Working with clients who don't have a clear brand voice can be very tricky. It's especially challenging when their marketing seems all over the place and you've got multiple stakeholders who ALL want to get involved in crafting a brand voice - because fun right?!
In my Paid to Write course, I delve into these challenges, offering strategies for copywriters facing unclear brand voices.
So, what's the best way to handle this as a copywriter??
Let's look at some practical steps!
Defining Your Role as a Freelance Copywriter:
First, it's time to figure out what you're doing for the client.
Are you in charge of all their content for a big project, like a website or their entire social media?
If yes, then it's crucial to develop a brand voice for them, and taking the lead on doing so will likely need to be part of your brief for the project, so make sure you're charging accordingly.
Crafting a compelling, personality-filled brand voice is no small task, and the value to the organisation will be huge. So don't undersell your services just because writing comes easily to you!
Bringing People Together:
A good start is to get everyone who has a say in the brand voice in one room to brainstorm what they think the brand voice is (if they have one) or should be (if they don't).
This way, everyone hears each other and understands what you're trying to achieve. And they can see first hand what differences of opinion arise, so you're not constantly trying to balance 4-5 differing views who all think everyone is on the same page. That is exhausting, trust me!
Keep the group small, ideally no more than five people, to avoid too many conflicting ideas. And make sure you set expectations, boundaries and timelines from the start to avoid the process dragging out without achieving the goal.
The Challenge of Chaotic Marketing:
If the client's marketing is a bit of a jumble, your approach to the lack of brand voice might depend on how much you're involved (and being paid).
If you're just doing a small project, creating a whole brand voice might be too much work for what it's worth.
In this case, think about whether this client is right for you, or whether you can meet the project brief or objective without a clear brand voice. If it's something informative like a blog, you can probably get away without that clarity.
But if you're writing their whole website for them, or setting up their email marketing campaigns, a vague idea of who they are isn't going to cut the mustard.
Considering the Lifetime Value of the Client:
If you think the client is likely to invest in further copywriting or bring you on as a retainer copywriter, and therefore the lifetime value is potentially high, it may well be worth a time investment up front to help them craft a brand voice that resonates with their ideal client.
Think about how much you'll benefit from the client against the time and effort you'll put in.
It's all about balancing what you give with what you get back so it's a fair exchange of energy.
Writing copy for a client who doesn't have clarity over their brand voice (or helping them find the right direction) can definitely be a bit of a challenge!
But with the right approach, it's definitely doable.
It's about working together with the people involved, understanding the scale of your task, and deciding if the effort is worth the reward.
It's also about ensuring the client WANTS and will appreciate your efforts to capture a clear brand voice. At the end of the day, if they have their heart set on one thing, and you another - they may not be a dream client after all! They can't all be! 🤷🏼♀️
In the end, it's about making sure the client's message is clear, consistent, and speaks to their audience effectively.
In my Paid to Write course, I cover these aspects in more detail, providing copywriters like you with the tools to thrive in challenging client situations!
Ready to fast-track your copywriting career? Join the waitlist for Paid to Write and transform your approach to client onboarding, brand voice development, and more.