How to add personality to your copy

Need to write copy for your website, sales page, or marketing email? It’s easy to get so caught up in writing copy that’s optimized for conversions that you forget about something critical: infusing your copy with personality.

If you’re rolling your eyes at the very mention of the word “personality,” I totally get it. After all, these days, it feels like almost everyone is trying to write cutesy copy, sound like a gangsta, or pepper their copy with slang. And because these styles of writing feel so common now, they don’t feel all that unique and memorable anymore.

But this doesn’t mean that adding personality to your copy is no longer important. In fact, infusing your copy with personality is still one of the best ways to make it emotionally engaging. And why is it important to write copy that gives your audience all the feels? Because it’s usually emotion (not reason) that initially convinces people to sign up for your email list, register for your webinar, or buy your product. And that’s what you want your audience to do, right?

How do you engage your audience effectively by infusing your website, sales page, or emails with personality? Use these 7 tips to add personality to your copy.

 

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1. Marry your voice with your customer’s voice

It might seem like I’m jumping the gun here by talking about how to marry your voice with your audience’s voice in your copy. After all, I haven’t even talked about how to infuse your copy with your own voice yet.

But I’m starting with this tip because it’s one that entrepreneurs and brands often forget. You see, many people get so focused on injecting their brand’s personality into their copy that they forget about the most important person in the equation: their ideal customer.

Your ideal customer doesn’t visit your website or read your emails to learn about you. Yes, they may read your about page to find out what your story is and how experienced you are. But they only do this to learn how you can help them (whether it’s by selling them a product they need, providing a service they’ve been searching for, or even just inspiring them to keep pursuing their goals).

So what does this all mean? You want your copy to use the language your ideal customer uses and describe key problems and challenges in the way that they describe them. After all, that’s how you write copy that resonates with your ideal customer and convinces them that you’re THE solution for them.

You can and absolutely should still inject your copy with your own personality or your brand personality. But when you do it, make sure that it doesn’t stop your copy from resonating with your ideal customer.

Related: The #1 website copywriting mistake most businesses make + free “about us” page template

Example: In this excerpt from one of her sales pages, Marie Forleo makes her copy resonate with her audience by repeating the exact concerns that run through their heads:

 

Does this sound like you?

It takes me forever to write anything because I’m constantly second guessing myself. It can literally take me 30 minutes to write out a simple email response.”

Been there.

“I have a lot of patience, but not making any sales after all this time is starting to wear thin.”

“My writing never sounds as good as it does in my head. Somewhere between my heart and the page, everything gets lost.

 

2. Make it sound like a conversation, not an essay

What’s an easy way to add personality to your copy? Write like you’re having a conversation instead of like you’re writing an essay on Hamlet.

If you’re like a lot of people, formal academic writing may be the kind of writing that comes naturally to you. And I don’t blame you for that. What else can you expect if that’s the style of writing that was drilled into you for years and years when you were in school?

But you know as well as I do that stuffy, flowery academic prose isn’t the kind of copy that gives your ideal customer the feels. So instead of going all Grade 10 English teacher on your audience, make your copy sound the way it would if you were having a conversation with them.

How do you do this? Use simple words (think “people” instead of “individuals”), and keep your sentences and paragraphs on the shorter side. It also helps to use contractions (“It’s a big mistake” instead of “It is a big mistake”). See the next tip for even more ideas 🙂

Related: How to write clear, concise web copy that converts + free copy planning worksheet

Example: Caitlin Bacher keeps things conversational by using simple language in her copy.

 

 

Example of adding personality to a sales page

 

3. Let go of (some) grammar rules

There’s a reason why grammar exists—it sets ground rules so that we can actually understand each other when we write. But because you’re not in English class anymore, you don’t have to cling to every grammar rule you’ve ever learned when you write copy. In fact, breaking a grammar rule can help you add personality to your writing.

Here are some grammar “rules” you can often safely break:

  • Using punctuation liberally: “All.the.feels.”
  • Writing incomplete sentences: “Just like this.”
  • Starting a sentence with a conjunction: “But here’s the thing.”
  • Using “like”: “It’s not like you need to reinvent the wheel.”

