This is part 2 of a 3-part series on the fears that hold people back from being themselves online. (Here’s my take on Fear #1: ‘I am not enough’.)
At We Write You, we’re driven by the desire to give people permission to be themselves--in life and in business.
In terms of the way this comes out in your copywriting - or any written expression of yourself online, even your Instagram captions - this means that we encourage you to write in your own voice.
Not in a ‘professional’ voice. Not in a voice that sounds like others in your industry. Not in a voice that sounds super-knowledgeable, or technical, or packed with jargon.
Just your voice. Your stuff. Your thoughts and feelings. Your everyday-speak.
One of the great things about our line of work is that we get to write copy for all kinds of businesses - people we never would have interacted with in the ordinary course of our lives.
Aimee (Hello Yes Coaching) was one of our earliest clients, and what she does for a living is totally intriguing! Aimee's a life coach - specifically, an intuition and embodiment coach who also facilitates Equine Assisted Learning. Not sure what all that is? We weren't either, but now we love her work. Read on for Aimee's story AND a special exclusive offer if you mention us to her.
There are a few things that set We Write You apart from other copywriters we’ve encountered - the way we conduct meetings over bars instead of boardroom tables, Kamina’s penchant for double denim and Mick’s addiction to making puns.
But the main thing that makes the We Write You experience so special is that the way we write for you is driven by our desire to give you permission to be yourself, in life and in business.
We’ll say it again. The number one value that drives We Write You is the desire to give our clients permission to be themselves.
When we first started in business and blogging, we were totally confused by the buzz around social media for small businesses. What’s a hootsuite? Should we be tweeting? Isn’t Snapchat something post-millennials use for sexting? How do you even Pinterest?
We kept hearing that we should be on social media if we were serious about self-promotion, but we didn’t understand which tools we should be using or how to wield them for maximum effectiveness. The only thing that felt certain was that we were never doing enough.
The thing is, once we’d calmed down and become a little more savvy, we realised that not all social media platforms are created equal. Each platform has different user demographics and enjoys a different type of engagement - and you don’t actually have to use them all. We’re big believers in simplicity in business, so we don’t want you to bother with social media platforms that aren’t right for you, or don’t bring you enough business to be worth the time it takes to post and interact on the platform.
Here’s our take on the three most effective social media platforms for small businesses - Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest. (That’s right, Pinterest.) If you’ve been wondering which ones you should bother with, check out what we have to say below. And if you’re wondering about a platform that isn’t mentioned here, ask us about it in the comments
From time to time we feature businesses and services that we love - people whom we genuinely think our readers will benefit from knowing about. This interview isn't sponsored or paid for in any way; it's a 100% authentic shout-out to a person we think is actually amazing!
Confession: for the longest time, when other online business owners talked about having a 'VA' we just smiled and nodded along. We assumed a VA (voice actor? value adder?) was a special kind of employee needed by only the initiated few - big-time bloggers and online business whizzes who were much cooler than us.
As it turns out, a VA (that's a virtual assistant, for those still too shy to ask) can be used by almost any kind of business owner or entrepreneur. And it's probably cheaper, faster and more convenient than the admin support you have in place right now!
Korryn from Encore Admin Consulting recently hit us up to write some copy for her. She was completely fantastic to work with, and as we wrote about her services we realised that what she offers is brilliant. So we asked her if she'd come on the blog and share some more about herself, and about what a VA actually does.
Here's our interview with Korryn:
This week we’re away on a writing retreat. By which we DO NOT mean, “we’re on a corporate weekend away with a bunch of strangers wearing name tags and doing team mindset exercises”. Nor do we mean, “we paid thousands of dollars to stay in treehouse cabins and do early morning aerial yoga and guided writing sessions” (although that does sound kind of awesome).
No - the retreat we’re on is entirely our own creation. Well, to give credit where credit is due, it was largely organised by our friend Milika, but the point is that this is a handcrafted, DIY-type deal, not a mail order writing retreat in a box.
We’ve taken 5 days out of normal life to get away from home, get rested, and plan for the next phase of our business without distractions - all in the company of our favourite people, with exactly the things we want to eat and drink and a daily timetable that includes all the things we want to do, and nothing we don’t. Does that sound like something you'd want to do? Well, you can!
As creative people, business owners, and lovers of the world - one of our core values is sharing.
Sharing fantastic businesses with you, our clients, because you deserve to know about them and access their services. Sharing our fantastic client base with our friends in business, because they deserve to work for great people. Sharing love and support across a network of startups and creative people and solo business owners, because we know it can be hard in this wilderness of work.
In this sharing spirit, from time to time our blog will showcase other creatives and business bosses. Today we're super stoked to be featuring Chrissy from Letters by Chrissy.
Chrissy is a gentle soul and a meticulous worker. She does beautiful hand-lettering for logos, invitations, custom art pieces and other things that need gorgeous lettering.
Chrissy did the logo for my (Kamina's) personal blog, Nina Kardia. During that process, Chrissy demonstrated one of the things that makes her stand out from other designers I've worked with - she has a heart for really, truly understanding and loving your business. She wants to get behind your message 100%. And she wants a simple piece of lettering that speaks to your audience - with flicks and slants, flourishes and curves - in a way that feels like you.
Enjoy this Q & A with Chrissy!
Suspend disbelief for a moment, and read this (if you can get through it):
‘Founded in 1987, we are the leading providers of services in our industry and complete all work to the highest standard as we ensure that our clients and their clients alike are highly satisfied and impressed with our services above and beyond their expectations. Our company core qualities of integrity, community-mindedness and fiscal responsibility ensure that we are best placed to provide a service that is on time and with the minimum of disruption to your business activities. "You can't beat authentic genuine expertise.”'
Okay, I just made that paragraph up out of my head. Ish. It is potentially based on actual copy that I've had the misfortune to interact with. I refuse to name names.
Unfortunately, 90% of business copy reads like this. To be blunt: it sucks.
Copy can suck for all kinds of reasons. Often it's long-winded or unclear. Typically there are errors of grammar, spelling and sentence structure. Maybe it doesn't really state what the business does, or pitch any benefits to the reader.
But, most of the time, copy sucks for one main reason: it just doesn't sound like a person wrote it.
Your brand story is your best friend—the business partner who draws customers and clients to you like seagulls to hot chips.
We talk about brand stories all the time, because they’re at the core of our business. So we thought we’d spend a few blog posts talking you through what brand stories are, why they're important to your business, and how to go about creating and communicating your brand story.
If that sounds boring, then you’re in for a treat. I’ll include diagrams that are so bad they’re good, and before you know it, your brand story will be boosting your business.
So… what’s a brand story?
So - you have a super exciting, awesome new business venture to get off the ground, and you're thinking about hiring a copywriter. (Well, okay then - hit us up!)
If you're new to business, you might not be sure if you're ready to involve other humans in your idea, and hand over actual money and whatnot. We get it. Investing in a creative professional - whether it's a writer, designer, website geek, stylist or whatever - might be a daunting move when you're just starting out. You might be inexperienced with this kind of thing. Cash is possibly tight.
If a pro is asking you to throw them upwards of a hundred or a thousand dollars or more, how can you be sure you're wringing the best possible value out of what you paid for?
And if you're just starting out, how do you know when it's time to hire a pro to help?
We Write You Blog
Small biz tips, free resources and real-life stories from us and other creative entrepreneurs.
Fears that Hold You Back in Business: "I am not enough"
Which Social Media Platforms Should You Bother With?
Businesses We Love: Encore Admin Consulting
How to design your own business/writing retreat!
How to Write Like a Person