Brand story writing tips
The best way to stand out and get attention in today’s media saturated world is by telling a compelling brand story. Brand stories create a consistent relatable story arc that shows what your brand has to offer by showing what you really care about and what you stand for as a company.
Without a brand story, the rest of your communications not only fall flat but will be inconsistent with each other and be devoid of emotion. I recommend really nailing your brand story before proceeding further with your other communications materials.
Big corporations like Coca-Cola and Apple have long realised the power of using their unique brand story to build connections with their audience. Below is all you need to know about writing a compelling brand story.
Brand storytelling tips
A compelling brand story should be able to generate consumer trust straight away and not just any story will do. Your brand story should have the right elements to stimulate emotion and connect with the reader. Here’s how you can do that:
Your story should show brand personality
A brand story is not an impersonal thing like a clickbait or a marketing tool, instead, it is a way of showing brand persona. A great brand story should be driven by your brand’s personality whilst clearly demonstrating who work for you. And don’t forget the people who have been instrumental in your business’s growth and success! Most big tech brands today share their personality by telling the stories behind their creation, think of Steve Jobs and Apple or Jeff Bezos and Amazon.
However, your brand story shouldn’t end up being an individual’s biography. Rather, it should tell the evolution of the brand, showing how it was inspired by an individual’s personality and it should definitely be a relatable journey (at least in the beginning). This way, it provides someone real that your customers can trust, since people are more likely to trust other people rather than an abstract concept or corporation.
Your story should connect with your customers
At its core, your brand story isn’t really about your company. Its goal is to establish a connection with your customers. Therefore, it should be able to tell your customers that you understand them and you’re on their side. It should also be able to make your brand relatable and distinguishable. For example, Jessica Alba’s The Honest Company was able to raise millions of dollars by creating a brand story that connects people to its non toxic household goods products.
‘Research indicates that the human brain responds to the descriptive power of stories in deeply affecting ways, influencing both the sensory and motor cortex. To read a story is to feel an experience and to synchronise our minds with the subject of the story,’ Neil Patel states.
Your story should be simple
A simple brand story is better and easier to tell whereas an overly complex story can erode trust. Every good story has a beginning, a middle and an end and your brand story should follow this fundamental structure. No matter how bulky the description of your brand’s story it should conceptually follow the following process:
Your story should shape your existence
A compelling brand story should describe the whole reason for the existence of your company. Explaining why your brand exists builds trust and answers the question of why people should buy from you. Just like the way the TOMS shoe company shows that for every pair of shoes purchased, they donate a pair to someone in need. This explains the reason why they exist, to improve the lives of those in need. It also helps to elicit empathy and altruism in whoever reads their brand story, which is a very powerful motivator within humans.
Remember this iconic television commercial from Chanel No. 5? It employs classic storytelling techniques and has a clearly identifiable brand story that provides the foundation for their infamous product.
Remember, by answering the question of why your brand exists with a story, you can build the trust of your customers. It’s also worth refining the tone of voice and getting the structure super clear and readable. Don’t just ramble on with whimsical overwritten blurbs just because they sound fun. It might pay to revisit the five building block questions of writing.
Overall, a terrific brand story is a powerful way of building a foundation of trust and establishing a business that people want to align themselves to and which breeds loyalty.
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Do you love short stories? Here I am reading a little snippet from one of my stories called The Book of Elizabeth Purdon from my micro collection of short stories called Uneasy.
You can grab your own copy of Uneasy here.
There is a marketing branch coined sensory marketing. According to Rieunier (2002), the sensory marketing approach tries to fill in the deficiencies of traditional marketing which is too rational.
Almost all marketing traditionally focuses on two senses: sight and sound. That leaves an enormous opportunity to appeal to the other senses that could be highly effective. Given how closely related to memory smell and taste are, these underutilised facets have the potential to really emphasise the way people relate to your brand. If you’ve ever walked past a Lush, Aesop, Subway or Janesce store, you know exactly what I’m talking about. They are distinctive smells that you can’t disassociate with in a hurry!
‘Sensory branding is a type of marketing that appeals to all the senses in relation to the brand. It uses the senses to relate with customers on an emotional level. Brands can forge emotional associations in the customers' minds by appealing to their senses. A multi-sensory brand experience generates certain beliefs, feelings, thoughts and opinions to create a brand image in the consumer's mind,’ Wikipedia.
This form of embodied cognition that is integrated into marketing asserts a holistic approach that not enough businesses are taking advantage of, which, if done correctly could put you ahead of others and set you up for long term success.
