Straddling a Fine Line: Authenticity & Professionalism in Your Marketing Materials

We’ve written before about the importance of incorporating your personality into your marketing materials—after all, your individual touch is part of what sets you apart from your competitors. But getting real with clients can go too far—if you’re too informal, you risk losing credibility and trust.

Nobody, for instance, wants a fitness coach who moans about how hard it is to get out of bed for her morning workouts. So how can you let your fabulous self shine through without crossing the line into TMI? Start with these personalized marketing copy rules of thumb.

Tell Only Relevant Stories

Narrative is a great way to pull readers into marketing copy of all kinds. But make sure that the anecdotes you relate to have a specific point. Your business blog isn’t your diary and your readers aren’t your therapists.

An effective personal story should . . .

• Have a lesson. If that trainer wants to write about the trials of pre-dawn track sessions, she better do it by offering her solution for overcoming the a.m. blues.
• Entertain. Don’t make stories up completely, but feel free to cut out the boring parts. If you drag your narrative too much, readers will quickly lose interest.
• Have a goal. If you’re recounting an incident just to get it off your chest, marketing copy really isn’t the right medium. Make sure you know what you want clients to get out of the stories you tell.
• Be relevant to your products or services. If there isn’t a clear tie-in to what you’re selling, clients will be confused about your intent. Of course, if you can forge a meaningful connection between your products and an unrelated incident, go ahead and share—just be sure to be explicit about the link.

Show Your Best Self

Before committing a story to type, consider whether you’d want a potential client (or employer) to know what it tells about you. This isn’t to say that you should only share times when you saved the day, but make sure that your positive character traits or skills show through by the end.

For example, that lie-abed fitness trainer could use the story of her own struggles with superearly sweat sessions to lead into how she overcame her loathing of the alarm and how she can help her clients do the same.

Ideally, personal stories in marketing copy help build your brand as someone clients can respect and trust—keep those goals in mind as you write.

Interested in learning more about developing effective marketing materials for your business? Click here to subscribe to my newsletter, Sumer’s Secrets.


    04 Jun

    Know What Your Customers Want

    Here’s a small marketing tip: The best way to know what your customers think about your company and level of service is to ask them. Survey’s are a win-win: keep...

    10 Nov

    Marketing Content That Sells: The Brunch Model

    Photo credit: Rob Bertholf When it comes to marketing content that sells, our professional copywriters use The Brunch Model as a measuring stick of quality. No, The Brunch Model isn’t...

    Internet Marketing Concept Blackboard

    21 Jan

    How to Create a 6-Month Automated Content Marketing Plan

    An automated content marketing plan will make your work life 99% easier. If that sounds like a good idea, keep reading. Imagine no longer chasing leads, getting behind on...

    24 Oct

    Writing Easily Digestible Marketing Copy

    When I got sick as a kid, my mother used to put me on the BRAT diet: nothing but Bananas, Rice, Applesauce, and Toast until I felt better. The...

    12 Nov

    Interactive Marketing Spending: The Future of Marketing

    According to a recent Forrester Research study, interactive marketing spending will more than triple by 2012, reaching a high of $61 billion. Interactive media is an extremely beneficial vehicle...

    30 Jun

    How to Segment Your List to Generate Desired Results

    If you really want to develop email marketing campaigns that produce your desired results, it’s important to get as personalized as possible. And if you want to get really...

    06 Apr

    How’s the “No Plan” Plan Working for You?

      You’ve probably heard a million times about the importance of a strategic marketing plan. But there’s a huge difference between knowing and doing. Marketing can be extremely costly...

    02 Sep

    The Importance of Human Interaction on Social Media

    Lee Oden, SEO genius and founder of Top Rank Marketing, interviews Mel Carson, Microsoft Advertising Community & Social Media Manager, on the importance of human interaction on social media...

    28 Nov

    3 Tips NBC’sThe Office Teaches Us About Sales and Marketing

    If you tune in toThe Office, you’re watching a comedy about the quirky lives of people who sell paper, form relationships, make blunders, and pull pranks. Despite the show’s satire,...

    27 Aug

    The Game Console Wars

    The game console market is an extremely competitive field, and top three players: Nintendo, Sony, and Microsoft have been competing for domination since late 2005. Each one has developed...

    Search This Blog

    Let's Get Social


    Latest Tweets

    • How to Use Social Media to Build Brand Trust #digitalmarketing Reply - Retweet - Favorite
    • The Ultimate 40-Point Checklist for Smarter #ContentMarketing Strategy (Infographic) from @Inc Reply - Retweet - Favorite
    • 7 Ways to Make Yourself a Better Editor #writing from @Entrepreneur Reply - Retweet - Favorite

    Follow @writtenbysumer on twitter.

    We Recommend

    [wp_social_sharing social_options='facebook,twitter,googleplus,linkedin,pinterest,xing' twitter_username='arjun077' facebook_text='Share on Facebook' twitter_text='Share on Twitter' googleplus_text='Share on Google+' linkedin_text='Share on Linkedin' pinterest_text="Share on Pinterest" xing_text="Share on Xing" icon_order='f,t,g,l,p,x' show_icons='0' before_button_text='' text_position='' social_image=''] Close
    Menu Title