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Changing the Face - Blog

There’s been a lot of change around here lately.

From the outside, it might even look dramatic. The thing is, when I took over as owner of The Voice Bureau a few months ago, it wasn’t a sudden shift. In fact, it’s something that’s been in process for quite a while.

I’m beyond thrilled to be stepping into this role. It feels like a natural progression of the business and of my career, the next step in my self-employment (five years at the beginning of next month!). And The Voice Bureau is such a natural fit for everything I love to do.

Of course, there have definitely been some adjustments.

Abby and I worked well together for the past several years because we have such complementary styles. The jobs she dreaded, I relished. The natural tendencies I lacked, she had. We made a great team.

Now that I’m at the helm, those differences feel more apparent. It’s a bit like wearing someone else’s sweater — there’s a hint of unfamiliar laundry detergent and a tightness around the neck from long days draped across someone else’s shoulders. Even if it’s a style you’d wear, maybe the color isn’t your usual look, or it’s a little heavier material than you like. I’ve stepped into a business that isn’t my own design, and, while I’m excited to be here, it still feels just a bit…strange.

Let me be clear, I love The Voice Bureau and everything it stands for. I love our clients. I love the work we do. I have absolutely no desire to change anything fundamental, especially because I was a part of getting us where we are today. The sweater is my style, but, if you want to get literal about it, it’s a bit more mauve than I usually go for. The INFJ Business course of a few years ago that was such a hit with our community wouldn’t work for me, because, as an INTJ, I get  you, but I am not you. My voice is a bit different, both in our courses and in our blog posts and other communications.

Basically, I’m not Abby. And that’s okay.

Who I am is someone who’s been with The Voice Bureau as it’s grown over the years. I’ve collaborated with Abby on countless projects and ideas — some of which you’ve seen and some of which might get pulled from that back shelf and dusted off in the future. I’m all in.

So where am I going with this?

There’s a good chance you’re never going to have to worry about literally changing the face of your business.

Even if you do decide at some point down the road to hand over the reins to a new owner, the transition process really falls on them, as far as determining the direction and the feel for what’s next. It’s part of, you know, transitioning.

But we do a lot of work with clients in the process of rebranding their businesses. Whether because they didn’t quite get it spot-on the first time or because they’re shifting their goals or their services, a rebrand is a big change. It’s the opportunity for a new start, a chance to realign with your Right Person. It’s also a leap of faith.

How do you make a major change in your business without losing what it is at its core? How do you maintain the momentum you’ve built and the connections you’ve made when your business is — literally or metaphorically — changing faces?

For me, as I find my way in this new role at The Voice Bureau, I’ve focused on what we have in common. Both Abby and I come from a copywriting background, so copywriting, brand voice, and content strategy are all a natural fit — basically, all the work we do. My approach may be a little bit different, but I love the Voice Values, and I know our end result is the same because Abby and I have collaborated on every single piece of copy that’s gone out our virtual door for the past four years.

Our temperaments are similar, as well. While I may be a little more in my head than in my heart, neither of us fit the larger-than-life “copy rockstar goddess” mold. We’ve always taken a more measured approach, and one that eschews some of the more aggressive sales tactics and supersized personalities. It’s a choice that feels more authentic to who we both are, and it’s a better environment for our Right Person, who really is what this is all about.

And that, at its core, is the important factor that drives The Voice Bureau (and, hopefully, any business): our Right Person.

While you may have a different appreciation for my approach than you did for Abby’s, the fact of the matter is that our Right Person hasn’t changed. The way we serve you hasn’t changed. It may look a tiny bit different, and I may sound a tiny bit different, but our mission is the same: to provide personalized brand voice and copywriting support for values-based businesses operating online. To take a quieter, more nuanced approach to effective sales copy. To help you speak your own truth, in your own voice, to your own Right Person — no imitation, no pretending. Just you.

And just me. Because, truly, if we’re telling our clients that the most important thing is to be honestly, unapologetically who they are, how could I run this business without doing the same, myself?

It’s an exercise you might complete as you work through your own rebranding.

What’s working for you? What isn’t working for you? What do you do that brings you joy? What is the core of your business that you want to carry over into this new iteration?

(And don’t be afraid to say that your Right Person is not that core — you may well be rebranding because your existing site speaks to the wrong person.)

Once you’ve discovered the threads that you want to carry over into the new version of your business, it will become so much more obvious which pieces just don’t fit. Once you’ve found the heart of your brand, you’ll see that everything else is just window dressing. And window dressing is easy to change.