And it works! In South Korea, a Dunkin’ Donuts branch strategically releases a coffee smell on cue with their company jingle on a bus, which has seen an increase in sales Dunkin’ Donuts at nearby shops by nearly thirty per cent.
How can you promote your business using each of the five senses? Come up with one unique way for each sense. You can be as extravagant or as small as you wish. Examples might include: sending a flavoured tea bag with your logo on it, a complete virtual reality experience or send distinctive incense or a fragrance vial with a brochure.
If you sell products, change the wrapping to incorporate a sensory experience. Pringles have their signature “pop” when you open their can and KitKats have the “snap” of the break in the chocolate. How often do we associate a champagne’s corking popping with celebratory aspects?
Feeling stuck? Write down the first thing that came to your mind, no matter how ridiculous or expensive and unachievable it seems at this time. Remember, we’re brainstorming, not writing anything in stone.
Want a bit of homework?
Once you’ve written your five senses marketing list, pick one and complete it. Don’t be afraid to go big and bold.
You may like to read the book:
Customer Sense, How the 5 Senses Influence Buying Behavior by Aradhna Krishna
This is an extract taken from my book, Thirty Days to Conscious Success. Grab your copy today.
Self help books by Adelaide authors
You might not even be aware of this but Adelaide is such a hub for creative professionals, particularly conscious entrepreneurial women who are wholeheartedly invested in their business and offerings to the world. Those same high achieving businesswomen are inclined to take on extra projects as they are so determined to share their wisdom and message with the broader community than their current clientele through powerful mediums such as self help books.
I’ve collated a selection of self help books written by Adelaide authors that are all designed to help you in your business or personal life and improve it and be the best version of yourself.
Align + Attract by Kerry Rowett
The creator of Align and Attract and a professional kinesiologist, Kerry Rowett, has authored a book of the same name about getting more alignment within your business (a favourite topic of mine).
In her own words, ‘this book is really designed to spark your own insights and transformations and... there's even a beautifully designed journal you can download with all the prompts to help you reflect and take your own action.’
Kerry is dedicated to empowering her clients to create more alignment in their businesses and lives and has been a kinesiologist for more than a decade.
Discover more about Align and Attract and buy the book.
Letting Go by Rebecca Mezzino
In another thread, Rebecca Mezzino is a professional declutterer and probably someone we all need in our lives.
She runs her own business called Clear Space Organising Services where she is a declutter coach and spends her whole professional realm improving people’s lives. Her book, Letting Go: how to choose freedom over clutter, is more than just a tidy up book. It’s a guide to help you deal with what’s going on inside your mind and offer you more peace and freedom.
Grace and the Wind by Kristina Dryza
A little different from the ‘get your life together’ books listed above is Kristina Dryza’s book, Grace and the Wind.
Kristina is a futurist and trends predictor, which is a much needed profession in the current climate. She is also someone with their finger on the pulse and often shares her insights and transformative concepts with the world and is a recognised speaker.
Kristina has written a fiction novel called Grace and the Wind, which cleverly incorporates her core concepts in the form of a narrative. In her own words, it’s a ‘…modern allegorical novel on how the very nature of life itself is expressed and experienced as rhythmic patterns of energy.’
The Truth of Your Reality by Nereeda McInnes
Author of The Truth of Your Reality, Nereeda McInnes is another Adelaide author that has a heart led business and mission. Her book provides insights on the game of life and how you choose to play it. And who doesn’t need a little guidebook on this ruleless game that is life?
Nereeda’s book will remind you of your own power and who you really are and uncover the secrets of the suffering and success and everything in between.
Passionate about self development and personal growth, Nereeda is also a writer, life coach and business mentor. And because she is a lover of all things positive, she has started a movement called One Such Thing, which encourages everyone to share good stuff and encourage smiles upon smiles.
Relaunch My Life by Juliet Lever
Poised as a teaching memoir Juliet’s lifestyle guidebook, Relaunch My Life, is the namesake of her business which is designed to help people redesign how they live and ease them through personal and spiritual transformation.
Juliet is dedicated to teaching people across the world with her unique workshops that incorporate many techniques to help people rediscover themselves.
The book offers tips, guidance, inspiration and support and will help you reconnect with your soul and redesign your future.
Thirty Days to Conscious Success by Vanessa Jones
It’d be remiss of me not to mention my books, Promote Your Spiritual Business and Thirty Days to Conscious Success.
