You may be wondering… why is everyone so interested in brand adjectives that describe your site? Shouldn’t visuals and brand colors speak for themselves? Not when website copy is such an important part of your brand equation.
Story time: Not long after I joined Pinterest (back when it was invite-only!) one of the first boards I put together was one with untranslatable words from other languages. For whatever reason, they appeared in my feed consistently. As the word nerd I am, I was pretty obsessed.
These words are personable, fun, whimsical, and sometimes outside our perspective. That’s a good mindset to be in when you’re approaching website copy.
We hear people describe their websites as “fun” or “sassy.” While that may be true (and words you’ve used to describe your website on at least one occasion– I’m guilty too!) basic words like these won’t help you stand out in a crowded digital space where most people try to be fun and generally interesting people.
Even if you use these lighthearted words to verbally share your vibe, fun words can stifle you before you even write your website. Defining your brand voice through well-chosen words can make the process less frustrating on your end.
Here’s how to break out of the rut and craft clever, relatable words that will set the tone for your project.
START WITH CORE VALUES
I get it: you’re a small business of one, and crafting core values might feel silly when you don’t have other employees to help you create a company culture. But following in the footsteps of larger businesses with clearly delineated values will not only make you stand out but also show clients that you believe what they do.
Here’s an example: One of my core values is Creativity. That may go without saying (I mean, this is a creative business, right?) but it’s the WHY behind the core value that makes it an important cornerstone of my brand.
Pair core values with solid visual elements and you’re set!
MAKE A LIST OF WHAT’S UNIQUE ABOUT YOUR SERVICE
Whether you’re just starting out or simply burned out, finding your unique brand voice may feel like a moving target. But it doesn’t have to be that way! And your website copy will thank you.
Still stuck on how to find words that really communicate your values? Make a list of what’s unique about your offering. Sometimes we’re so stuck in our own heads that we forget that what we do is unique and interesting to others outside our fields. Think from both outside and within your industry— this helps you get past the curse of knowledge. What’s different about your business? What do you offer that other professionals don’t?
This could be almost anything— your years of experience, working with entrepreneurs with name recognition, or something a bit more intangible but still important. Maybe you work with a certain type of person. You’ve narrowed down the scope of your business to really specialize in an ideal client. Or it could be something else entirely. Up to you!
THINK ABOUT YOUR IDEAL CLIENT
Once you know what’s unique about your offering, you’ll be in a better spot to figure out your ideal client. If you don’t know who that is, dedicate some time to identifying your ideal client. Think about that person when generating adjectives.
Make a list of words that fit your vision. They can be silly, simple, or complex. Then take a look at this list. Would your ideal client feel out-of-touch with any of your words? If so, why? Try to think about how others will respond to the vision, but don’t let them take it over entirely. After all, it’s your business.
CHOOSE ONE WORD THAT’S UNIQUE TO YOU
Seriously. Whether you dive into a web thesaurus, a tool like Word Hippo where you can generate alternate words with a click of a button, or my Pinterest board of untranslatable words, try to get in your ideal client’s head to write your website copy. What would appeal to them? But also, what word fits you to a T?
Just for fun, or to make obscure words more approachable, chose 1-2 “regular” words to accessorize. If you need a starter pack, this is a good place to start.
CREATE A WORD MOODBOARD TO MATCH VISUAL BRANDING
We think of visual moodboards as roadmaps to the visual direction we’re headed in our businesses. So why not pair your visual elements with words? Or create a word cloud that helps you get a grip around your chosen words. It’ll be fun, I promise!