So, sure, you may notice some changes around here in the coming months. Don’t be surprised if some of the mauve shifts to indigo. Understand that I blog — and e-letter and write courses — in my own voice. We’re using a new font in our emails. (I know, try not to freak out.) But, at our heart, The Voice Bureau is what it always has been. That’s not going to change, no matter what face — or sweater — we’re wearing.

 

In the comments, I’d love to hear:

Have you gone through a rebrand in your business? How did you decide what to change and what to carry over?

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A photo of a forest

Hey, there. Katie here.

Almost exactly four years ago, I got a life-changing email from a friend and fellow copywriter.

Abby was about to launch The Voice Bureau and wanted to know if I was interested in doing some project management for her. I was fairly new to the freelance game at the time, but I could see that she was doing something really special, and I was thrilled to be a part of it — any part of it. But, to be honest, I had a hard time seeing how I could be much help.

I knew she needed someone on her side. We’d talked before, when she was running her business as a solopreneur, about the insane hours she was putting in, and even with just a few months under my belt (and pre-kids!), I’d already seen how quickly the work day could turn into the work night…and following morning…and weekend…

But, even knowing what challenges Abby had ahead of her, it was hard for me to see exactly where I fit in. It’s not as if I was entirely green — I’d launched my own business earlier in the year, and I was coming from years of writing for a living in some form, from penning radio commercials to editing magazines. But what she was asking for — project schedules, tracking deliverables, email support — all seemed so straightforward.

I was excited to be part of The Voice Bureau, but did I really have anything particularly useful to offer that Abby couldn’t just do herself, given enough time?

I quickly learned that what seemed like a simple, straightforward list of to-dos for me was anything but, for Abby. Spreadsheets gave her hives. Schedules were stressful. All the things I took for granted, she dreaded. With a bit more self-awareness, I probably would have seen this sooner, but analytics and logistics? They are my jam. Apparently, not everyone feels that way. Who knew?

The opposite was true, too. As our partnership grew over the years, Abby and I discovered more and more areas in which our strengths were complementary. She possesses a warmth in her interactions with clients that is natural and unforced, while I stare at my computer screen for ten minutes every time I open a new email. It’s not as if I don’t enjoy connecting with our clients — in fact, I love it! — but what comes naturally to Abby decidedly does not for me.

They say you can’t see the forest for the trees, but in business, that blindness can keep us from connecting with our Right Person.

When you don’t know what you have to offer that makes you different from your competitors, it’s impossible to connect with the person who needs just that. Your special skills might be squarely in your blind spot, but they are exactly what someone out there is looking for.

Take me, for instance. If I had to choose between being an accountant and working in outside sales, I’d be digging out my calculator before you could say, “capitalized expense.” But there are people out there who feel exactly the opposite, and may not even realize that what comes naturally to them is something I would hire out in a second.

So how do you figure out what you have to offer when you’re so close to it that it feels invisible to you? Well, that closeness is the key — what’s invisible to you probably couldn’t be more obvious to the people around you.

It’s not hard to see when you’re consistently praised for your work in one area. If you’re a great writer and people are always telling you that, you probably know that writing is your strength. If you’re a charismatic speaker who lives for the limelight, there’s a good chance someone else has noticed. Think about times you’ve gotten compliments. Do you notice any patterns?

Of course, compliments don’t always reveal your hidden (to you) talents. Maybe you’re a serial overachiever and can’t dig out a pattern among all the accolades. (Way to go!) Or maybe your particular shade of awesome isn’t the sort of thing you’ve been able to fit into a neat deliverable.

Sometimes, the special thing you have to offer can make you stand out in a different way.

Do you ever feel, well, weird?

Different? Do your friends tease you because your closet is color-coded? Are you the free-spirit who never fit in at that corporate job? Do you feign the flu to curl up with a good book rather than check out a hot new club with your friends?

What makes you different makes you exactly what someone is looking for. Not everyone is red-sweaters-on-the-left organized. Not everyone has those outside-the-box thoughts in the boardroom. Not everyone has a measured, quiet approach.

I’m a little bit neurotic. I can’t throw a party without everything being just right, from the flow of the playlist to the color scheme of the menu. Pre-kids (that is, when I had more than 30 seconds to put away a load of laundry), my closet wasn’t just color-coded, it was sorted by style, color, and sleeve length. I never met a spreadsheet I didn’t love. But those things I’ve been teased about are also things that have gotten me praise in my work. And there are plenty of people out there who need exactly what I have to offer, now that I’ve realized just what that special something is.