Primarily, both of these books are marketing books but they just happened to be interwoven with mindful and heart centred concepts that help bring you into alignment with success and promoting your business and message far and wide. It’s ideal for those who need marketing help but want a different way of understanding it.
This list of fabulous self help books should keep you busy reading for the next few weeks at least and once through it, you'll come out the other side a completely transformed human!
Book editing tips
Idioms are a colloquial way of phrasing something.
‘An idiom is a common word or phrase with a culturally understood meaning that differs from what its composite words' denotations would suggest.’
Here are some examples of idioms:
‘Sick as a dog’
‘Out of the blue’
‘Barking up the wrong tree’
When writing memoir, it’s wise to limit your use of idioms. Although this really does depend on your intended readership and what language they use.
Using a lot of idioms takes away from the specificity of your stories if overused. And one of the keys to really interesting writing (both fiction and non fiction) is specificity, especially when it comes to including the details.
It also limits your audience and may make it difficult for those who have English as an additional language and speaks purely to Australian readers if your idioms are Australian. This can exclude a lot of readers.
The expression ‘show, don’t tell’ would be useful to learn more about to help you write the specifics. You may have included a lot of great statements about what you think and feel in certain situations but without any real “showing” how you got there.
Here are some helpful articles on show, don’t tell:
Show don't tell
Show don't tell mantra
Write practice: show don't tell
This is quite a common writing mistake that I see when I am copyediting clients’ books.
Be extra careful of repetition – often, in sentences, you can be predisposed to saying the same thing but in slightly different wording. Or multiple sentences or paragraphs can have the same essence. Take care to eliminate any repetition in your writing and be cautious about using a sentence that can be reduced down to much fewer words.
Here are a few ways that you can reduce repetition:
Be sure to add credibility to your story. Just because it’s a personal recount of something that happened or an overview of your life, doesn’t mean that it has to be devoid of credibility and authority. Here’s how to write with authority.
Often contradiction can occur when writing memoir, which happens when you are writing everything through a very personal lens. The best way to avoid this is by sticking to the facts of what really happened and then adding the emotive aspects over the top. For example,
‘I was sitting in a taxi, wondering if I had overdressed for the evening, when I looked out the window and saw Mom rooting through a dumpster,’Jeanette Walls, The Glass Castle.
The facts are that she was sitting in a tax in the evening and saw her mum going through a dumpster. She didn’t say, ‘It was such a sad sight to see my mum being a homeless person and her life falling apart.’
You can also add credibility by using the term ‘I think.’ For example, ‘I think there were five people at my party,’ reads much better as ‘The five people at my party were…’
Removing those two small words adds more assurance to what you’re telling your readers and gives confidence that the memories you are providing are as reliable as they can be. No one wants to read a “wishy washy” recount of an occurrence.
Furthermore, be sure to back up any bold statements with statistics, resources or research especially if it’s medical or science based. For example, ‘Many people die from…’ is much more powerful when you write ‘According to Credible Journal, three people die each day from…’
If you want your memoir or autobiography to be publication ready, it's well worth investing the time in editing and then editing it again. In all seriousness, you should be considering editing your entire manuscript at least three to eight times!
Read to write your book? Book writing coaching services.
Free SEO writing course
Do you want to dive right in to effective SEO writing?
Sign up for my FREE three day SEO writing ecourse. Just by popping in your details, you'll be emailed three easy but potent lessons over three days on how to improve your content articles, blog posts and website copy with foolproof SEO writing tips and techniques.
The three lesson ecourse will teach you about:
And yes, it's completely free! But don't delay, it's only free for a limited time so it's best you take advantage of the offer ASAP.
In today's world, SEO writing has become such an integral aspect of modern marketing that the growth of businesses of all sorts (and all industries) depends on choosing SEO over other marketing strategies. Marketing is itself tough enough a task— digital marketing even more so. The complex nature of SEO can make it seem like the most gruesome method for marketing your business online. However, this doesn't have to be so, because when done right, there's no better strategy for growing your business organically.
Created by professional copywriter and experienced SEO writer, Vanessa Jones, this easy to follow SEO writing ecourse will have you uplevel your knowledge in just a few days.
Marketing book for success
The Thirty Days to Conscious Success book is a workbook for those of you who are serious about success in your business.
It’s more than a book; it’s a thirty day program to eke out creative ideas and flood your marketing plan with easy to implement activities that will heighten the reach of your business or services.
