Brand Bones

BRAND BONES

Brand voice style guide

Words are the backbone of your business body
Your brand voice will make them strong

Is your brand in the grips of a
verbal identity crisis?

Then it’s time to take the burn and bewilderment out of defining your

sarah-haslam-brand-voice-strategist-brand-bones-10

I have a sneaking suspicion…

You might’ve been swept up in the whole “we need a tone of voice!” scamper.

Perhaps you’ve gotten so far as to define three or so traits that identify your brand’s tone of voice—

Yet still you squirm at the way you sound ‘out there’. 

Your copy doesn’t quite exude the true vibe of who you are, or how darn brilliant it is to work with you, or how life-changing the things you offer really are.  

Now, every time you try to write in the tone of voice you’ve decided on, you end up sounding contrived, awkward and a little bit ‘beige’… 

And what you most want is a competitive edge—not to sound like every other brand who describes themselves as “authentic”, “professional” and “friendly”. 

Trawling through seas of downloadable templates and tools to help you is a dive into time you try to make (but never quite achieve). 

If you were completely frank, writing for your business is one of those things you’d sooner hang on the backburner (or hurl across the virtual desk for others to do)!  

 

SAY NO MORE, RESCUE ME NOW

Perhaps you’ve gotten so far as to define three or so traits that identify your brand’s tone of voice—

Yet still you squirm at the way you sound ‘out there’. 

Your copy doesn’t quite exude the true vibe of who you are, or how darn brilliant it is to work with you, or how life-changing the things you offer really are.  

Now, every time you try to write in the tone of voice you’ve decided on, you end up sounding contrived, awkward and a little bit ‘beige’… 

And what you most want is a competitive edge—not to sound like every other brand who describes themselves as “authentic”, “professional” and “friendly”. 

Trawling through seas of downloadable templates and tools to help you is a dive into time you try to make (but never quite achieve). 

If you were completely frank, writing for your business is one of those things you’d sooner hang on the backburner (or hurl across the virtual desk for others to do)!  

 

SAY NO MORE, RESCUE ME NOW

And what you most want is a competitive edge—not to sound like every other brand who describes themselves as “authentic”, “professional” and “friendly”. 

Trawling through seas of downloadable templates and tools to help you is a dive into time you try to make (but never quite achieve). 

If you were completely frank, writing for your business is one of those things you’d sooner hang on the backburner (or hurl across the virtual desk for others to do)!  

 

SAY NO MORE, RESCUE ME NOW

Perhaps you’ve gotten so far as to define three or so traits that identify your brand’s tone of voice—

Yet still you squirm at the way you sound ‘out there’. 

Your copy doesn’t quite exude the true vibe of who you are, or how darn brilliant it is to work with you, or how life-changing the things you offer really are.  

Now, every time you try to write in the tone of voice you’ve decided on, you end up sounding contrived, awkward and a little bit ‘beige’… 

Writing potent copy needn’t be a pain in the royal beehive

If you had a clear, comprehensive guidebook that had you and your team whipping out bombshell copy time and time again, how would that power your business?

For starters it will…

amplifyyour brand and marketing

strengthenyour market position

streamlineyour production processes

…and more.

Thrill me or lose me

We’ve all been there. You read something that has you nodding “YES!” all the way through.

Then you click excitedly on their ‘this’ll-change-your-life-now’ button, only to arrive at a page full of BLAH and snore… 💤

Bouncetty-bounce you go off their page, baffled and peeved that their ‘thing’ didn’t sound as exciting as it did on the first piece you read, never to return again.

#salesfail

Brands with a distinctive, consistent voice build trust and engagement WAY faster than those who don’t

Now that we’re all snuggly tight in cyberspace trying to communicate how we’re different and better than the rest, your brand voice IS the shiz that’ll help you achieve your mission. 

WHY?

Because there’s a vast difference between copy written from the brand up vs. words you’re guessing might work.

So build them brand bones strong.


I’M DONE GUESSING! SHOW ME INCLUSIONS

“I always teach that copywriters are made, not born, but I think Sarah blows apart my theory with her seemingly innate ability to pick up skills and blend them seamlessly with her natural understanding of how to develop a brand’s voice. To say Sarah is one of the most talented copywriters I’ve ever worked with, and then went on to hire, is a dramatic understatement.”

Jay Crisp Crow, Copywriter + Copy Mentor | Crisp Copy

Take the sting, mystery and time drain out of the entire writing process

The Brand Bones is no ordinary guide.

It’s a custom-built voice strategy designed to personify your visual identity and give you the foundations for a brand that gets noticed. That instantly recognisable edge and distinct brand lingo you crave to master? Brand Bones is the guide for you.

