The Key to Snazzier Business Writing

The words you consistently use to describe yourself and your work have a way of becoming your business. They are the story you tell about who you are and what you do. 

If you take the time to create the right personal keywords for your business, your unique voice will shine through. Your business writing will stand out. And more people will stick around to hear what you’re saying. 

Join me on an adventure to see why personal keywords are so “key”; which ones you’re already using (whether or not you’re aware of them); and how to create the right personal keywords for you and your business.

Ready? Let’s go!

Why Your Business Needs Personal Keywords

When you have powerful personal keywords, you’ll have an easier time introducing yourself to colleagues, potential customers, and industry movers and shakers. You’ll nail your “elevator pitch” without having to memorize a rigid speech. Wouldn’t it be lovely to speak naturally, from your center, and yet still deliver a consistent message?

Your personal keywords also make it easier to write new content by acting as a word bank. Imagine how much faster you’d get through your blog posts, newsletters, and sales pages if you felt confident about a reliable list of choices! It’d be like ordering off the menu at your favorite restaurant where you know everything is delicious.

If you have a tagline, you already know the power of repetition for building brand recognition. But since most companies only have one tagline, this short text usually doesn’t cover all the facets of your business.

Your personal keywords offer a more complete view of you and your business. They also allow you to sprinkle your special sauce around without simply repeating the same line over and over again.

In this age of information inflammation, what makes you stand out is not your knowledge; it’s how you share your knowledge. [Tweet that]

Help Customers Find and Trust You

Some of your personal key words will overlap with the more traditional keywords your clients are searching for online. That will increase the chances that potential customers will find you!

Once they find you, they’ll get used to hearing “your voice” if you use your personal keywords in your blog, newsletter, and social media posts. 

When they finally get around to reading your sales page, written in that same voice, they’ll feel comfortable and more likely to trust you. You’ll sound like the same knowledgeable expert they’ve come to rely on and trust for advice and expertise.

Then, when they work with you and hear that same voice yet again, the relationship will be solidified. You’ll be more likely to get great results because you’re working with people who self selected: the ones who signed up to work with you are the ones who respond to what you say and the way you say it. They’re eager to work with you and excited to refer you to other people. 

Choose the Right Personal Keywords

Most of us have keywords that we’re already using, whether or not we’re aware of them. The first step to better keywords is to take take a long, hard look at the words in your writing 

Take Action:

1. Read your business card, blog, newsletter, and website and look at your language.

  • Which words and phrases do you use again and again?
  • How do you describe yourself?
  • How do you describe your customers and their wants, needs, and desires?
  • How do you describe the work you do?
  • How do you describe the outcomes you get for your customers?

Once you can see the language you’re using, it’s time to determine whether it’s helping you.

Take Action:

2. Look back at what you discovered and ask these tough questions:

  • Is your message clear, or do you have too many keywords and ideas?
  • Is your message repetitive because you use the same few words again and again? 
  • Are your keywords sending the right message about who you are and the work you do?
  • Are your keywords outdated? Maybe they match the you of two years ago and the clients you served then, but not the you and the customers of today.
  • Do your keywords sound like you? Are they bland? Or are they imitating a coach, teacher, guru, or colleague?

→ Were you bored stiff or even embarrassed by the words you’re using? Don’t sweat it—I’ve got you covered.

→ Did you like your keywords? Woohoo! But what about adding even more to the mix so you have more options and more variety?

Let’s get you some (more) personal keywords that you’ll feel proud to use as ambassadors of your business.

Take Action:

3. Grab some paper or open a document on your computer and start brainstorming!

  • What are your values?
  • What are your favorite outcomes for clients—what do you love seeing people achieve?
  • Feel into your personal speaking and writing voice. How do you express yourself when you are your most alive, your most jazzed? (For example, would you have used jazzed there? What word would you have used instead?)
  • Listen to yourself and read your own writing. What phrases and words please you? What words and phrases make your message clear, inviting, and exciting?

Take Action

4. Now make a list. A long list. Include all the words and phrases from your brainstorm that you like, even a little bit. Once you have your list…

  • Highlight or star your top 5-10 words and phrases
  • Hone them → what do you really mean?
  • Are your words inviting? Will your clients connect to them? (Hint: if you’re using industry jargon, it’s unlikely your potential customers will connect.)
  • Are your words grabbing and engaging?
  • Do your expressions have momentum? Say them aloud → do they get lugubriously stuck on the inside of your mouth (case in point!), or do they flow.

Your Voice is Vital

Your business is your story. And that story has a certain tone and feel based on your keywords.

When you make your words work for you, you don’t just deliver your message; you also deliver your voice, your values, and your unique spirit.

I’d love to hear what you discovered about your personal keywords! Did you clear out some of the junk in your language attic? Did you find some word treasure? Leave a comment and tell me how the process worked for you.

Megan Barnhard
Hi, I’m Megan Barnhard, a passionate writing coach who loves helping driven professionals put themselves on paper. Whether you want to spruce up your professional bio, update your website, send more powerful newsletters, or plan your next book, I offer personalized, fun, friendly writing help. With over a decade of experience as a writing coach, I have something in my Writing Toolbox for every type of thinker! Nothing brings me greater joy than helping people tell their stories and share their passions with the world. If you’re ready for your writing to work for you, I’m here to help!

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