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My name is Hannah & I’m a DESIGNER & CREATIVE currently residing in Colorado! I started my own business in 2017. Since then I’ve continued to hone in on my skill set and WHAT I LOVE MOST – branding.
Did you know that copywriting is an intricate part to your brand? I imagine not since you are reading this post, and that’s totally okay! Branding is not just the visual identity of your business, but also involves the written word.
While we are a branding studio and focus on creating organic & beautiful brands, we didn’t want to try and speak to the importance of copywriting alone. So, we have invited Bianca of Next Edition Copywriting to join us in a little Q&A session to discuss words and how important they are for your brand presence.
First things first, tell us a little bit about you!
Thanks for having me, Hannah! As you mentioned, my name is Bianca Foti and I am from a small suburb just north of Toronto, Canada. I currently run my own communications agency called Next Edition, where I work with all types of businesses to develop and review content. I have a background in marketing communications and worked in the financial services industry for three years. Just last June, I decided to leave my corporate job and pursued my copyediting side-hustle full time. I wanted to escape that 9 to 5 lifestyle so I could indulge in things like travel, while doing what I loved at the same time. Being self-employed has opened me to a world of new and exciting projects across so many different industries all over the world. Not to mention, I’ve met so many incredible people along the way (like yourself!) I am also the Copy Editor for a women’s wellness and self-care publication based in Los Angeles, CA called Thoughtfully. All work things aside, I am the ultimate bookworm, love to travel and enjoy spending time outdoors!
After all those essays in school, a lot of us feel like we can write pretty well. But there is so much more behind professional copywriting! Can you talk a little bit about the importance of hiring a professional ‘writer’ versus trying to DIY it?
There is so much more to copywriting than meets the eye. While being grammatically correct is imperative to a business’ credibility, content also needs to be engaging and relevant to your intended audience. There is much more strategy behind developing content and being authentic is a huge part of it. By hiring a professional copywriter, you get the added value of someone’s unique style of writing and creativity, which helps to get your point across in a way that makes your audiences feel something. Copywriting is also key component in developing your brand identity and personality online. As a business owner, you’re responsible for so many things already and by transferring this responsibility to a hired professional saves you time to focus on your craft.
What does it mean to have a unique voice in your brand copywriting? What steps do you take to develop that for clients?
Getting to know my clients and what inspired them to start their businesses is extremely important when developing a unique brand voice. For me, a unique brand voice is a consistent tone that you carry in all of your marketing content. It is also serves as an important step in building the “personality” of your business—whether it’s on social media, on your website or in your marketing collateral. At the start of every project, I will send clients a questionnaire to get a sense of who they are, their history, what inspired them to start their business and what they enjoy (interests, hobbies, causes, etc.). This really gets me to the “heart” of what clients are doing, which helps me establish that “connection” with their intended audience when I write.
Let’s talk about connection and speaking to your audience. It’s a huge part of a successful brand. Can you elaborate on that concerning copywriting?
As I mentioned earlier, when developing any form of content, it’s always important to understand who you’re speaking to, the objective of what you’re sharing and developing the content with all of that in mind. All copywriting is strategic and should connect to the values of your brand and audience in a straightforward way. At the end of the day, engaging your audience is the goal and being thoughtful, authentic and concise are key pillars when it comes to achieving that.
What areas would someone best benefit from investing in professional copywriting?
Investing in professional copywriting enhances a company’s credibility and establishes their purpose in a clear, concise and immediate way. It also contributes to a business’ overall brand identity in communicating who they are and what they stand for. Given how fast-paced our world is and how inundated with are with content, it’s important to stand out.
How can well-written, great copy, change the way a business is viewed?
The way a business communicates is an integral part of their overall success and longevity. How a business writes ultimately determines how it is perceived by the public. From tone and use of emotional appeal to the style of writing and diction—each are instrumental in communicating a business’ mission, values, brand message and overall identity. In my opinion, if the content is authentic, clear and to the point, it will resonate more positively, with more people.
When should copy be written in 1st person versus 3rd person?
This is an interesting one because I feel like the use of first person versus third person is entirely dependent on the business and/or the platform they’re communicating on. I strongly believe that anything personal like a blog or in some cases, the “About/Our Story” section of a website should be written in the first person. It’s an easy way to create a more personal connection with readers and its great a tactic of emotional appeal, which I’m an advocate for. However, the same argument can be made for using the third person in the “About/Our Story” section of website. In contrast, the use of third person establishes a more objective and professional tone, which is a great way to reinforce a business’ credibility, especially when it comes to discussing historical achievement and successes. That being said, this is definitely not black and white and something I determine on a case-by-case basis.
If someone with a smaller budget could only invest in one outlet for copy, which would you advise is the most important?
I always recommend investing in website content because once that copy is written, it can be leveraged to develop marketing materials, one-pagers, brochures, social media content and even client presentations. It’s a great starting point.
Can you give us a small look behind the scenes? What does the process of working with you look like?
Every client that I work with always becomes a dear friend. I am a business owner myself, so I find that I can relate to most of my clients almost immediately. My process is extremely simple. To get started, I often schedule a phone consultation with the client to understand the scope of the project, as well as determine the deadline for completion. This is followed by a client questionnaire to get a better understanding of the business/business professional that I’m working with – this serves as a foundational starting point to inspire the content. Once I’m finished, the client will review the content and share any feedback. If the content is being uploaded online, I will also conduct a digital review to ensure there are no transposing errors for a polished final product.
With so many creatives out there offering copywriting, do you have any tips for finding the perfect person to work with?
I think finding someone that you can trust and depend on is paramount. I also place high importance on flexibility. As many creatives know, sometimes deadlines are unforeseen and being able to have someone that you can call to push something out the door in a short period of time is crucial. This can be anything from a client pitch presentation, or marketing collateral for a last-minute trade show! Finding someone who specializes in your specific niche of business or finding a creative with a style of writing that speaks your language is also important.
|Bianca Foti is the Founder of Next Edition, a boutique communications agency based in Toronto, ON. She is also the Copy Editor at Thoughtfully Magazine, a women’s wellness and self-care publication. Her go-to’s for creative inspiration include motivational reads, podcasts and curated travel experiences.|