Tired of blending in with the competition? Curious to learn how crafting an authentic brand story can set your business apart and connect with your ideal customers online? This episode is for you!
In today’s interview with a brand messaging strategist and website copywriter, Kathy Young, we will dive into the secrets of intentional brand storytelling and how it can forge genuine connections with your ideal audience. Kathy will provide information on the key elements your website should have to attract your desired customers and offer a complimentary guide on improving your website in just one afternoon!
Kathy Young, the founder of Rekindle Communications, is a website copywriter and brand strategist that helps thoughtful founders connect to their people through words so they can grow a fulfilling business. Since 2019, she’s helped 100+ businesses elevate their messaging to attract high-quality leads, optimize marketing, achieve 6-figure sales launches, and entirely reposition their brands for intentional growth. Between wordsmithing and Chick-fil-a trips, you’ll find her on the back patio enjoying a smoky fire pit with her husband and high school sweetheart.
Ways to connect with Kathy Young:
Questions answered in this episode:
- What is branding messaging & why does it matter to small business owners?
- What are examples of brand stories that small business owners can share on social media?
- What can a brand messaging strategist and website copywriter do for your small business?
- How did you start your business?
- What are essential copywriting components every small business owner should have on their website?
- Do you have a resource to share for small business owners who want to improve their website copy?
- How do you define success in this season of your life & how has it changed since you started your business?
- What is an actionable takeaway small business owners can implement to improve their copywriting and brand message?
What is brand messaging and why does it matter to small business owners?
Brand messaging how your brand speaks to your ideal client. It relates to everything that you communicate online whether it’s through your social media content, your website, your emails, or your blog.
Brand messaging helps you understand and explain who you serve and how you serve them, but do it in a way that mixes a personality that will resonate with the right people.
In business, you’ll come to realize that whether you’re product-based or service-based, the market is saturated. In fact, there are thousands of people who do what you do!
Brand messaging helps you stand out from everyone else because it helps you identify who you serve. And it helps you communicate in a way that speaks to those people consistently, so you can keep attracting them and hopefully bring them into your community and your small business.
So like I mentioned, brand messaging trickles all the way down to how you write your social captions, or what you write on your website. Basically anywhere you use words for your business, brand messaging impacts how you show up online everyday.
What are examples of brand stories that small business owners can share on social media?
1.Their founder’s story
Your founder’s story, or why you started your business, is a story that people will always resonate with. However, it’s important to think about crafting your founder’s story in a way that speaks to your ideal audience. Because well, you could easily say “I started this business to be home with my kids” but every business owner wants that. And it wouldn’t necessarily resonate with your ideal audience, right?
So for example, if you own a candle business, perhaps you started your business because growing up, you would do something special while a candle was lit.
Maybe it was reading your favorite books for self-care. Or maybe while a candle was lit, you always shared an experience with someone special, like with a parent, friend, family-member, or loved one.
Those story details bring up feelings of nostalgia. And it’s those same details that would most likely resonate with your ideal audience.
An intentional founder’s story finds the connections between your story and your ideal audience’s story in a way that makes them say “I feel that way too”.
2.Customer & Testimonial Stories
People also love hearing stories from past clients and customers. Going back to the candle business example, you can share what made a customer buy a certain candle, their favorite scent, or how it’s impacted their life in some way.
Especially with products, it’s easy for your audience to wonder if a certain product will meet their expectations in person.
So don’t just say that your product is luxury or high quality. Let someone else (like past clients and customers) say it for you.
3. Product Creation Stories
As far as sharing behind the scenes of your product creation, you don’t just want to share photos and videos of your process. You want to talk through your process and bring in that personal touch so people get to know the person behind it — that’s you!
Talk us through why you use certain materials, like for example why you chose a specific ribbon or wrapping paper. Do the materials you use to create your product support other small businesses? Are there any parts of your process that are eco-friendly or sustainable?
By sharing these details, people can see the intention behind your work and the care you put into it. And people value those details because, especially nowadays, consumers are intentional about the products they purchase and where they come from.
What can a brand messaging strategist and website copywriter do for your small business?
As a website copywriter and brand messaging strategist, I help you find connections between your story and your ideal client’s story. Then I use those insights to help you express that story through online marketing and throughout your website.
Craft Your Story
To understand your story, I start by asking a lot of questions. Sometimes you’re so close to the work you do, that you don’t think it’s special or significant. You don’t realize how different your work is because you’re in the business and doing it everyday.
I bring in a different perspective that takes note of interesting parts of your process or the story behind why you started your business. From there, I help you figure out how to communicate your founder’s story in a marketing version that connects with your ideal customer.
