your banker or loan officer winked at you when discussing your money? Keep written content in the same tone as employees of the brand would use in bricks-and-mortar settings.
I once had a few press release writing assignments for an entrepreneur who was looking to solidify her brand position. This woman was business savvy and self-empowered, and she wanted her brand message to reflect that. After speaking with her a few times and getting an idea of her personality and style, I found myself imitating the sound of her speaking voice as I was writing for her. It may sound a little nutty, but by impersonating someone who was so different than myself (young, new to the working world, under confident), I was able to write copy that the client loved because it fit her, her brand and the image she wanted to portray to her audience. If you’re struggling to connect to an individual or audience, writing it as that individual or audience’s persona can open up the path to understanding and successfully communicating.
If you can’t write naturally, take a step back to find a new perspective. Whether it’s for a corporate social media campaign or a personal email, the best way to start writing is to simply start. Keep writing words until you have full sentences, and soon enough you’ll be on the way to writing the copy you need.