How to write with personality

In this loud, crazy, frantic world we live in, it’s easy to think that no-one wants to read more stuff. No-one wants more emails. More blogs. More posts. More content.

People want less, right?

Well, right and wrong.

Yes, we want less noise but what if the content you put out there is so good that, for some, it’s a welcome distraction from the constant clatter and chaos out there?

What if some people actually look forward to receiving an email from you? Or reading your next blog?

In fact, what if they enjoy it so much they want more?

More of you.

More of your stuff.

More of your products.

It is possible!

I sign up for a ridiculous amount of ‘stuff’ (I’m super curious, and love a freebie!) but I’ve been hitting the unsubscribe button like a woman possessed recently. Literally shutting down a lot of the noise that comes crashing into my inbox every morning. It’s too much. It’s overwhelming. And I’ve been ruthlessly clearing it out – with the same effort, energy and enthusiasm my neighbour has, as he sweeps all the leaves out of his garden every morning!

But there are two people whose emails I always open, the instant they hit my inbox.

I absolutely love reading them.

They’re fun, stuffed full of personality, just the right length for me and always hit on topics that are big on my radar too.

I’ve never met either of them, but they honestly feel like friends.

So, how can you do that too?

How can you put more personality into your blogs, emails, posts, copy and content?

Well, I’m glad you asked. Cos I’m gonna tell you …

3 ways to write with personality:

Use everyday words

Focus less on being ‘professional’ and more on being personal.

Here’s one way of doing that.

The first draft of anything I write is usually spoken. Into the voice recorder on my phone. Whilst walking my dog!

I don’t worry about getting it right or editing as I speak. I just talk. I don’t think ‘content’, I think ‘chatting to a friend’.

When I get back to my desk, I transcribe it. Then I’ll start to edit. I’ll take out the ramblings & repetitions, to keep it concise and punchy. But, at the same time, I make sure I don’t change the tone or conversational style.

I also don’t worry about the ‘rules’. I start sentences with words I’m not meant to start sentences with.  I put full stops where I’m supposed to put a comma.

But I focus on what sounds good. What flows best. What will resonate with my audience (see what I did there?).

My goal is to connect with the person reading my stuff. If a grammatical violation upsets them that much, they’re probably not my audience anyway.

Write for your people

Write for the person who will like your stuff. Appreciate your viewpoint. And who might have been having that exact conversation in their own head just this morning.

Don’t try to write for everyone. You can’t. It’s impossible.

If you don’t believe me, go to Amazon, click on any book and read the reviews. Chances are, there’ll be glowing 5-star reviews and scathing 1-star reviews.

Same book. Different people.

So just be you and you’ll attract the people that get you. Like you. Trust you. And even wanna hang out with you.

Tip: If you’re not sure how to write like you, try signing up for 750words.com and commit to writing 750 words first thing every morning. It really only takes a few minutes, and no-one will read it. This is about writing whatever you want. Unedited. Unjudged. Unseen (unless you choose to publish it later of course).

The more you practice writing openly and authentically, about the things that matter to you, the more natural and honest all your writing will be.

Speak your mind

Great writing is fearless.

I’m not suggesting you start ranting, but don’t be afraid to share your thoughts and ideas. Have an opinion. Start conversations. Get people thinking. Throw ideas out there. Give another perspective. Ask questions.

Don’t worry about positioning yourself as an expert. Talk to your audience as an equal.

I often share this quote from Denise Duffield-Thomas, author of ‘Get Rich, Lucky Bitch’ with clients:

“I’m a contributor, not a guru. As soon as I gave myself permission to contribute to the conversation of women and money, and not have to be a guru or expert, my business became fun. If you really care about a topic, be a contributor. Who cares if you don’t know everything. You don’t have to be the best to make a difference to someone.”

Talk about the stuff that’s important to you and you’ll attract people who relate to it.

Like any new skill, it takes practice, but next time you’re writing something to put ‘out there’ into the world, think about the person who will open it and read it. The person who will appreciate it. Engage with it. Agree with it. Or not. The person who will welcome you into their mad, crazy, full-on life like a friend, and welcome the chance to escape it all, for just a few minutes, to read your words.

Write for them.

Need help?

As a certified StoryBrand Guide, I can help you with one of the hardest things in marketing to get right – how to talk about what you do in a way that ensures your customer listens. To find out how, BOOK A CALL or drop me an email to susan@thebusinessofstories.com

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