Help You Understand Your Ideal Customer
Getting clear on your ideal customer is also a huge part of what I do. If your message doesn’t have your ideal customer in mind, no matter what you say or promote, it won’t inspire them to engage or buy from you. That’s why I gather market research to understand what people are actually saying about your product or service.
I literally get to hear other people’s experiences, their needs, their pain points, and their desires, so that through your marketing, you can address them directly.
By the time someone reads your content, the goal is for them to say “Yes, they get me! This is exactly what I’m looking for.”
Get Your Message Out There
Once we’ve crafted your story and conducted research to understand your ideal audience, that’s when I help you come up with the words to market yourself online.
For the most part, I specifically help people do this by writing the words on their website.
But my services range anywhere from full-service brand messaging + website copywriting to auditing your current website and content strategy to see what’s working and how it can be improved. Overall, what I do isn’t just putting words on a page or screen. It’s pulling your audience into an experience that gets them excited to engage with you and become loyal customers of your business.
How did you start your business?
Growing up, I’ve always loved English class — stereotypical of a writer, I know!
By the time I graduated college with a communications degree, I landed an agency job writing content for local businesses in the Orlando, FL area (where I’m based). But as time went on, I started to resent my work. I wrote a lot of blog content for critter control companies on topics like “how to scrape a dead animal off the side of the road” and “how to clean bat poop from an attic” — which as you can see is not very exciting.
That’s when I realized I didn’t want to write just for any company, but for businesses that inspired me.
My husband is an entrepreneur himself, and at the time, pitched the idea that I help him market his business — just until I figured out my next move. And then it took off from there!
Eventually, I found the online business world, discovered a lot of small and creative female entrepreneurs, and that’s how I got to doing the work I do today.
The part I love most about my work is, well, getting to hear other people’s stories.
I know that sounds so cliche! But it’s so inspiring hearing why people do things the way they do and to understand the passion behind their work.
For me, coming alongside a small business owner to reassure them that yes, the work they do is special — and helping them communicate their story so other people know how special it is — never gets old.
What are essential copywriting components every small business owner should have on their website?
A Clear Headline
The first thing your website should have is a clear headline right at the top, which refers to the first couple lines people see on your site.
Be sure your headline makes it clear right away of what you do, who you serve, or both if you can. That headline is your prime real estate because it’s the first thing people see when they come to your site. If you have a strong headline, it’ll hook in your reader to keep browsing your website for more.
Clear & Consistent Calls to Action
You also want to show people where and how to take action on your site — whether it’s purchasing a product or downloading a lead magnet or hopping on an email list.
There should be enough calls to action throughout your website so that on every page, people know exactly the action you want them to take. Also, make sure your calls to action are clear and easy to find!
Copy that is Conversational
Finally, you want to keep the messaging and copy on your site conversational. You don’t want to talk like you’re a professor trying to explain the fanciness of your product and you certainly don’t want to sound like a robot either!
Infuse personality and write as if you’re talking with a friend over coffee. That in itself will make your website way more compelling throughout every single page.
Do you have a resource to share for small business owners who want to improve their website copy?
Why yes, I do! It’s called 5 Ways to Instantly Improve Your Website Copy in an Afternoon. In the guide, you’ll find five simple steps you can take to level up your website copy right now. They’re super easy and the steps won’t take you more than a day.
By following these simple steps, your copy will be easier to read, it will help you explain clearly what you do, and it will help you better attract your ideal audience.
How do you define success in this season of your life & how has it changed since you started your business?
Fun news, I’m currently pregnant! As I’m starting my family over the next year, success will probably look different to me.
But up until this point, success to me has meant creating space and time to be present with the people I love with flexibility to plan for life’s big transitions — like having a baby, for instance! But most importantly, I want to feel confident that I can do all those things without overworking myself so I can create my ideal lifestyle.
Another part of success to me also means doing work that inspires me and impacts other people.
Yes, I want to build a lifestyle that I love. But I also want to leave a legacy and make an impact with the people I work with, while doing work that lights me up, too.
That’s been my definition so far. I’m excited to make even more space and flexibility in my business once I have a little one in the picture.
What is an actionable takeaway small business owners can implement to improve their copywriting and brand message?
Have a biz buddy, or if you can, someone you’d consider an ideal customer, read through your website and content on Instagram so they can give you feedback.
If after reading through everything, someone is able to understand who you serve, what you do, the problem you solve, and how you do it differently, then you’re golden!
And if they don’t, it gives you ideas for how you can improve your message moving forward.
If you’d like to learn more about how to stand out in a saturated market download Kathy’s 5 Ways to Instantly Improve Your Website Copy in an Afternoon guide or tune in to today’s podcast episode here 🎧.