When you finally figure out what makes you weird, you’re thisclose to connecting with the people who need just that sort of weird on their side — and building ease into your business around the things that comes so naturally to you, you might never have noticed how special they are.

And how special you are.

In the comments, I’d love to hear:

Do you have any idiosyncrasies that come out in your business? Are there any quirks that make you different from your friends — or your competitors? Are you taking advantage of them, or fighting against them?

 

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scaling my business for small

“My mother loves small things,” the customer said to me.

She was describing what she saw as a particular quirk of her mother’s, but the truth was that many people love small things — for very particular reasons. When I owned my retail shop, this seemingly idiosyncratic detail was one my shopgirls and I heard often.

On this day, I’d been working the sales floor, chatting with regulars, greeting first-time customers, and giving some of them a quick tour of new finds we’d just unpacked and displayed. This particular customer (we’ll call her Marta — she was a regular) was shopping for a Mother’s Day gift. She picked up a set of tiny, glazed ceramic salt and pepper shakers in the shape of bluebirds, painted in a soft wash of robin’s egg blue (natch).

“She’ll love these,” she said, walking them up to the counter where I ran her credit card, wrapped the bluebird shakers in our signature kraft-and-chocolate polka dotted tissue paper, and tucked them into a logo gift bag. Then she was on her way, to return again another day seeking a new find, hoping for an experience that felt very much like the one she’d had on this particular day. Particular. Personal. Curated.

People love small things — for very particular reasons.  

Most of the business owners we’re lucky to work with at The Voice Bureau have very small businesses. While their revenues might range anywhere from $20,000/year (in ‘just launched’ mode) to multiple six figures, they insist on designing and running a business that feels small. Particular. Personal. Curated.

Usually, their “team” is just them, or them and a VA. Or them, a VA, and a few other collaborators or team members.

It’s fun for my team and me to work with these types of values-based microbusinesses because that’s the type of business The Voice Bureau is. We get why small and particular appeals to you.

In these online entrepreneurial realms, we hear so much about the importance of scaling a business so that more parts of it can be ‘hands-off,’ leaving the business owner with more time and energy for a life outside her business. While I totally agree with the second half of that equation, I don’t think that scaling for volume is the only way to go about having a business that feels good and is profitable. I think it’s time we talked about scaling for a tiny little jewel box of a brand.

Scaling for small

In my own business, I am scaling to be a tiny little jewel box of a brand. That’s how I think of The Voice Bureau.

Right now, and for the past couple years, I’ve been working at scaling my business for four things:

  • IMPACT — which, to me, means seeing my message and my work reach as many Right People as far as it can go
  • GROWTH IN REVENUES — which, to me, means having operating leverage, being able to bring in as much income as possible while being as modest and sustainable as possible in growth efforts
  • PLEASURE — which, to me, means getting to do mostly the stuff I truly love doing that’s within my zone of genius, and building the business in a way that’s beautiful, and not doing the things that don’t actually bring me pleasure or an internalized sense of adding value (like hustling for speaking gifts, going after PR opportunities, etc.)
  • PARTICULARITY — which, to me, means serving the exact Right People in the exact right ways in the exact particular tone and style that works for them and for me

I want to be known for really specific ideas, concepts, and approaches. I want to feel particular, selective, curated, and well-appointed.

I want my business to be well-honed, lithe, and supple where it counts (which is always around the needs of The Voice Bureau‘s Right People). I want flexible architecture. And I want to give my clients an experience that feels small, regardless of the revenues I’m bringing in. Because ‘scaling for small’ does NOT have to equate small profits.

Think about it.

Maybe in your business, the dream is to work with three carefully vetted clients each quarter, and that’s it. You’ll make fully a quarter of your yearly income each quarter from your engagements with these clients. You’ll maintain the emotional and psychological bandwidth to deliver a truly great experience for them. And you’ll have a tiny, quiet team behind the scenes engaged in building the infrastructure to support the clients’ experience and your experience. To keep focused, you’ll lean on your high Love, Security, and Excellence Voice Values.

Maybe in your business, you plan on building a suite of courses around the topics you teach and model. Your goal is to eventually license your own material so that other practitioners can teach using your work as a guide. Someday you’ll create a high level private mentorship for people who really want to go deep. You’ll lean on your high Community, Depth, and Helpfulness Voice Values to get this done.