Think of the verbal and the visual together like the power-couple of content marketing—as a united front, no-one else can replicate the ‘je ne sais quoi’ they exude.

The Brand Bones voice guide will enable you to:

💸  articulate your vision, values, purpose, audience and personality from one complete, editable guide—this makes it easy for future writers to infuse these ‘brand DNA’ elements into any copy on any channel

💸  confidently hand your writing tasks over to anyone knowing they have a detailed guidebook that minimises getting it wrong

💸  define a specific way of speaking for your business where you’ll have the tools to incorporate it into everything, so brand integrity is upheld

💸  reveal a newfound clarity on who you are and how you express yourselves to the world, which rejuvenates your entire business

💸  easily train any person you task to write for your business while seriously slashing the time it takes to revise, edit and provide feedback

💸  empower other writers to be at their creative best, leading them to copywriting success

💸  provide your designer with the clarity they need to create (or update) your visual style guide (a comprehensive voice guide makes designing SO MUCH EASIER)

💸  evolve your brand voice as your business grows (create it once, use it for years)

And it all comes complete with an instructional rubric you and your writers can use to:

💸  give focused feedback, thereby reducing repeat errors

💸  identify needs for increased training or coaching

💸  track growth and development

💸  eliminate the treading on eggshells that sometimes comes with giving feedback to creatives

💸  apply a measurable process for onboarding new writers so they nail your brand voice, every time

Your Brand Bones guide becomes the torchbearer for any type of communication

And no! It’s not just another fly-by marketing grab at siphoning unnecessary money from unsuspecting businesses. It’s an evolving guidebook designed to lead you and your team to writing victory.  

And it all comes complete with an instructional rubric you and your writers can use to:

💸  give focused feedback, thereby reducing repeat errors

💸  identify needs for increased training or coaching

💸  track growth and development

💸  eliminate the treading on eggshells that sometimes comes with giving feedback to creatives

💸  apply a measurable process for onboarding new writers so they nail your brand voice, every time

Your Brand Bones guide becomes the torchbearer for any type of communication

And no! It’s not just another fly-by marketing grab at siphoning unnecessary money from unsuspecting businesses. It’s an evolving guidebook designed to lead you and your team to writing victory.  

The Brand Bones voice guide will enable you to:

💸  articulate your vision, values, purpose, audience and personality from one complete, editable guide—this makes it easy for future writers to infuse these ‘brand DNA’ elements into any copy on any channel

💸  confidently hand your writing tasks over to anyone knowing they have a detailed guidebook that minimises getting it wrong

💸  define a specific way of speaking for your business where you’ll have the tools to incorporate it into everything, so brand integrity is upheld

💸  reveal a newfound clarity on who you are and how you express yourselves to the world, which rejuvenates your entire business

💸  easily train any person you task to write for your business while seriously slashing the time it takes to revise, edit and provide feedback

💸  empower other writers to be at their creative best, leading them to copywriting success

💸  provide your designer with the clarity they need to create (or update) your visual style guide (a comprehensive voice guide makes designing SO MUCH EASIER)

💸  evolve your brand voice as your business grows (create it once, use it for years)

“Working with Sarah was an absolute joy. She brought ease, flow and clarity throughout the entire project, and was spot on with capturing my voice and the messages I wanted to convey. I absolutely recommend Sarah if you’re looking for a talented writer who’s a delight to work with too.”

Luke Twining | Relationship & Communication Coach

“Sarah is an absolute genius with words. She cuts through the fluff and gets right to the core. Her ability to tap into what truly needs to be said is remarkable.”

Natalie Baldock | Integrative Nutrition Coach, Speaker & Author

 

INCLUSIONS

This is the list of inclusions for a complete, comprehensive voice guide.
Tailored guides from ‘featherlight’ to ‘heavyweight’ are available on request.

1. Preparation​

~ 1 x 90-minute vision, values & purpose workshop

Don’t fret! All you need to do is turn up, talk, be curious and enjoy. I’ll take care of the rest.  

~ 1-hour personality reveal & Voicebox session

Using the Voicebox tone of voice (TOV) methodology and Codex Persona™ tools, we delve into your brand’s personality then begin to pinpoint your voice archetypes and dominant tones. 

Audience research*

This is where I reveal the most riveting insights I can find about your desired audience, combining relevant online voice-of-the-customer (VOC) research methods. 

Competitor voice research

Finding your voice’s ‘sweetest singing spot’ can only happen when we sneak a peek at how your rivals speak.  

Customer ‘word journey’ mapping

I’ll request samples of all the wordy pieces your typical customer would read before they enquire with you. Then, I run them through a range of voice analysis tools to see where the inconsistencies are.  

