Four reasons you absolutely must show personality in your copy
Have I ever told you that a client once hired me based on my personality? (My writing personality, obviously. If she’d met me in person this story might have ended very differently...)
We’d never spoken on the phone or via video chat. We’d never PMed or DMed or IMed. We’d never liked each other’s posts on social media. We’d never corresponded via blog post comments. We’d never even had a single email interaction.
Yet, one magical day, a meeting request popped into my inbox. I’ll bite.
A short while later, I had myself a new client who was punch-drunk pleased to be working with me. We worked together for three months and, during that time, I found out – bit by itty bit – that she’d been stalking me for quite some time.
She’d read all my blog posts and all my social media posts and every word on my website. She was convinced that I was the writer for her. That I had the right personality to capture her message.
Based on the personality I’d shown in my writing.
Yep, pick your cartoonish jaw with the buck teeth and big red lips up off the floor: I got the job because of my personality. Not because of my credentials. Or my experience. Or my testimonials.
Just because of who I was and how it came through in my writing.
Friend, it is SUPER important to show personality in your writing. And here’s four reasons why if you need any further convincing beyond the magical client attraction powers it boasts.
It engages people
When you’re writing with personality, you’re engaging your readers (not to be confused with getting engaged to them...but maybe if the rock is big enough they’ll say yes). You’re keeping them present and interested. You’re letting them interact with you. You’re creating a conversation.
It only looks crazy and one-sided.
You see, when your copy is engaging, it’s like people are hanging on every word you type. Just when they think they know what you’re gonna say, you start ranting about something very tangentially related to what you just wrote. Like, how hard it is for me to stay focused right now with the constant tree-whacking and sawing that’s going on outside.
But what happens next is they keep reading. Because they want to know what you’re going to say next. You’re keeping ‘em on their toes and priming ‘em for more of the good stuff.
It makes your writing more fun to read
We spend a lot of time reading stuff on the internet these days. Apparently, according to Market Watch, we spend more than 11 hours a day consuming some sort of media – almost four of which is spent staring at our computers, phones, and tablets.
That’s a lot of stuff. Most of it probably bleeds together and starts to sound like one big long, never-ending article. Like the Song That Never Ends. (It goes on and on, my friend. You’re welcome.)
But, when you break up your copy with personality, it becomes more fun. It’s not just another boring article on the internet that sounds like the 87 you’ve read before it.
And who doesn’t love a bright spot in their day? A little humor? A little fun? Probably the people who also hate Lamb Chop and Charlie Horse and Hush Puppy, that’s who.
It connects with people
Who do you like more: someone who’s always been able to waltz into any store and find cartloads (erm, they don’t have carts in the fancy stores, do they?) of clothes that fit them perfectly, without a nip, tuck, or hem, or someone who’s struggled to find cute bras or shoes to fit her outside-sample-size proportions?
(I, for one, have clown feet. If you saw me in skinny jeans and sneakers, you’d understand.)
You connect with the person who’s struggled. Even if you don’t relate to her exact struggle, you’ve struggled with *something* and you know how it feels.
When you show a different side of you, whether it’s a struggle, a challenge, a difficulty, a triumph, a celebration, a quirk, a curious character trait, you’re sharing more of you. And people will connect to that human quality.
Much more so than robotic, perfect AI qualities. (Meep boo bop.)
It separates you from the competition
Have you heard it’s a gig economy, baby? Freelancing and entrepreneurship are big, err, small business. And there’s a lot of us out here.
I didn’t mean for this to become a research-y article, but almost 40 percent of people do some sort of entrepreneurial activity these days, be it selling services or selling mimosas out of the back of their 1998 Ford Windstar.
That’s a lot of people, no? How will you stand out? How will you look different? How will you be the tallest poppy in all the land and get people to pay YOU money?
You show some freakin’ personality.
When you and 23 other people are targeting the same clients with the same services, it could very well come down to how well your personality dovetails with your client’s.
(Side note: You don’t have to see others in your niche or industry as competition. Sure. You can support them and them can support you. But, at the end of the day, they’re still someone your ideal client could hire INSTEAD of you. Doesn’t it make sense to do what you can to separate yourself from the pack?)
How the hell, exactly, does all of this fit together like a 5,000-piece jigsaw puzzle? When your copy is more engaging, is creating connection, and is more fun to read, it means people will actually read it. Which means they’ll learn something. Which means they’ll start to think of you as someone who knows their shit. Which means, when they need someone that brands food startups, designs plant-centric interiors, or knits cat hats with tails, they’ll hire you.
It’s like six degrees of Kevin Bacon. And you’re the bacon. Bring it home, my friend.
Speaking of which...that’s one of the templates in Templates with Personality! I included a template that will help you just. get. paid. already because we all know some people equate freelancer or contractor or small biz owner with payment optional. (Why though?!) Grab it here and make it rain.