Or maybe you’re a visual artist who works on commission, always in a very particular style and medium. You have no desire to ‘scale’ in terms of client volume, but you are interested in opening an online boutique where people can peruse and purchase non-commission works. You plan to hire a terrific Virtual Assistant (VA) to help you carry this out. You’ll lean on your high Intimacy, Accuracy, and Enthusiasm Voice Values to make this work for you.

There are many different ways to scale for small, and not all of them require you to be “hands off,” to enroll huge numbers of buyers or clients, or to hike your prices sky high so that only the heavily invested can work with you.

Toward a tiny little jewel box brand

I’m kind of in love with this ‘tiny little jewel box’ of a brand idea. It’s what I’m going for these days, and it’s what we help our clients move toward and into in their own work.

WHAT’S INSIDE A JEWEL BOX?

Only what fits.

Only what’s precious.

A few heritage pieces.

A few current favorites.

Lots of eminently wearable standbys.

And lots and LOTS of value.

If you’re intent on building your own business brand as a tiny little jewel box, I invite you to join me.

In the comments, I’d love to hear:

What does ‘scaling for small’ look like in your business? What would you LIKE it to look like?

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Difference between marketing sales branding

What’s the difference between marketing, sales, and branding?

If you’re a business owner — especially a small business owner or a solo — it’s likely that you started your business to go pro at something you were naturally good at and loved to do. You may have ‘backed into’ your understanding of the grand trio — marketing, sales, and branding — learning about it as you went, on a ‘need to know’ basis, and figuring out what worked for you and didn’t. (It’s okay that you’re still figuring this out. Every business is!)

It’s time for some basic definitions of these three foundational business terms. Most importantly, it’s time to understand why the difference between them matters.

What follows are the working definitions Katie and I use with clients at The Voice Bureau.

The definition of marketing is sharing what you have to offer with the people likeliest to buy — & sharing in a way likely to lead to the conversion you want (opt-in, sale, social share, etc.). Sometimes marketing is extremely targeted — i.e. you create a Facebook ad campaign that’ll be shown to just a certain segment of your page Likers. Other times, marketing is designed in the hopes of ‘netting’ the Right People through specific use of certain signals, triggers, and emotional cues. Marketing is taking your offer to market so that people can see what you’ve got, begin to experience it, and form an opinion or a perception of the value of it to them.

The definition of branding? Branding is the “suite of signals” that are signature to your brand, emblematic of your style/essence/approach, by which you are known and remembered. Your brand’s suite of signals incorporates everything people can see, taste, touch, smell (think of that store you love to go that always! smells! so! good!), listen to, perceive, and hear about from other people. The suite of signals is both concrete and abstract — it’s the sign above your front door, your website’s color palette, and your reputation in your community. You can isolate the elements in the suite and/or you can look at them all together.

Now on to the definition of sales. Sales are the mechanics of selling whatever you offer, and the intentional steps you invite people to take to get nearer to conversion. Sales can be looked at as a multiple-step process — this way, it’s easy to see where your sales process is breaking down. Sales is a human process. If it feels cold, you’re doing it wrong. ♥

How marketing, branding, and sales relate to each other

In a healthy business, marketing, branding, and sales are intertwined. They leverage and influence each other.

When it comes to business training and education, sometimes separating them out and teaching one without the other is problematic. It can leave HUGE gaps in people’s learning. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve worked on beautiful brands for businesses that didn’t have a sales process thought through, much less a sales funnel in place or even under construction. Not to mention lack of understanding and education around the type/nature/volume/mechanics of marketing they’d need to make their business model viable.

These are NOT criticisms — these are the realities of doing business in a fluid marketplace where small businesses are easy to start but not as easy to make thrive.

So, why is it important to distinguish between marketing, branding and sales, especially as a solo or small business owner?

In our perspective, it’s important to know the difference so that we know what we need to understand. In my view, every business owner is strong or not so strong in one or more areas. Some businesses are naturally adept at marketing, recognizing opportunities to share their good news and start creating value for potential customers even before a dollar is ever exchanged. Others are strong at sales — helping people who are ready and able to say yes, “closing” the deal on a phone call, etc. Others are keen at branding — they have an intuitive feel for what works for them visually, artistically, in terms of creative messaging. 

It is SO important to celebrate what you’re already doing well. And consider doing more of it!

You’ve probably recognized that when you change one thing in your business, every other thing needs to change at least a fraction to accommodate the newness. You try out a new sales process and your marketing has to come into alignment. You reposition your brand and your sales process needs to take a cue. You buff up your marketing and your brand needs some iteration.

