The Secret to Writing Web Copy with an Authentic Voice

One of the most common reasons that business owners or solopreneurs engage me to help them with their website copywriting is because they want to achieve an authentic voice that accurately reflects what they want their brand to be.

Sounds a little counter-intuitive though, right? To have someone else write your ‘authentic’ voice? Well, sometimes it’s just that you need a little bit of a helping hand to try and package it up and refine your message.

Creating an authentic voice is a powerful way to establish a connection with your target audience. It helps readers to connect with you and associate certain feelings to your brand. It allows you to portray an image where you are not ‘just a business’, but an expert with a clear point of difference. Authentic copy is a way of bridging the ‘know-like-trust’ steps that a customer needs to take before purchasing from you, when you don’t have the luxury of an actual face-to-face encounter.

I’m going to reveal the not-so-secret (and really not-that-shocking) questions that I ask my clients that help them to identify their authentic voice. Use these questions to get yourself thinking about your own business and how you can reflect authentic messages through your web copy:

Think about your client

  1. Who do you want / love to work with / work for?
  2. What are their needs / concerns / motivations / expectations?
  3. How does your service / offering make people FEEL?
  4. What do people thank you for most often?

Think about your message

  1. What is your ‘elevator pitch’? (Your one-line answer to the question ‘What do you do?’)
  2. What’s your message / what do you stand for? Why do you do what you do?
  3. What motivates you to share this knowledge?
  4. Why should readers trust you?
  5. What makes you different to others in your industry / similar role?

Think about your success

  1. What area of your work would you like to be recognised for?
  2. What are your victories or accomplishments both personal and professional?

Think about your motivation…

  1. What drove you to start your business / what motivates you now?
  2. What is your aim / goal in business?
  3. What words do you want people to associate with your business / brand / work ethic?
  4. When do you feel most excited / inspired / passionate about your work?
  5. What are you most passionate about outside of work and how does that influence your business?

As you can see, these questions are not so much about what you do or sell, but how your service makes others feel, and how your work makes you feel. If you want to create authentic copy, it is these sentiments that you want to aim to communicate. This is what makes you real and relatable and forms a genuine connection with your audience.

Identify your core values

After answering the questions above, think about the core values of your business that have become evident. Come up with no more than five. Write these words down. As an example, perhaps they are:

  1. Integrity
  2. Fun
  3. Transparency
  4. Professional
  5. Innovative

Keep these five words somewhere handy. Every time that you write something – whether it is a new web page, a blog post, a brochure or even an email, ask yourself: does this copy reflect any of my core values? Think about:

  • tone
  • the type of words/language you use
  • length
  • salutations/sign-offs

Remember, being authentic doesn’t mean being unprofessional. A casual tone is fine, but don’t take it too far that you run the risk of offending or alienating a large chunk of your audience. Simply let your personality shine through in your marketing copy and you’ll connect with the customers that you really want to work with!