Of course, you don’t want to completely throw grammar rules out the window. If you do, your audience might start to doubt your intelligence and competence (which is obviously not what you want). But don’t be shy about strategically breaking a rule here and there.

Example: Melyssa Griffin isn’t afraid to use incomplete sentences in her copy.

 

 

Example of adding personality to an email

 

 

Need help finding the right words to make your copy persuasive and compelling?
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4. Integrate one of your own personality traits

Want to add personality to your copy but still sound authentic? Identify one of your (or your brand’s) most defining personality traits and integrate it into your copy. Are you known for being funny and laid back? Don’t be afraid to add humour and the occasional slang word to your copy. What about if you’re serious and to the point? Let your copy reflect that.

In sum, own your personality in your copy.

Related: How to choose the right voice & tone for your blog or biz + free brand voice worksheet

Example: Elizabeth Mackenzie has a bold personality and isn’t afraid to let it shine through in her copy.

 

Example of adding personality to a website

 

5. Embrace “I” and “we”

Another great way to add personality to your copy is to use first-person pronouns. These are words like “I,” “we,” “my,” and “our.”

Some people shy away from using first-person pronouns in their writing because they think it makes their copy sound less impressive (there’s that Grade 10 English teacher creeping up again). But there’s actually nothing informal or unrefined about using “I” and “we” in your copy. It’s really just a natural way of talking to people.

First-person pronouns can also help you make your copy more precise and less stuffy. Take a look at this example:

“You’ll first receive a brand brief template to fill out.”

“We’ll first send you a brand brief template to fill out.”

Which one sounds more personal?

Example: Todd Herman uses first-person pronouns all over his about page while still keeping the focus on his audience and how he can help them.

 

 

Example of adding personality to an about page

 

6. Share personal details

You don’t need to share your deepest, darkest secrets. But injecting details about your personal life (or your team’s life) into your copy is a great way to add personality to a website, sales page, or email.

Integrating personal details into your copy makes you feel like a real human being to your audience. This makes it easier for them to connect with you and identify with you.

How can you share something personal without going all TMI? Here are some ideas:

  • Talk about what you were like as a kid
  • Reference your favourite foods, movies, or TV shows (This Is Us is one of my favs)
  • Mention a big lesson you’ve learned (on your own or as a team)
  • Share a crazy experience you’ve had, like how you missed your connecting flight and had to spend the night at the airport
  • Discuss a unique tradition your team looks forward to every year

Related: How to really give your blog posts personality + free blog post template and example

Example: Amy Porterfield is the queen of skillfully integrating personal details into her copy to connect with her audience.

 

 

Example of adding personality to an email

 

7. Worry about SEO later

What’s a real buzzkill when it comes to crafting emotionally engaging copy? Prioritizing SEO (search engine optimization) over connecting and resonating with your audience.

Yes, it’s important to optimize for Google and its ilk. And I’ll be the first to say that SEO is one of the best ways to get a steady stream of targeted traffic to your website or blog. But when all your audience sees is a page that’s stuffed with keywords, they’re going to have a hard time seeing you as the answer to their prayers.

It’s not a bad thing to have some keyword phrases in mind as you’re writing copy so that you can integrate them naturally. But you want to focus first and foremost on communicating your message in a way that packs an emotional punch for your audience. So save the nitty gritty SEO work until you’ve drafted and refined your copy.

Related: How to implement on-page SEO to boost blog post visibility + free blog post SEO ebook

Add personality to your copy today

It’s true that there are formulas and optimization techniques for writing effective website, sales, and email copy. But this doesn’t mean that your copy needs to be a snooze fest.

Instead, draw on those formulas and techniques, but don’t forget to infuse your copy with personality. Injecting your copy with personality will help you prime your audience for conversions by establishing a solid emotional connection with them.

 

 

Need help finding the right words to make your copy persuasive and compelling?
Download my FREE list of 476 power words.

Send me the list

 

 

 

How to add personality to your copy + free list of 476 power words
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