We are … how shall I say this? Unusual around here.
- Our Founder and CEO is a reformed lawyer-turned-marketer-turned-serial-entrepreneur-turned-who-knows-what’s-next.
- Our COO runs our galaxy when he isn’t keeping our company running.
- Our CCO rocks hot pink hair and an unmistakable style.
- Our CFO has remade himself as a LinkedIn shock jock.
- Our CPO promotes a minimalist life with maximum heart.
I could go on.
Company meetings feature an eye-popping variety of hair colors, styles of dress, and tattoos of all shapes and sizes. Our hobbies range from geeky (please don’t get us started on Marvel comics movies) to traditional (askAndrea about quilting or check in with Rebecca about what she’s knitting).
Pets? We have plenty of dogs and cats. Turtles, too. Horses of all sizes. A goat named Frankie.
And we speak multiple languages. There’s English (obviously), but also French, Italian, Polish, Portuguese, Punjabi, Romanian, Russian, Spanish, and Urdu.
That’s all to say … we’re kinda weird, you know? Diverse. We havepersonality.
Wait … you too?
I’m betting you’re a little quirky, too. Why else would you hang out with us?
There are plenty of websites that could teach you about using content marketing to build an online presence. But you’re here reading Copyblogger.
Let’s turn that around and think about your situation:
There are plenty of people who will resonate with your particular brand of quirkiness, too.
But only if you let it show. And that’s what today’s post is going to spell out how to do.
Seriously weird. And weirdly serious.
As Demian Farnworth loudly proclaimed in Conquer Content Shock with Illegitimate Ideas, and I talked about in Defy Convention or Be Forgotten, there are distinct business advantages to embracing your unique, quirky style.
Weirdness stands out. Weirdness is remembered. And weirdness — as long as you’re not insulting, degrading, or a train wreck — can make your brand seriously unforgettable.
But how do you find your unique writing voice? And once found, how do you go about expressing it?
That is the question. And here are my four succinct answers.
1. Say your words out loud, and then write them down
One way to pinpoint your quirky voice is to actually use your voice when you write.
You can do this several ways:
- You can say what you’re thinking out loud and write it down exactly the way it comes out of your mouth.
- You can use a voice-to-text system that captures your speech and turns it into words that you edit later.
- You can record your thoughts into your phone and transcribe the phrases you use when talking about your topic.
As you become more proficient in writing using your own voice, I recommend you read your final draft out loud.
Sometimes hearing your words spoken aloud can help you identify places where they don’t flow or aren’t expressing your voice accurately.
2. Shake free from all those rules and regulations
You’ll be happy to know that you will not be graded on your work. There are no roaming bands of English teachers hovering over your content with their red pens.
Oh sure, it’s wise to follow standard usage, but that’s mostly because it’s the best way to ensure you’re understood.
And yes, your helpful readers may occasionally point out an embarrassing gaffe. You’ll survive. A quick edit plus a click on the update button and your mistake will disappear.
Those rules you dutifully followed so you could get decent grades in your English classes can be loosened up to allow for greater self-expression.
So go ahead and write conversationally: End your sentence with a preposition. Go crazy and italicize words for emphasis. Add an ellipsis if it helps build suspense …
3. Stand on the foundation of your expertise and experience
There’s nothing more delicious than attending a get-together with friends and having someone ask you about the topic you’ve obsessively studied for years.
They seem genuinely interested. They ask probing questions. And you have the opportunity to wax poetic about your most-loved subject for a full 10 minutes.
You don’t stumble over what to say. You don’t put on airs or pretend to be someone you aren’t.
Your words flow effortlessly because when it comes to this particular topic, you’re a natural authority.
When you write from a place of comfortable mastery — whether you’re still a beginner or you’re a certified expert — your voice shines through as confident, unforced, and authoritative.
4. Step out from the shadow of the writers you admire and write it your way
If you find yourself trying to mimic the style of a writer you admire, you’re not alone.
Even the most experienced writers — the ones you may try to emulate as you write — have writing heroes. It’s not a bad thing.
One thing that unites truly great writers is that they have written enough to peel back the layers of imitation that might have grown around them. They write from a place deep inside that doesn’t sound like anyone else.
The only way to find this place is to write.
It’s only through writing — a lot — that you’ll find a voice that you own 100 percent.
To find your own quirky voice, write. Then write some more.
Be loud and proud, and don’t be afraid to share who you are
Sameness is the enemy online. We’re all fighting a battle for eyeballs, attention spans, and brain space.
How can you stand out?
- Tap into the quirky traits that make you who you are. What are they? Write them down.
- Emphasize these traits in your work: both in the voice you write with and the way you present yourself on social media.
- Serve up your unique voice consistently over time.
It may take some work to find what’s unique about you and your business. And it will take some practice to feel comfortable expressing it.
But when you make the effort, you’ll see the payoff.
Want to get attention and keep it? Embrace your quirkiness!