Packed with useful marketing information and thought generating activities, this guide will take your promotional efforts from dull to dazzling in only a month. The mindful exercises and in depth exploration will also prove to be inspirational and transformational journey.
Each activity is cleverly crafted to connect you with your inner self as well as truly have an impact on your business.
Written with creative, complementary and wellness businesses and services in mind, you will use this book as a personal course to creating and implementing a marketing plan.
Best of all, it’s a lot of fun.
You’re just thirty days away from enormous success.
How to start a blog
A blogging platform is the internet based software that you will be using. I find the following the easiest to navigate and the most intuitive to set up and use:
Because of its diversity, WordPress is a great blogging and website platform. I’m going to run through the steps for starting a blog on WordPress but if you find that you would prefer another platform, most internet “how to” guides are useful and each platform has their own help guide which is usually designed for people who have never bloggedbefore.
If you are registering your own domain, the hosting company (WordPress or other) will offer you an additional service of privacy settings, where for a nominal fee they can hide your personal details that are linked to your domain. This is a personal choice and stops the lay person web searching your residential address and phone number. But know that anything you put into the internet, is discoverable by those who have more advanced skills, should they want to.
You can get a cheaper domain through hosting sites outside of WordPress but it does offer a very simple process of matching up your domain to your new WordPress site.
The following are some common web hosting services you might like to use:
I recommend using the free WordPress package option (at least for now), you can always upgrade to the bigger packages at a later stage and they probably aren’t necessary unless you are running a website that requires a lot of storage space. You can also have as many WordPress blogs/sites as you like!
Plan: free beginner
Domain hosting: choose a company (or use WordPress to host) Platform: WordPress
WordPress.com or WordPress.org?
WordPress.org is the one to use if you are self hosting (that means you’ve bought a domain via an external company, such as Zuver etc).
WordPress.com is fine for beginners and people who don’t need a website with too much complexity. If you have some technical know how or know someone that does that can help you, and you intend to have lots of extras on your website (for example. you would like to run an online course, use more plugins, have your own custom design, discussion forums etc), then it is worth exploring WordPress.org.
WordPress use the analogy that WordPress.com is like renting a house and WordPress.org is like buying a house—you can make all the alterations and modifications to suit you but you’re also responsible if things break or go awry.
It’s worth noting that whilst you can still sell easily on a WordPress.com site, if online selling is your primary goal, then it’s advised to use WordPress.org.
Choose a theme via the dashboard function (you will need to be logged in). Go to Appearance > theme. Select your theme and click "Preview" to see what it looks like and “Activate”, once you have decided. You can customise it by clicking "Customize".
Choose a theme that represents your business and blog and is consistent with your branding.
WordPress has an array of themes to choose from, some are free and some with a fee attached. The free ones are adequate and customisable but sometimes you might want something a bit more unique or you have seen a design that you just have to have that will do your business justice and then it’s worth paying for your theme. Themes can generally cost approximately $30 -$130 for their lifetime. Their creators will often create updates for the theme (ironing out any bugs, adding more options etc— much like when you update your iPhone apps) and you’ll be alerted when you login to your WordPress blog as to when you need to do this. Often, it only involves clicking “update”.
Remember: your logo will need to be prominent, ideally in the top header/banner, so be sure to choose colours and design that will complement your logo and branding.
Don’t forget that the majority of people will be viewing your blog on their phone or tablet, so you need to make sure that it looks okay on these devices too. When you are customising the theme, there is a little icon that displays a computer, phone and tablet image and by clicking on each one, it will give you a preview of what it will look like on each device.
Pages are the static pages of text that can be chosen from the menu. One page will contain your blog posts and more often than not, this will default as your home page, although you can change this in the dashboard. It’s up to you which page you choose as your landing page (where people “land” when they type in your web address) but I recommend that it be your home page or your blog posts, which may be one and the same.
You may choose to have a home page that acts as an introductory text, especially if you are combining your website and blog into the one platform.
To add pages to your menu (or your menu may reside at the top or side of your page), go to: Dashboard> Appearance> Menu.
Posts are the rolling, usually reverse chronological order boxes of text that you will be regularly updating. This is where your blog posts will go. All your posts will sit on one page (unless you direct them to various pages, based on categories—this is an option for the more advanced users or the more complex site).