This is normal. This is positive. This is growth. This is how you alchemize all the awesome, innate stuff you’ve got going on into something your Right People will treasure. This is how you go for the gold.

Recognizing where you need to grow — in marketing, in sales, in branding — is respectful of the entirety of your business and your brand. It’s creating the conditions where your brand can be received the way it’ll make the most impact, by the people who will value it most.

Katie and I developed The Voicery in response to this very need. We would be beyond honored to support you in 2016 with your brand voice development and your content strategy, which is integral to your marketing system and supportive of a robust sales process.

Our specialty is brand voice and content. We know just how integral these pieces are to the grand trio: branding, marketing, and sales. Let us show YOU how by creating results for you — in your very own brand, using what comes naturally to you to make it work.

Learn more about entering The Voicery.

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I meet a lot of new clients with this dilemma: which comes first, the design of my new website, new copy for my site, or “branding” (whatever that is).

Design_Copywriting_BrandingIt’s the classic chicken-or-the-egg debate: which comes first? What’s the best strategic place to start? And if you start with the “wrong” element first, will it mess up everything else?

I love it when people ask these questions with an open mind. Because, truly, there is a best place to start.

Assuming you’re working with experienced creative professionals who understand content strategy, truly want your project to succeed, and don’t have too much ego on the line (because your creative project is not a p*ssing match to see which creative has the best idea), there is a best flow for bringing a business brand online.

First, understand the business you’re in (or want to be in).

Who are your customers/clients, what value are you offering to them, and how do you deliver that value? Get clear on your Brand Proposition (also called a Value Proposition) and your Unique Selling Position (USP). And yes — no matter what you do and who you are, you do have competitors (other alternatives in the market your customers could choose instead of you). Have a premise of what makes you different from your competitors.

Contrary to what commonly happens when solopreneurs and microbusinesses approach creative service professionals, it’s NOT the job of your copywriter, your web designer, or even your branding specialist to help you figure out what your business is really about. It’s your job, as the business owner, to be clear about your business before you approach. As creatives, we take our clues from you, the client. If you give us insufficient or off the mark input, what we create for you won’t serve your goals (or help you make money) six months or a year from now, and then you’ll want to (and need to) reinvest in “branding” all over again, from scratch.

Second, have an idea of what your Right Person — your Most Likely to Buy client — would respond to in a brand.

Your brand is not all about you — even if you’re a “personality brand.” Your visual brand identity, and the way you message your brand conversation, has to appeal to your Ideal Client.

I’ll use an extreme example to illustrate this.

Say you’re a well-to-do 47 year-old man living in Bali who prefers minimalist design, likes to garden, and is particularly partial to the colors walnut and green. You self-identify as a Thinker. Your Top 3-5 Voice Values are Depth, Intimacy, and Accuracy. But you’re in the organic, sustainable baby clothing business and your Ideal Client is a young American mom with limited disposable income who self-identifies as a Healer. So who do you design the brand for? Yourself, or your very-different-from-you Ideal Client? (Note: the answer is NOT always to change your business so you’re serving people just like yourself, as discussed toward the end of and in the comments on this post.)

Third, put your branding insights down on paper. And/or hire a branding specialist.

You don’t have to be “right” about your first instincts about your brand. You do have to have some ideas, and get them out of your head and into some sort of order before you approach a creative professional. Then be prepared to have them re-explored, finessed, and re-worked in service of your business goals and brand objectives.

Put your Brand Proposition, your USP, what you know about your Right Person, and your hunches as to color palette and other design ideas into an outline or a summary you can give to a copywriter for guidance and inspiration, or use your outline or summary to complete the intake questionnaire your copywriter gives you.

If you’re really stuck on this part, this is the time to work with a branding specialist. (In case you’re curious about The Voice Bureau, this is the type of person we work with best.)

Make sure you vet your specialist. What credentials or (more importantly) experience does this person have that earns him that title? What other projects has he worked on? Do you like the looks of the sites she’s worked on?

A branding specialist will help you get clear on what your brand is about, who it’s for, and why it will be meaningful to them. Most likely, you’ll walk away from your work with a branding specialist with some kind of Creative Brief, PDF, or other written document that can guide your decision-making about copy and visual brand identity.

Fourth, find and hire the right copywriter.