 *This is general research combining online, team questioning and briefing questionnaire enquiry. Tailored, one-on-one customer interviews can be added and quoted if you’d like.
2. Delivery of your brand voice style guide​

~ Purpose, vision, values & guiding principles**

Written into stunning, succinct statements you can adapt for both internal and external communications

~ Positioning & orientation

A bold, guiding statement to help maintain brand integrity and differentiation

~ Core messaging framework

So your marketing stays on track with your business objectives

~ Brand personality

A clear, pithy statement declaring who you are as a business entity you can use to gee-up your team or dazzle your audience

~ Voice archetypes

The core characteristics underpinning your voice

~ Brand voice summary

Summarises your overarching ‘verbal identity’ before we go granular

~ Brand voice pillars

Pillars form the distinctive character and nuances of your voice

~ Language evaluation

Two examples from your existing copy + guidelines on how to adapt to your new voice

~ Word trove

A list of specific words and phrases that must or must not be used, including naming conventions

~ Tone & cadence analysis

To identify patterns from your existing copy and how to tweak them to fit your newfound voice

~ Stylistic applications

Guide to formatting, punctuation, spelling, grammar and other specific elements such as emojis, testimonial layout etc.

~ Tone formality guide

For adaptation to different channels

~ Star content analysis

3-5 of your best performing pieces

~ Old to new revival

Sample old copy rewritten in your new voice

~ Voice analysis tools

Handy for your writers to use to keep them on track with tone & cadence

~ Voice guide orientation video

A walk-through, delivered via Loom

~ Instructional rubric

For tightening (and easing) the revision process

**If you have some brand elements already defined, I’ll request to review these before we sign off on anything. 

Timeframe

2 – 6 weeks

(Timing depends on whether you want a ‘featherlight’ or ‘heavyweight’ version.) 

Investment

starting from

AU$2000

excluding GST


YES! I WANT STRONG BRAND BONES

All work is done by me. The only things outsourced are transcripts of our workshop sessions and professional proofreading.

What’s your dilemma?

You already have a distinct way of speaking to your customers but have trouble conveying it to anyone else tasked with writing (and simply don’t have time to)

You’re clear on your visual identity but haven’t defined your verbal identity (other than assign a couple of tone and personality descriptors, which isn’t working like you’d hoped)

You’re a savvy start-up who’s done a little work on your brand but have trouble with the wordy side of things

You know your brand voice needs to be consistent, but don’t know how to detail it to make it into an actionable, easy to follow guide

You have more than one writer (or outsource writers) and want to eliminate excessive editing and proofreading time due to inconsistencies between writers and channels

You know that having a distinctive voice is the key to attracting the people you truly want to serve (and to building a business you love)

What’s your dilemma?

You already have a distinct way of speaking to your customers but have trouble conveying it to anyone else tasked with writing (and simply don’t have time to)

You’re clear on your visual identity but haven’t defined your verbal identity (other than assign a couple of tone and personality descriptors, which isn’t working like you’d hoped)

You’re a savvy start-up who’s done a little work on your brand but have trouble with the wordy side of things

You know your brand voice needs to be consistent, but don’t know how to detail it to make it into an actionable, easy to follow guide

You have more than one writer (or outsource writers) and want to eliminate excessive editing and proofreading time due to inconsistencies between writers and channels

You know that having a distinctive voice is the key to attracting the people you truly want to serve (and to building a business you love)

You know your brand voice needs to be consistent, but don’t know how to detail it to make it into an actionable, easy to follow guide

You have more than one writer (or outsource writers) and want to eliminate excessive editing and proofreading time due to inconsistencies between writers and channels

You know that having a distinctive voice is the key to attracting the people you truly want to serve (and to building a business you love)

What’s your dilemma?

You already have a distinct way of speaking to your customers but have trouble conveying it to anyone else tasked with writing (and simply don’t have time to)

You’re clear on your visual identity but haven’t defined your verbal identity (other than assign a couple of tone and personality descriptors, which isn’t working like you’d hoped)

You’re a savvy start-up who’s done a little work on your brand but have trouble with the wordy side of things

Whatever the case, if it’s stalling production, it’s stifling success.

Let’s end that, pronto.


I’M DONE WITH DILEMMAS, LET’S TALK!

“Sarah has a true strength in being able to draw out the right messages for the right audience…”

Kathy Kusinksi, Founding Partner | MKDC Design Consultants

“We’re delighted with the final product. An excellent process leading to a fantastic outcome.”

Nick Lorentzen, Co-Founder & Managing Director | QC.Video

Investment

starting from

AU$2000

excluding GST


YES! I WANT STRONG BRAND BONES