You can password protect any post that you wish. This may be a useful tool in case you have content that only some people are privy to; maybe it’s private information that you would like to keep for your friends or your regular clients. Or maybe you have a subscription service where people pay to access some of your content. WordPress has a plugin for more advanced users such as Membership, which helps to organise subscription services like a lot of modern news services offer these days or LMS plugins which allows you to run online courses. There is undoubtedly a plugin for everything you can think of. Try having a search through the plugin directory (you’ll need WordPress.org to install plugins).
Copyright belongs to you if it’s your own work. You are automatically granted copyright— you don’t have to do anything. On the other side of the coin—do not plagiarise! You’ll ruin your reputation at the click of a button. That applies for uploading other people’s images to your website or blog. You must fully accredit the creator of the image. Australian Copyright Council is a useful resource for all copyright information.
Once you've set up your blog there is nothing left to do but start blogging! Write all those interesting and rich posts and share with the world. You might like to read these posts to help with writing blog posts:
What makes a good content article?
How to develop excellent structure.
Want to start blogging? Here's what you need to know.
Turn the tides in your holistic or wellbeing business and begin to make those sales you’ve always dreamed of.
Are you ready to:
If you answered yes to any of these then there’s good news! You can consider your frustration over.
You’re in the right place and you have an opportunity to grab this powerful book that will move your wellbeing or therapy business purposefully forward.
The only question is; are you ready to take that next step towards your wellbeing career success and freedom?This book holds the key to unlock all the channels that will help you increase income from your business, products and services, allowing for more freedom and resources like you’ve always dreamed.
Promote Your Spiritual Business book gives salient marketing tips that give you a stronger presence across social media and online marketing channels. You do not need to spend a fortune to make it happen as this book is tailored to serve small and medium sized businesses with easy to implement marketing techniques all with your success in mind.
Here are seven reasons why you need to grab your copy today:
Get the competitive edge and start shining brighter with the useful tips from this practical marketing guide today. Read this book over a weekend and take your wellbeing business beyond your wildest dreams! Buy a gorgeous paperback version here.
How to write a great SEO article
Sure, you have to be creative when it comes to SEO article writing. But there are also also handy tricks and tips that you need to keep in mind when writing for SEO.
This SEO article will cover:
Put your readership (which is your target demographic) first. Write how they want to hear things and solve their problems. Straight up give them the information they need, that they are searching Google for and that will generally make their lives easier.
The guru of SEO, Neil Patel, says ‘Your content needs to accomplish two goals: first, appeal to the end-user (customers, clients, prospects, readers, etc.) and second, solve a particular problem.’
For example, you’ve most likely come to this content article because you’ve searched how to write a SEO article. And I’m spelling it out as best I can and lay out all the right information you need to write an epic post.
What I often do when writing an article or web copy that I want optimised, is to write it as natural and best fitting to the audience as possible. It’s only after I’ve written the article to the best of my ability do I insert keywords. I don’t include them arbitrarily but where they can sit naturally without damaging the flow of the writing. But don’t misunderstand me because with most content writing, the keyword will inform the topic that I write about, so it’s important to do your keyword research from the absolute beginning.
Title and headlines
You need to include your keyword in your page title and your heading, once only. These are two separate facets of your content writing. The page title forms one of your meta tags and your heading (or headline) is your <h1> or <h2> tags.
It’s often suggested to put your keyword towards the front of your headline but you still need it to be super catchy and natural sounding. How to write great headlines.
Use your SEO keywords in your body text. In the olden days of SEO (AKA ten years ago), keyword stuffing was a surefire way to make you rank better. These days you will stuff yourself up if you do so. Google will recognise when you are doing so and penalise you as such. Plus, your readers will just be left shaking their heads.
I can’t give you a magic number of times to use your keyword in one piece because I want you to focus on making the content article sounding natural and flowing. But if you’ve only included the keyword once in one thousand words and one semantic keyword, you might need to hire a SEO copywriter. Know any good ones? Kidding.
However, it’s purported that on page keyword usage is as important as 15.04 per cent of Google’s ranking algorithm. So that should give you an indication of the time and attention you should give just to your keywords alone.
It’s beneficial to include your keyword at the start of your article body. I aim for the first three words or the first sentence at best. Unless it sounds awkward and forced, then I forego it. Because great writing always comes first, right? ‘Quality has become the #1 ranking factor in Google, especially since the Google Panda and Penguin updates.’
Essentially, you need to write an entertaining and informative article. SEO writing is a little like juggling or doing a puzzle: each piece is as important as the other and they all need to fit together until it makes a whole picture.
In summary, here are the most important factors— or secrets— of SEO writing, particularly if you are new to it: