Bring More Personality to Your Copy with the Brand Handful Method

A strong brand is one of the most underrated tools of a successful business.

It’s a powerful way to build the know-like-trust factor with your audience.

It makes your business feel real, like a three-dimensional person — and because people buy from people, this is a huge help when it comes to making sales online.

Plus, it just makes your work more FUN to incorporate tastes of the things you love. (And who doesn’t want more of that?!)

And the truth is, it’s really, really, really easy to create a strong brand through your copy. It actually takes just two steps.

As a one-woman show, I don’t have the luxury of making giant brand boards and spend time culling down my “ brand essence” (whatever that is). These two easy steps serve me just fine!

I use this process to infuse myself into my own copy and to write copy for my clients that really juices up their brand and feels 100% like them.

Less is More

You probably love a gajillion different things. I get it! But when it comes to copy, less is more.

I’ll be super honest here: Harry Potter isn’t the only book I love.

It’s my favorite, for sure! But I also love a bunch of other books that never show up in my copy.


Because in order to build your brand, you need to consistently talk about a small handful of things.

Readers like simplicity. If you’re always talking about your 10 favorite TV shows, people aren’t really going to remember that. But if you always quote Friends, it’s going to really stick in people’s minds.

Could this BE making any more sense? 😜

If you talk about too many things, if you’re constantly bouncing from this thing you love to that thing you did to this other thing about you, readers don’t walk away with a strong sense of anything.

Whereas if you focus on just a handful of strategic elements, people will start to associate those things with your brand.

That’s where the Brand Handful comes in…

Step #1: Decide on Your Brand Handful

What I call your Brand Handful is a few intentional elements —3-5 is a good place to start — that represent your brand. You want these to be topics that you can come back to again and again in your writing.

To give you an idea, my Brand Handful includes:
– Harry Potter (duh)
– My dog Brody and husband Joe
– Living in England
– General coziness
– Healthy cooking + good food

Here are a few prompts to help YOU gather your Brand Handful:

– What you live to do (eg. take improv classes, go on long hikes)
– Something you eat or drink often (eg. tacos, wine, coffee)
– What you love to watch, read, or listen to (eg. The Office, personal development books, Lady Gaga)
– The place where you live (eg. downtown Nashville, a tiny Southern town, a Boston suburb)
– A personality characteristic (eg. you’re a clean freak)
– Your family makeup (eg. kids, partners, pets)
– A concept you’re passionate about (eg. minimalism, physical fitness, the Law of Attraction)

Simply think about all the things that could represent your brand and then pick 3-5 to get you started.

Then list them in an easy-to-find place so you can make Step 2 a snap…

Step #2: Write about your Brand Handful

Told you this was simple…

The final step is to start writing about your Brand Handful.

The next time you’re creating an email, blog post, page of website copy, social media posts, even sales copy, reference the things in your Brand Handful.

Let’s say your Brand Handful includes:
– The TV show The Office
– Tacos
– Long-distance running
– Your twin boys, Teddy and Otis
– Your clean freak tendencies

You could incorporate your Brand Handful into your copy by…

Including The Office gifs and memes into your blog

Mentioning taco night in your weekly newsletter

Sharing photos of neat + clean spaces on social media

Telling a story about Teddy and Otis in your promo email

Comparing the outcome on your sales page to the high you get after a long-distance run

Sharing a reference (“You’re gonna love this tip more than Jim loves Pam” / “You’ll use this trick more often than I use my Del Taco loyalty card” / “It was messier than Teddy and Otis’s cribs after the first time I fed them bean tacos. (My clean-freak heart almost exploded right then and there.)” ← #brandhandfulthree-fer

Between storytelling, references, and photos, there are so many opportunities for you to tap into your Brand Handful to show your audience who you are.

Don’t get overwhelmed with this! Less is more here. In order to build your brand, you need to consistently talk about a small handful of things.

Let’s make this real…

Set out to include just ONE element of your Brand Handful in the next thing you write, using the examples above for inspiration. You can do that, right? (Then send me a link to it so I can sprinkle some comment love on all that personality-filled copy!)

The Next Level: Create a Brand Handful for your Messaging

You can take this idea even further and apply it to your brand messaging.

This is something I do with my launch clients to make sure that from the very first pre-launch blog post to the final sales email, a few key messages are repeated again and again, so people start becoming familiar with them (and believing them!)

You also want to do this with your emails, blog posts, web pages, social media…all of it!

When you consistently talk about a few key messages, they seep into reader consciousness quickly. Repetition is critical to changing reader beliefs and getting them comfortable with what you’re all about.

Don’t worry, repeating key brand messaging doesn’t feel repetitive to your audience. When you do it the right way, they won’t even notice.

But it does train them and get them familiar with your key messages, consciously and unconsciously.

(Sidenote: I’ve been doing this inside this blog post! If the phrases “less is more” and “to build your brand, you need to consistently talk about a small handful of things” feel familiar to you…you’ve just proven that this sneaky strategy works. 😉)

This topic deserves a whole blog post to itself someday. But for now, have a think about what your key messages might be. What messages do you want people to associate with your brand? What are 3-5 big messages you need people to believe?

Solid branding is much simpler than people think. Sticking to your Brand Handful and key messaging are two easy ways to make your brand feel YOU-ier and help readers get to know you more.

Like smart, easy branding tips like this? Then you’ll love Welcome Sequence Wonderful.

We explore the concepts of repeating key messaging and infusing your brand in detail inside the course — while creating your captivating email welcome sequence.

By the time a new subscriber finishes your welcome sequence, you’ll have them on-board with your messaging and comfy cozy with you as their bud…so they’re primed and ready to say “yes” to working with you.

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join the convo

What are TWO elements in your Brand Handful?
What is ONE key message you want your readers to know?
What other strategies do you have for sharing your brand with your audience?

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© Whitney Ryan LLC

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