Don’t just hire the first copywriter you follow on Twitter. Take your time to get some referrals from people you know (whose judgment you trust), to follow up with clients featured on the copywriters’ praise page, to read those copywriters’ sales pages and get a feel for their process and rates (if published), and to check out their portfolios or samples. It may sound obvious, but if you don’t like the writer’s writing style on their own blog, sales page, or in their samples, chances are you won’t like what they write for you. Yes, a good copywriter will write your content in a way that will appeal to your audience, not necessarily hers, but if you doubt the talent or the chops of the writer at first blush, that’s a red flag.

Many microbusiness owners choose to write their own copy. That’s a great choice for some people. Others will choose to work with a copywriter to make the process feel surer, smoother, and easier — and of course, so they can take advantage of the copywriters’ experience with helping many other business owners launch their brand online.

Here’s how to know if you’re ready to hire a copywriter to write your website or other marketing collateral:

  • the thought of writing your own web copy makes you gag, cry, or fall asleep;
  • you really struggle with putting your thoughts into words on the page;
  • you have lots of ideas but struggle with organizing them;
  • you’re willing to invest time, energy, and thought into the intake and revision process, but are willing to take your hands off the actual writing and let the copywriter do her thing;
  • you have the money to hire one (figure that experienced professional copywriters charge at least $250 for a single page of copy, and up to $1000 or more for specialty pages such as sales pages).

As stated before, the copywriter’s job is to organize, structure, and express the ideas your website needs to convey. His job is not to help you figure out what your business really does or who you really serve. The copywriter can only work with the clarity you give her. If you don’t have clarity, neither will she. Copy written without adequate clarity results in low conversion (i.e. people won’t buy what you’re selling, no matter how great the sales page ‘sounds’).

The copywriter will do her own intake based on her internal process. Usually this will take the form of a questionnaire or an interview. It’s helpful to give her the Creative Brief or outline of branding points you already have, but be prepared for her to ask you a few questions you may not have thought of already.

Now, you’ve heard the saying form follows function? This is entirely true with a business website. The web designer generally follows the lead of the branding specialist and/or the copywriter in creating a visual design that will support what the content needs to do to help your offers convert.

Most Voice Bureau clients are in the process of bringing a new brand online, or reiterating an existing brand. We suggest that once the copywriting project is underway, the client then begins to approach web designers, or lets us matchmake her with one we know, like, and trust.

Fifth, find and hire the right web designer.

In this day and age, there’s no need to go to a web designer and a web developer separately. Web designers should also develop (i.e. build and code) your site, or should seamlessly outsource the development so that you’re none the wiser.

As with vetting copywriters (see above), vet your web designer. When you contact her, tell her you’ve already worked with a branding specialist or are currently working with a copywriter and you do have a content plan for the site to share. (Content plan = what pages make up the site, which pages appear in the main navigation menu as opposed to being linked to from other pages, and what’s the most important thing for the site visitor to do on each page.)

The web designer’s job is to create a visually pleasing, user-friendly virtual home for your content to live. She has the ability to see what layout(s) would best support your content and your buyer’s journey through your site. She’s essentially a problem-solver. If you hire a great web designer, you can trust her to see things you can’t see about the way your site needs to look and function.

Her equally important job is to make your brand memorable through telling your brand story visually.

So the best process flow for bringing a business brand online is: 1st —  branding, 2nd — copywriting, and 3rd — web design.

If you put design before branding and copywriting, you run the risk of building a visual design that doesn’t support your business goals and brand objectives, doesn’t appeal to your Right Person, and isn’t the right ‘house’ to support the goals of your content.

If you put copywriting before branding and design, you leave the most important elements of your business in the hands of a copywriter, who may or may not have the business development skill set to support you in designing a brand conversation that works.

If you put ‘branding’ last, you run the risk of building your entire business on an unstable foundation — one that’ll cost a pretty penny to redo a year down the road after your first ‘brand’ isn’t connecting or converting. (I put ‘brand/ing’ in quotes here, because every time I’m approached by a prospect needing help with ‘branding’ immediately following the launch of a new website, I know that somewhere along the line there’s been a profound misunderstanding of what branding is and where it comes into the picture.)

At The Voice Bureau, we offer all three services under one astute roof — so you can relax and let the process unfold all around you.

No need for a siloed approach, where you as the client have to toggle between different creative pros, making sure all the I’s are dotted and the T’s crossed. That’s our job.

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In the comments, would you share with us:

Your experiences with the chicken-or-the-egg debate when it comes to branding, copywriting, and web design. Did you start with the wrong piece and end up with a jumbled mess? (Trust me: most of us have been there!) How did you find your way back to brand clarity?

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