Brand Identity For Sole Traders
Find your voice. Build your brand. Jeez, it’s enough to give any sole trader a headache. As many of you will know, in late 2019 Fyxen Copywriters went from a high-flying staff of two – to one. Now this in itself didn’t phase me. I started the business many years ago under my own name, it only became Fyxen when we expanded as it seemed more than a bit odd for someone else to be trading as Sarah Todhunter!
However, the one thing that has been a hurdle in dropping back to a solo enterprise after having built the business around a company name is finding that ‘brand identity’ everyone keeps harping on about. Sure, I have the visual element in check. Orange. Fox. Typewriter font. Easy peasy. But what about in written form? Should I use the first or third person? Do I talk as an individual or a business? It’s a minefield.
When I work for clients, this sort of advice comes out of me with ease. Many clients will already have a few keywords to define their brand voice, which makes it super easy as a writer. Others may not have the formal ‘brand voice’ package, but can easily convey this to me over a quick phone call.
For some of my B2C clients I write in the first person, it helps to establish familiarity and is a great form of writing for offering advice and selling in a casual way. For others, particularly larger firms, we keep it more formal. Often referring to yourself as ‘we’ can help to build authority. It’s a matter of personal preference and knowing what your audience will respond best to.
With that being said, my audience is varied. I have self-employed consultants who appreciate knowing exactly who they’re working with. I also have global investment firms and real estate moguls who just want to know the job will get done on time. Both have different expectations, but find everything they need in my service.
So, what’s a girl to do?
I’d love to know how other sole traders navigate this conundrum. Is there a way to appeal to smaller outfits as well as the big boys? Perhaps I have to surrender one sector for the sake of another? What’s worked for you? Have you found your decision to err on one side has lost you potential clients?