A while ago, Tim from Draft My Story contacted me and we hit it off straight away!! His down to earth approach and friendly manner really came through as I read his emails.
His personality really shone and it became apparent to me that his words were another layer of his branding.
After a few emails back and forth I asked Tim if he would write a guest post on my blog for my readers. I was totally over the moon when he agreed, and so today I'm sharing an article written by my buddy Tim who is here to talk about the importance of storytelling in the development of your brand.
It's a fantastic topic and one that every small business or startup really needs to consider!
Without further delay, over to Tim!
IT’S NO SECRET THAT…
Branding is complicated. A web of interwoven variables. It’s not just a question of good design, beautiful images and colors, smart words, or consistent messaging. It’s the sum of all of these things. And more.
Today more than ever we need a definition of branding that extends beyond the visual elements we’ve come to ascribe to it. Without a more modern approach to traditional branding, everything starts to look very much the same.
So what is the answer?
If branding really has become one-dimensional, how can we as business owners work to defend against becoming carbon copies? What must we do in order to adapt? What will it take to stand out?
Today we’ll explore some easy tips for developing your brand beyond the page. In a world of stick-figure brand images, it’s time for us to start drawing in 3-D. Let’s get started.
IT’S OK TO BE A HUMAN, OK?
In a world where everyone is starting to look very much alike, what can be done to express your company’s genuine individuality? The first answer to this important question might surprise you. Because the first answer to this question might very well be you.
That’s right - one of the most common oversights in branding (and in business, for that matter) is creative inclusion of the human element. At the end of the day, your business is not just the logo that represents it. Nor is your business just the beautiful website.
No, your business is a result of the human effort and ingenuity that brought it all to life. Your business is a part of you. It is made up of human feeling and hard-won capabilities. It exists only as a function of your important work and inclinations.
So why is this critical to branding?
Because, luckily for all of us, who we are is precisely what makes what we do so special. And no one knows this better than your potential customers or clients. Remember: your prospects are people, too. And what they want is more than just a product; what they really want is you.
HOW TO PUT A FACE TO THE NAME
Ok! So if the missing link of modern branding is that “extra dimension” of human personality, then how is one to bring it all to life? If the story behind the name is what really helps define it, then - practically speaking - what can be done to tell that story in an advantageous way?
The truth is, there are many ways to inject your brand with genuine personality, just as there are many ways to infuse your work with your humanity. Let’s look at some of the most applicable methods for helping to make you more than “just another” enter-your-type-of-business-here.
1 | Tagline
Imagine if you only had one chance to make a real impression on someone and you only had 15 seconds and the space of a single Tweet. That’s your tagline. And this “fantasy” is everything but.
Statistically, most of your site visitors will choose within the first few seconds of landing on your page whether or not to stay on your site. If you’re not able to grab their attention in a meaningful way immediately… off they go to visit someone else.
Updating your tagline to a precise encapsulation of who you are, what you do, and why all that matters to your viewer is one of the most important steps you can take toward presenting your brand as something truly different-from-the-rest.
2 | About Page
Here is another huge opportunity that is all too often missed by many brands: the About Page. You would be surprised at just how many visitors to your site jump directly to this page.
These visitors want to know about more than just what your business offers: in many cases, they want to know about who offers it just as much. Is it someone stuffy and self-involved? Or is it someone passionate, attentive, and seemingly relatable?
Re-drafting your About Page to describe the story behind the business that you’ve built - your story - is another critical step toward presenting your brand as something… well… something with a heartbeat. It helps you to relate with your prospects on a very human level.
3 | Brand Voice
Perhaps most challenging of all, brand voice plays an indispensable role in securing the image of your brand as something living. It incorporates the above two elements, yes; but it also extends beyond them.
Brand voice is the sum total of your brand presence. It is a means of allowing your story to unfold naturally from beginning to end. Yes, it requires planning. Yes, you may even require some help.
But there is no substitute for establishing a consistent brand voice. This is the biggest step you can take toward taking your brand image (as well as its affect) from trivial to profound.
At the end of the day, it all comes down to Storytelling. Who you are, what you love, why you do what you do - these pieces combine to create the context of your work; they are what makes you different from anyone else who’s doing what you do. They are why you matter.
And they are why your prospects choose to work with you and not with someone else.
PUTTING IT ALL TOGETHER
We want to show you an example - one that we believe to be a brilliant representation of everything we’ve described here in this article. Head on over to the Baron Fig website. Be sure to take special note of the following elements and to ask yourself these questions:
- Tagline - Is it easy to understand? Does it pique your curiosity enough to draw you in?
- About Page - Notice how they’ve chosen to call it “Our Story”. What do you think? Do you feel like you’re being sold to? Or do you feel like you’re getting to know real people, not too different from yourself?
- Brand Voice - As you click around the website, do you feel like the overall message is cohesive? Do you feel like you’re being sold to, or do you feel like you’re being shown around a room by a couple of excited friends?
Fact of the matter is: humans rely on humans. We depend on one another for inspiration. We depend on one another in order to learn new and interesting things. And we depend on one another for services and products we’re not capable of providing for ourselves.
The Baron Fig guys came out of nowhere with an idea that wasn’t even all that new (most notebook nerds would argue that brands like Moleskine and Rhodia and Leuchtturm1917 had already cornered that market). But Baron Fig took the idea just a bit further and proceeded to present it in a whole new way.
“Out of nowhere” soon blossomed into massive partnerships with brands like Google, Kickstarter, Facebook, Nike, Mailchimp (and on and on it goes). The press around BF has been off the charts. We believe that this is due in large part to the personality and humanity presented in the story of this brand.
OK, NOW IT’S YOUR TURN
So first things first: how does your current brand stack up against the “humanity factors” detailed in this article? In most cases, the areas most lacking in personality are areas related to copywriting - a task that is intimidating even to seasoned practitioners of the art.
But you’ve already got the beautiful design, the one-of-a-kind product or brilliant service. All that’s missing is the smart, relatable, compelling copywriting. And that’s where we come in.
If you feel that your branding could use a shot of personality, contact me directly here. Let me know that you found your way to us through this article and I'll even include a FREE Brand Evaluation as our way of saying “thank you” and “hello”.
Written By tim brainard
Tim Brainard is is a professional writer and the Founder of Draft My Story.
With work that has been published around the world, he now focuses his efforts on small business & personal development.
Tim marries a love for storytelling with years of experience in marketing, brand development, SEO, and copywriting.
This allows him to develop creative systems and services for helping others to grow whatever matters most to them.